Lake George Music Festival Returns for 4th Season
Featuring New Music Inspired by Lake George
From an exuberant brass fanfare in Blais Park to a performance of Tchaikovsky’s volcanic Fourth Symphony in Shepard Park by a full orchestra, the Lake George Music Festival will present seven days of free concerts of music performed and in a few cases composed by some of the finest young artists in the country.
The festival will officially open on Thursday, August 14 in Lake George Village’s Blais Park at 5:30 pm.
One of the highlights of this year’s festival, a commissioned piece titled “A Stave for Lake George,” will have its premiere at The Sembrich in Bolton Landing on Saturday, August 16.
According to Alexander Lombard, the festival’s founder and its president, the piece was commissioned to enhance public awareness of efforts to protect Lake George and to affirm the connections between classical music and contemporary issues.
“Once we had settled upon a theme, we started looking for a composer with a history of writing for voice and piano. Michael Brofman, the artistic director of the Brooklyn Art Song Society, recommended Michael Djupstrom. His collaborator is the poet Jeanne Minahan, who’s known for her work with musicians and composers, including Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon, and who, like Djupstrom, teaches at the Curtis Institute,” said Lombard.
Brooklyn Art Song Society baritone Kyle Oliver and pianist Michael Brofman will perform the piece at The Sembrich at 7:30 pm.
Prior to the performance, Djupstrom and Minahan will discuss the piece. Like the concert itself, the workshop is free.
“A Stave for Lake George” will be recorded by GPR Records in New York in the fall of 2014 and will be included on the Brooklyn Art Song Society’s new album of contemporary American Art Song.
“The reach of our lake saving efforts will continue to grow, well beyond the premiere performance,” said Lombard.
According to Barbora Kolarova, the Festival’s director of Artistic Administration, this year’s festival “has been expanded to reach more people, to make classical musical available to those who don’t ordinarily attend recitals and concerts.”
Those outreach efforts will include a “Children’s Concert and Family Fun Day” in Shepard Park on August 18.
Starting at 4 pm, the event will feature a performance of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf,” narrated by Lake George Theater Lab founder Lindsey Gates. (Those of a certain age will remember Leonard Bernstein’s rendition; people younger may have equally fond recollections of David Bowie’s version.)
Lombard is looking forward to another such effort, a “Late Night Concert” to be held at the Boathouse restaurant on August 18 at 9 pm.
Patrons will not be discouraged from drinking, talking or whatever else they might do at a bar late in the evening.The featured players will be New Morse Code, a classically trained duo known for their innovative, boundary-pushing performances.
“We’ll surprise the hell out of them,” said Lombard.
The culminating concert of the festival, the orchestra performance on August 21 in Shepard Park, will feature Stephen Waarts, the young violinist who recently won the Menuhin Competition and is commonly regarded as the most accomplished violinist of his generation.
A fireworks show will follow the conclusion of Tchaikovsky’s fourth, Lombard said.
For those reluctant to venture into Lake George Village at the height of tourist season, free parking is available on the St. James Episcopal Church lawn for every concert, said Lombard.