More than 80% of Festival programs are completely free to the public, including events that feature some of the most prestigious jazz, classical, dance, and theater artists in the world. The Festival’s programs have an impact throughout the year, including engagement and educational programming such as the Festival Fellowship Program for underserved youth, and the Visionary Leadership Award held in autumn of each year.
Festival highlights include: the American premiere of a new production from the National Theatre of Scotland, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, which was a hit of the Edinburgh Festivals and will go on to further American engagements after its run at the Festival. The Festival will also offer a classic performance of works from Mark Morris Dance Group—A Lake, Jesu Meine Freude, and Gloria—with a rare twist: the performances are offered with a full live orchestra and chorus, with Mark Morris himself conducting the entire performance. Philippe Petit, the adventurous wire-walker who committed the “artistic crime of the century” when he walked on a wire between the World Trade Center Towers in 1974, is the kick-off speaker in the Festival’s Ideas series of lectures and conversations. The Festival closes with Rosanne Cash in a free concert on the New Haven Green, with a performance of her album The List.