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Master Players Festival and School
Students in the 2017 Master Players Festival and School gather on UD's Newark campus.

July 24-Aug. 5: Master Players Festival

International festival to feature competitions and concerts

The University of Delaware Master Players Concert Series will present the fourth annual Master Players Festival and School from Tuesday, July 24, through Sunday, Aug. 5, at UD’s Roselle Center for Performing Arts in Newark.

Master Players Festival and School (MPF) is an intensive 12-day international festival offering world-class concerts and exceptional interdisciplinary training for instrumental and vocal musicians ages 14 and up. Students younger than 14 participate through the festival’s Little Masters Division.

“This is the festival that puts UD on the map and raises the profile of our beloved University,” says Xiang Gao, UD Trustees Distinguished Professor of Music and Master Players producing artistic director. “The three main goals of this festival include making the University of Delaware and the city of Newark a cultural destination in the summer months, introducing our beautiful University to quality future Blue Hens from around the world and increasing the visibility of Master Players while we’re expanding to attract more audience members and supporters of this flagship presenter of the region.”

Participants learn from world-renowned faculty through lessons, master classes, chamber music coaching, orchestral studies, solo and chamber music competitions and attending concerts.

This year’s new programs include voice and collaborative piano, and Karen Tuttle viola and Paul Kantor violin workshops. MPF acclaimed faculty this year include Jonathan Carney, celebrated concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Paul Kantor, renowned violinist and pedagogue from Rice University and former teacher of MPF director Xiang Gao; Colin Carr, renowned cellist and faculty of Stony Brook University; Haixin Wu, associate concertmaster of the Detroit Symphony; Satoshi Okamoto, bassist from the New York Philharmonic; principal woodwind players from the National Symphony; and leading faculty from major conservatories and universities around the world.

Participants will hear leading musicians in concerts, share the stage with them in performances and network with their future teachers. International students may also opt to participate in MPF’s “American Musical Journey,” guided excursions to historical and cultural landmarks in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.  

Concert schedule

The schedule includes:

  • Thursday, July 26: Faculty Concert I – Festival Opening Gala, 7: p.m., Gore Recital Hall;
  • Saturday, July 28: Bass Studio Recital, 4 p.m., Loudis Recital Hall (free);
  • Saturday, July 28: Faculty Concert II, 7 p.m., Gore Recital Hall;
  • Sunday, July 29: Student Solo Competition Winners Concert, 7 p.m., Gore Recital Hall (free);
  • Monday, July 30: Bassoon Studio Recital, 2 p.m., Bayard Sharp Hall (free);
  • Monday, July 30: Faculty Concert III, 7 p.m., Gore Recital Hall;
  • Wednesday, Aug. 1: Vocal Student and Faculty Concert, 7 p.m., Gore Recital Hall (free);
  • Thursday, Aug. 2: Young Artist Chamber Concert I, 3 p.m., Gore Recital Hall (free);
  • Thursday, Aug. 2: Young Artist Chamber Concert II, 7 p.m., Gore Recital Hall (free);
  • Friday, Aug. 3: Little Masters Concert, 3 p.m., Gore Recital Hall (free);
  • Friday, Aug. 3: Faculty Concert IV, 7 p.m., Gore Recital Hall; and
  • Saturday, Aug. 4: Farewell Concert with MPF Concerto Competition winners and the MPF Symphony Orchestra, 7 p.m., Mitchell Hall.

All concert venues are located on the University’s Newark campus. Click here for directions and parking.


Festival passes will be available for purchase at the door by cash or check only during the Thursday, July 26, concert at the price of $45 for adults and $22 for students, 10 percent off the box office price. Festival pass holders have access to all festival concerts, as well as exclusive reserved guaranteed seating until 5 minutes prior to curtain. Passes reserved using an online form found on the Festival Concerts page will be available for purchase at the ticket table in the lobby until 5 minutes prior to curtain at the July 26 concert.

Tickets for individual concerts will be available at the door before each concert, cash or check only; to reserve tickets in advance, click here and scroll to the selected concert. Reserved tickets will be released for sale to the public 5 minutes before curtain. Tickets for the faculty concerts and the farewell concert are $5 for students and $10 for adults. All other concerts free of charge.

About the festival

Sponsors of Master Players Festival include the UD Department of Music, UD Community Music School, Courtyard by Marriot Newark-University of Delaware, China Music Foundation, Blue Resources USA and David Bromberg Fine Violins LLC.

Master Players Concert Series

Master Players Concert Series ("Master Players") serves as the cultural ambassador for the University of Delaware. Producing Artistic Director Xiang Gao, international artist and UD Trustees Distinguished Professor of Music, brings a rich and wide array of world-class musicians to the UD campus and to underserved local communities. The series' hallmarks are its high artistic standards, the Delaware debuts of remarkable artists, and its diverse and distinctive programming. Master Players, with the UD Resident Ensemble Players (a professional theatre company), offer a large variety of public performances in numerous University venues and throughout the region. Master Players is cosponsored by its long-term collaborating unit, UD’s Department of Music.

Department of Music

Since 1939 the Department Of Music has been dedicated to the musical growth of its students and the cultural enrichment of the community. In addition to its highly respected degree programs for music majors and minors, the department offers classes and activities for the general student population. Approximately 1,000 students enroll each year in music appreciation courses, and more than 500 students earn academic credit by participating in the department's music ensembles and performance programs.

UD Department of Music leads the state of Delaware’s thriving arts scene in total music performances, producing and presenting more than 250 events each year in University venues, around the region and expanding UD’s reach and reputation globally at world-class venues in South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

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