A Destination for Classical and New Music
The Lake George Music Festival is reinventing the meaning of the phrase cultural destination.
Every August, top-notch classical and “new music” performers and composers from around the world descend upon the region for two weeks, sharing the fruits of their talent and hard work through traditional and experimental concerts, open rehearsals, public receptions, and informational talks—all held at an inviting and ever evolving range of venues throughout the community.
Lake George is no stranger to the flowering of classical music in America. In the early twentieth century, it attracted such luminaries as contralto Louise Homer and her husband, composer Sidney Homer. It brought soprano Marcella Sembrich, whose studio on the lake’s west shore remains open to the public today as a museum and intimate performance space. In the second half of the century, the “Queen of the Lakes” spawned the Lake George Opera.
Nowadays, the Lake George Music Festival is transforming the region into an exciting destination for experiencing the twenty-first century blossoming of classical and new music.
Programs are tantalizingly diverse and span solo piano and chamber music to large orchestral works. There are fresh interpretations of the classics—from Bach to Brahms, Mozart to Mahler. There are pieces by twentieth century experimentalists such as Xenakis and Reich. And, there are performances—even premiere performances—of contemporary works, many written by the festival’s own composers-in-residence. In addition, the “Sounds of Our Time” series pairs the festival’s symphony orchestra with cutting edge artists in such popular genres as indie rock and electronic dance music (EDM). Ensembles-in-residence, be they focused on percussion or art song, further expand the range of musical offerings.
Yet, what makes this festival transformative isn’t just that it attracts so many world-class performers and composers, but also that its organizers make it a priority to cultivate an invigorating spirit of cooperation and camaraderie among the musicians, local residents, and summertime visitors.
Performances occur throughout the community—from church to outdoor amphitheater, from art gallery to auditorium, from hotel rooftop to steamboat on the lake. Local families take the musicians into their homes as guests. Everything from wine-tasting events to post-concert receptions make it easy for all who attend to mingle informally with one another and with the musicians.
Finally, there’s the extra enchantment that comes from all this taking place surrounded by the beauty of the Adirondacks. If residents, visitors, and musicians intertwine like voices in sublime counterpoint, they do so around a cantus firmus that is the silvery shoreline of Lake George.
Welcome to classical music in the twenty-first century! Experience great music as a resounding Lake George “Welcome!” – Eric L. Ball, Professor of Humanities and Arts, Empire State College, State University of New York
“Lake George is without comparison,
the most beautiful water I ever saw…”
THE FESTIVAL RECOMMENDS
Official Wine Sponsor
Lake George’s own local winery and tasting room located right in the Village. www.adirondackwinery.com • 518-668-WINE
While there are many great restaurants in Lake George,
we recommend the following who support the Festival.
Adirondack Pub and Brewery
The Boardwalk Restaurant
Diamond Point Grille
163 Tap Room
Top of the World
Mario’s Italian Restaurant
Lake george FACTS