Poster Brooklyn Rider
The Brooklyn Rider string quartet will perform in the Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival on July 1.
Erin Baiano
Birge's Picks

On the road again

With apologies to Willie Nelson, now’s the time for “goin' places that you’ve never been” — or for going back for more of the summer festivals that make our landscape even more beautiful. Three of them open this week.

 If it’s Willie Shakespeare you’re looking for, Tuesday opens the 20th anniversary season of the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, with three plays in repertory through the end of July, including As You Like It and The Winters Tale.

Lest you “Exit, pursued by a bear” (as Shakespeare infamously directs in The Winter’s Tale), linger in Winona for the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, June 25 to July 16. Some of the hottest tickets are sold out, but don’t worry: YourClassical MPR brings you live broadcasts of the Sphinx Virtuosi on Sunday and Joshua Bell with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields on June 27.

Several of the best string quartets grace the shores of Lake Superior for this year’s Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival. On Saturday, it’s the Arianna String Quartet, followed by Brooklyn Rider, the Jupiter String Quartet and the American String Quartet. These groups are also mentoring some incredible student quartets, whose concerts represent the star quartets of the future. Enjoy the ferry ride to Madeline Island, or take in the Mainland concert series, through July 22.

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This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment‘s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.