In just three years The Lake George Music Festival has grown from a small grass-roots classical musical event with a handful of volunteers to a destination event with hundreds of helping hands providing free public access to award-winning classical musicians.
Executive Director Alexander Lombard says, “We have an amazing amount of support from individuals, businesses, sponsors and volunteers. The community has embraced having a classic musical festival in Lake George.”
According to Lombard the Lake George Music Festival has expanded the amount of rehearsal locations as well as introducing workshops to the schedule. Each public performance is free and open to the public with chamber concerts at small intimate venues.
“The chamber concerts are held at the local churches, says Lombard. “All of the daily rehearsal venues are also open to the public. If someone can’t attend a concert they can go to the Wiawaka [Holiday House], the Sembrich in Bolton Landing, the [Courthouse] Museum, the [Courthouse] Art Gallery and the library. There is no risk for people to attend. All the events are free, open and family-friendly.”
Lombard explains, “This is the first year for the workshops. It is part of our mission to make classical music accessible. Philip Ying is an award-winning artist and will be performing for free. That is unheard of in the classic [music] world. I hope people will come out and take advantage of it here in Lake George.”
This year Grammy winner Philip Ying is on the roster as a visiting artist as well as performer. Ying will headline the first chamber concert on Friday as well as conduct the first workshop on Saturday. The Lake George Music Festival has also included a Composition Competition to the event. Lombard feels strongly that the festival needs to be an avid supporter of contemporary classic music. The original work of this year’s winner of the international competition will be premiered during the Festival.
“Classic music has evolved since the days of Mozart and we, as classical musicians, need to bridge that gap,” says Lombard. “It is great to play Mozart and Beethoven, but I also want to support living musicians and this competition and visiting residencies give composers much needed opportunities. It lets us see what else is out there.”
“We hope to reach out to the community and young people with ART ATTACKS,” says Lombard. “ Rick Robinson, a top-notch musician, which is putting together impromptu shows around Lake George village and will be surprising people with classic music. He is a strong believer, as am I, that you can’t explain music. You need to show it, have it listened to, put it out there and expose it.”
The Lake George Music Festival takes place August 16-22, 2013 at various venues around the Lake George village and beyond. Look for special performances at the Tannery Pond Community Center in North Creek and the Sembrich Opera Museum in Bolton Landing.
“I don’t want to put a limit on the event,” says Lombard. “I want to make this a premier event for Lake George.