Woodstock Mozart Festival History

A Brief history of the festival


The Woodstock Mozart Festival’s first four performances were presented in 1987 at the Woodstock Opera House as part of a Summer Theatre and Music Program called Woodfest. Because of the success of these concerts, others were added during the following year, and a not-for-profit corporation was established.  From the beginning, recognized guest artists and conductors comprised the Festival’s roster, and the Festival has since been recommended as a Summer Stages destination by the New York Times along with Ravinia and Grant Park in Illinois. It also has been featured on Channel 11’s Arts Across Illinois television series and WFMT’s Impromptu radio broadcasts.  The Festival’s mission: “To inspire and educate audiences of all ages through a chamber orchestral program of an outstanding caliber which is centered on Mozart.”  The  Woodstock Mozart Festival enjoys a reputation for its stimulating musical programming and extraordinary, inspired performances.


During the 2015 season, the Woodstock Mozart Festival's concerts will be presented in two locations:


Festival Board of Directors

The Woodstock Mozart Festival, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, is governed by a Board of Directors drawn from the surrounding communities.



Maija Mizens, Ph. D., President

Judysharon Buck, Ph. D. Vice President

Mark Schiffer, M.D., Secretary
Amy Ottens, Treasurer

Al Ottens, Ph. D.

Marsha Portnoy

Tom Svoboda, Lt. Col. Ret.

Anita Whalen, Artistic and General Director

Anita Whalen, Artistic and General DirectorWith an educational background in music (Piano Performance with Soulima Stravinsky) liberal arts, and business from the University of Illinois, Anita spent many years as a consultant to teachers and as founder/director of a school of music instruction. As Certification Chairman for the Illinois State Music Teachers Association, she led the revision of the organization's voluntary Certification Program. The resulting plan was subsequently recommended for use across the country by the Music Teacher National Association.

After completing the American Symphony Orchestra League's Orchestra Management Seminar in 1987, Anita became General Manager of the Fox River Valley Symphony (Aurora, Ill.).


During 1992 she completed a Certificate of Business Administration for not-for-profit administrators at the University of Illinois and accepted the position of Executive Director of the Woodstock Mozart Festival. In 1993 her title was expanded after leading the organization through a conductors search and implementing all artistic tasks as reflected in her current title as Artistic and General Director.


Ms. Whalen has served as President of the Naperville Arts Council and as a board member of the Chicago Music Alliance. She has been both Secretary and Vice President of the Illinois Council of Orchestras and Vice President of the David Kraehenbuehl (composer) Society.




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