Bowdoin Festival founder Lewis Kaplan to step down after 50 years of leadership


Begun as a five-concert summer series on the Bowdoin College campus in June 1964, the Bowdoin Festival has grown into one of the world’s premier summer training programs for exceptional classical musicians. Each summer it provides more than 250 students from five continents an intense immersion in the practice and performance of chamber music and solo repertoire and presents concerts featuring world-renowned performers to sold-out audiences.

Originally a program of Bowdoin College, the Festival became an independent nonprofit after the passing of co-founder Robert K. Beckwith and then adopted a new name – Bowdoin International Music Festival – recognizing its global reach under Kaplan’s leadership.

Chair of the Festival’s board of trustees James T. Morgan said, “Lewis Kaplan’s towering achievement is a teaching festival that is secure, fresh and dynamic as it approaches its 50th anniversary. The Bowdoin Festival is an ever-evolving, living thing, not a music museum. I know I speak for the entire board when I salute him and thank him for all he does that makes us proud and eager to see that the collegial mentoring atmosphere he fosters lasts long into the Festival’s vibrant future.”