The Pine Mountain Music Festival (PMMF) was founded in Iron Mountain, Michigan, in 1991 by Laura Jean Deming, a cellist and member of the orchestra of Lyric Opera of Chicago. That first season was primarily chamber music, but by 1992 opera was being produced. The festival runs during mid-June in Houghton, Marquette, and Iron counties in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
The PMMF produces a season of professional classical music. The festival has presented 36 operas, including three commissioned world premieres: The Children of the Keweenaw (2001), The Diaries of Adam and Eve (2007), and Rockland (2011). It also premiered a new string quartet, Oday Daywayigun (2010). Educational components have been an integral part of the festival: the Orchestra Fellowship Program (1994 - 2007; 2015); the Resident Opera Artist Program (1998 - 2015); the in-school program OPERAtion Imagination (2002 - 2014); and UPstarts!, a current program providing performance opportunities for emerging young artists of the Upper Peninsula.
PMMF received the Governor’s Award for Arts and Culture in 1998 and the Great Lakes Community Arts Award from the Michigan Association of Community Arts Agencies in 2003. The festival earned the first direct grant ever awarded to an Upper Peninsula arts organization by the National Endowment for the Arts for The Children of the Keweenaw (2001).
The festival has a small and dedicated year-round staff and a large number of volunteers.