Best outdoor concert series 

Vermont Mozart Festival


Winner:
Vermont Mozart Festival

Runner-Up:
Ben and Jerry's Concerts on the Green

HIGH NOTES

For classical music al fresco, the Vermont Mozart Festival has a venue that can’t be beat: the sloping lawn of the Inn at Shelburne Farms. Listen to a Chopin concerto as the sun fades over Lila Webb’s terraced gardens, and you might imagine riding home in a carriage. The soulful Pole is the focus of the Mozart Fest’s current season, which features internationally known soloists such as Rieko Aizawa, Philippe Entremont and Jean-François Latour hitting the romantic notes in settings ranging from the Barre Opera House to the Ponds at Bolton Valley Resort. For those less classically inclined, there’s jazzy “Sax on the Beach” at the Grand Isle Lake House, or a frisky mix called “Fresh Air” in the bracing environs of the Trapp Family Lodge. The outdoor settings may encourage the little ones to run hither and yon. But with its family concerts at Vermont Teddy Bear, the Mozart Festival could just nurture a new generation of music lovers. And, with Israeli Gil Shohat taking the artistic-director reins from founder Mel Kaplan, 80, expect new variations in 2011 and beyond.

-Margot Harrison

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