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Classical music festival opens in Lake George

Musicians participating in the Lake George Music Festival play a brass fanfare Friday Aug. 16 in Blais Park to officially open the nine-day festival here. Concerts, open rehearsals and workshops — free to the public — are featured during the festival’s local residency.

Musicians participating in the Lake George Music Festival play a brass fanfare Friday Aug. 16 in Blais Park to officially open the nine-day festival here. Concerts, open rehearsals and workshops — free to the public — are featured during the festival’s local residency. Photo by Thom Randall.

— The Village’s first and only classical music festival is now underway, featuring varied opportunities for the public to see acclaimed professional and student musicians perform classical masterpieces.

This week long event features dozens of open rehearsals, eight concerts, interactive work­shops and outreach events in a variety of public venues around Lake George. All events are free of charge.

Featured this summer will be participants from many professional institutions including the symphonies of Atlanta, St. Louis, Dallas and Detroit.

Also in the lineup are musicians of the Pittsburgh Opera and Astral Artists, as well as emerging young professionals from the world’s top music conservatories including the Curtis Institute, Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School.

Guest artists include Grammy award-winning violist Phillip Ying, Curtis Institute of Music faculty member and composer David Ludwig, and Noah Gellar, the concertmaster of the Kansas City Symphony.

Festival Executive Director Alexander Lombard said this week the residency of the talented musicians offers many benefits for area residents and visitors.

“These artists will not only share their world-class artistry with the local community, but will also promote appreciation and understanding of the performing arts,” he said. “The mission of our non-profit organization is to enhance the cul­tural vitality of our beautiful region.”

Since its start in 2011, the festival has grown rapidly into one of Lake George’s largest annual events. Last summer’s concerts drew record crowds, and the festival’s audience this season is expected to top 3,000.

The festival is offering nightly concerts in various local churches plus an orchestral finale on the evening of Thursday Aug. 22 in Shepard Park. The family-friendly symphony orchestra rehearsals are to be held: Aug. 20 & 21, 10 a.m.-noon, and Aug. 22, 1 p.m.- 3 p.m., all in Tuttle Hall, St. James Church, 172 Ottawa St., Lake George. Other rehearsals will be held in local churches, daily from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. For details, call 791-5089.

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