Veda Zuponcic Auditorium stage view

About The Festival

The Northern Lights Music Festival is a three week classical music performance program and music school which is held each summer on the Minnesota Iron Range.

Founded as a summer music camp 21 years ago by concert pianist and Aurora native Veda Zuponcic, Northern Lights has evolved into a performance program and festival, bringing together award-winning students and internationally known performers and teachers in a unique program that includes daily lessons, chamber music coachings, masterclasses and numerous performance opportunities throughout Northern Minnesota.

With the addition 10 years ago of the Northern Lights Festival Opera, the festival now includes fully staged professional operas featuring international opera stars and a roster of rising young performers.

Our Venues

Northern Lights is fortunate to have access to an array of historic performance venues for its concerts and operas.

By performing in these unique venues, Northern Lights is not only able to bring the highest level of classical music to Iron Range communities but to celebrate and showcase the architectural gems found in Northeastern Minnesota.

Over the years our venues have included; Mesabi East School and Holy Rosary RC Church in Aurora, Chisholm High School Auditorium, Washington Auditorium in Ely, the Copper Top Church In Duluth, B’Nai Abraham Synagogue in Virginia, the Reif Center in Grand Rapids, Hibbing High School Auditorium, Buhl Public Library, St. Mary’s Church in Tower, Assumption Church in Eveleth, the Discovery Center in Chisholm, and Virginia High School’s Goodman Auditorium.

Many of the historic libraries on the Iron Range host programs by our younger participants.

Exterior of B'Nai Abraham Synagogue in Virginia.
B’Nai Abraham Synagogue, Virginia


In 2020, Northern Lights acquired B’Nai Abraham from the Friends of B’Nai Abraham. With a dedicated performance space, Northern Lights was able to present a series of socially-distanced concerts and recitals during the 2020 season. For more information on the Friends of B’Nai Abraham and the B’nai Abraham Cultural and Heritage Center.

View of Stage with piano in Veda Zuponcic Auditorium in A
Veda Zuponcic Auditorium, Mesabi East, Aurora
Exterior view of Copper Top Church in Duluth
Copper Top Church, Duluth
Historic Hibbing Auditorium
Historic Hibbing Auditorium, Hibbing
Fish eye view of Chisholm HS Auditorium
Chisholm High School Auditorium, Chisholm, MN.
Exterior view of Buhl Public Library
Buhl Public Library, Buhl