History

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Festival Miami was founded in the fall of 1983 by Dean J. William “Bill” Hipp with the artistic direction of José Serebrier. The series started the following year. Initially titled International Festival of the Americas, Festival Miami is a celebration of music and the arts presented by the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Festival Miami was preceded by the Latin American Chamber Music Festival, which was organized in 1982 by Professor Lucas Drew, Chairman of the Department of Instrumental Performance at the University of Miami. The Festival consisted of a series of free concerts performed mainly by University of Miami music faculty, with emphasis on works by Latin American composers who were featured guests each year. When Dean Hipp joined the School of Music in 1983, he determined that its future was limited by restricting programming only to music from Latin America. He discussed the possibility of a new and expanded festival with conductor and composer José Serebrier. Through their meeting, Festival Miami was born.

In 2007, Dean Shelly Berg became the executive director of Festival Miami. Up until 2015, Festival Miami was held between mid-October through mid-November. In its final season in 2017, Festival Miami held its concert season between January and February with four different concert themes. These themes include: “Great Performances,” “Jazz and Beyond,” “Creative American Music,” and “Music of the Americas.” 

In its place, Frost Music Live showcases high-end concerts throughout the academic school year. Find a wide variety of top GRAMMY®, Emmy®, and Tony® award-winning and nominated guest artists collaborating with the innovative Frost School of Music faculty artists and students. 
 
With Miami’s rich cultural atmosphere, Frost's mission is to uphold its vision of providing high-quality music education and training for its students as well as exposing the community to a diverse range of cultures through music. In addition, Frost strives to present new music and commission new works. Frost Music Live is one of the outlets in which faculty and student composers present their world premiere works. In addition, the Frost School of Music offers its students as well as its faculty composers the chance to work and interact with internationally-known guest artists via lectures, seminars, and concerts. At the core, Frost fosters advancements in music performance, creativity, scholarship, and teaching among its faculty and staff.

Frost Music Live is committed to becoming an educational tool to amplify the number of opportunities for musical enjoyment and personal enrichment to as many residents and tourists as possible in addition to community outreach. Over the years, it has extended its invitation from public school students to senior citizens, non-profit organizations and foundations, and everywhere in between. The Frost School of Music has long recognized Miami’s international character and continues to incorporate these elements in the planning, programming, and design of the next generation of music.