A cascade of events beginning June 20 marks Arts and Culture Week in Brevard and Transylvania County, aka Land of the Waterfalls, aka “The Most Picturesque Area in WNC that Also Boasts the Most Diverse Array of Renowned Musical Acts in the Summer Months.” (OK, that latter designation is our own, not an official hype bite from the visitors’ bureau.)
Brevard Music Festival, a six-week-long classical-music residency that includes artists immersed in their craft and visiting stars of the genre, begins this week. Opera, chamber ensembles, and orchestra performances fill the calendar from June through August, interspersed with high-profile roots acts including bluegrass phenoms the Steep Canyon Rangers (whose members hail from Brevard and Asheville, and who are frequently joined onstage by famous-comedian-turned-famous-banjo-player Steve Martin) and Garrison Keillor of A Prairie Home Companion fame.
On Sunday, June 21, at 3pm, violinist Ye-Eun Choi takes the stage at Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, performing “Symphonie Espagnole” with the Brevard Sinfonia (JoAnn Falletta, conductor). The swiftly rising South Korean star has been called “one of the most promising [musicians] of her generation.” She debuted at age 20 with the New York Philharmonic, and routinely plays around the world with the biggest-name conductors, including Sir André Previn. A German resident, Choi performs on a 1710 violin by Pietro Giacomo Rogeri.
Not to one-up a 300-year-old, incalculably valuable instrument – but the mountains of Transylvania County have been around for at least a few million years; ditto the waterfalls (more than 200 of them) that distinguish this densely wooded southern stretch of the Blue Ridge. Another of Brevard Arts & Culture week’s first-chair events is the Scenic 276 South Corridor Fine Art & Craft Studio Tour on June 20, a self-guided driving event with 12 potential shopping stops in Cedar Mountain, DuPont State Forest, and along Greenville Highway. Mud Dabbers Pottery on Dunn’s Creek is a group of 25 potters who work in a historic general store. Their studio is both picturesque and easily accessed (plus much recommended).
And while you’re in the area, check out the Hunger Games Unofficial Fan Days Walking Tour, also on June 20, where visitors can see the cinematic sites in DuPont – including Hooker Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Triple Falls, and High Falls – where key scenes from the blockbuster series’ first installment were filmed.
More than 100 other events comprise Brevard’s summer hurrah. “Wine and Charcuterie Night” at 185 King Street and a LEGO Junior Builders Club at the Transylvania County Library show the polar dimensions of this variety show, along with a downtown sculpture walk, a nature-photography exhibit, and a jam session at Southern Comfort Records. Fourth of July happenings close Arts & Culture Week with a bang. (That’s two weeks, if you’re keeping track – but time is liquid in Transylvania County, and we won’t tell if you don’t.)