Brevard Music Center

The residents of western North Carolina swell with pride as the Brevard Music Center comes to life. Each year the summer program guides, nurtures, instructs, and encourages aspiring young artists who travel from far and wide for the unique opportunity of studying with distinguished professional musicians and performing in a myriad of musical venues.  Surrounded by the incredible spectacle of the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, this rich tradition thrills audiences with imaginative programming and excellent performances.

Summer concert

Summer concert

The Brevard Music Center hosts a summer concert series each season and showcases the musical talents of its 400 students aged 14 through post college age. The center’s rigorous musical curricula has generated countless professional musicians and the center’s summer concert series events are always a hit with locals and visitors alike. Featuring opera, classical and popular music. In addition to its summer programs, Brevard Music Center is also an educational institution for young musicians and features an academy for high school kids as well as college students who seek a career in professional music.

“The Brevard Music Center, a summer institute and festival, teaches gifted young musicians to prepare and perform great musical works at a high artistic level.”

-Brevard Music Center Mission statement

Brevard Music Center

The perfect place for ultimate musical experience.

For three quarters of a century, The Brevard Music Center has brought together today’s most celebrated musical talents and tomorrow’s brightest stars for seven weeks on its lush 180-acre campus. The results are, to put it simply, legendary. In the past, Brevard Music Center has welcomed such names as Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma and Renee Fleming. Each year, the Festival features over eighty incomparable performances ranging from eclectic jazz to Broadway musicals to epic operas. A full schedule, performer and ticketing information can be found at

Brevard Music Center’s premier summer music festival and comprehensive music center has set the highest standards in performance and education and offers a full range of concerts and operas with renowned artists. Each summer the Brevard Music Center becomes a community of student and professional musicians who aspire to ever-higher levels of artistry. With all members of the community residing on campus, this level of excellence is achieved with an intensive practice, rehearsal, and a challenging concert schedule.

Located near Brevard North Carolina, the Brevard Music Center is a summer music institute offering professional music instruction throughout the summer season. Students participate in a variety of different ensembles with the Brevard Music Center’s distinguished staff of professional musicians, and the center’s Brevard Music Festival.

The combination of studying with renowned professional musicians and an intense performance schedule sets the Brevard Music Center apart from other summer music institutions and gives students the opportunity to understand the world of a professional musician.

A faculty of sixty is drawn from orchestras, conservatories, and universities. The season runs from the last week of June through the first week of August. Three performance venues, including the 1800-seat Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, host more than eighty public concerts that attract audiences of some 50,000 persons. The Brevard Music Center offers instruction in orchestral instruments, piano, composition, voice, and opera.


The history of Brevard Music Center is one of evolution from a small summer music camp to one of North Carolina’s most significant cultural entities.

In the summer of 1936, James Christian Pfohl started the Davidson Music School for Boys at Davidson College in North Carolina. Thirty students and eight faculty members participated in a program of rehearsals, private lessons, recreation and faculty performances and lectures. The six-week program provided Sunday afternoon concerts for Charlotte area audiences. Pfohl began looking for the perfect setting for his “well-balanced program of outdoor recreation and instruction in music and art” and in 1944 moved the summer music camp to its current location just outside the town of Brevard in Transylvania County where it became the coeducational Transylvania Music Camp.

Enrollment flourished, curriculum expanded, opera was performed and the number of concerts increased. The Festival began in 1946 when faculty and internationally renowned guest artists gave master classes and performances at the conclusion of the summer’s educational session, paving the way for the Festival and music camp to be named the Brevard Music Center in 1955.

In 1964, Henry Janiec succeeded Pfohl as the artistic director. Having previously conducted at Tanglewood, the Chautauqua Institute, and the Charlotte Opera, Janiec was Dean of the School of Music at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC while directing the Music Center. He led the Center for more than thirty years, through the 60th anniversary season in 1996. Music Center alumnus David Effron became the next artistic director for eleven seasons, from 1997-2007. A conductor and educator, Effron has made numerous national and international conducting appearances, was artistic director of the Central City Opera (CO), conducted the New York City Opera, and has taught at the Curtis Institute of Music, the Eastman School of Music, and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

October 2007 marked the beginning of a new era with Keith Lockhart taking on the role of Artistic Director. Also a Music Center alumnus, he is Conductor of the famed Boston Pops, Principal Conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, and Music Director Emeritus of the Utah Symphony. Mr. Lockhart has stayed connected to the Music Center through the rise of his impressive career and has appeared as guest conductor the Brevard Music Center Orchestra and the Transylvania Symphony Orchestra. He is dedicated to preserving the history and advancing the ongoing educational mission of the Music Center.

2011 marks the 75th anniversary of the Brevard Music Center.

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