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Conductor Gerard Schwarz Accepts Contract Extension at the Eastern Music Festival

Schwarz's new contract secures his role at the North Carolina-based festival through the 2026 season


North Carolina's Eastern Music Festival (EMF) recently announced that its long-serving Music Director, Gerard Schwarz, has signed a new three-year contract — meaning his time in the role will continue through the 2026 season.

Schwarz has a long association with the EMF, and the 2023 edition of the festival marked his eighteenth season there. After beginning as the EMF's Music Advisor in 2005, he was appointed Principal Conductor the next year, and then became the festival's Music Director in 2008.

Alongside the EMF, Schwarz is director of the All-Star Orchestra, the Palm Beach Symphony, and the Mozart Orchestra of New York, as well as being Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of the Mostly Mozart Festival.

A champion of new music, Schwarz has given more than 300 world premiere performances. He also has a discography of more than 350 albums, many of which were recorded with premier European ensembles.

"We are delighted that our collaboration with Gerard Schwarz will continue," said Melanie Tuttle, EMF Board Chair. "He brings so much to our festival every summer — music that is both energizing and thoughtful and a genuine love for our community here in Greensboro."

"Schwarz is an integral part of why our festival is so widely and highly regarded. He attracts and works with outstanding students, acclaimed faculty, and wonderful guest artists. The Board of Directors faced a very easy decision to renew our relationship with Jerry. We look forward to the coming seasons of magical music-making at EMF."

"It is a great pleasure and honor to continue to make music in my summer musical home of the Eastern Music Festival through 2026," said Gerard Schwarz. "We have one of the premier music festivals and schools in the country and it is a great joy for me to work with so many wonderful musicians, both faculty and students as well as a very supportive staff and board. The vibrance and enthusiasm of the Greensboro area audience is very special, and I am very excited to see what the next three years bring."

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