Dip Into Lake George for a Festival Like No Other

Monday, June 12, 2023

Head to the spectacular Adirondacks this summer to experience wonderful concerts, open rehearsals, experimental collaborations and engaging talks – or simply to find solace and calm surrounded by beautiful mountains and music

‘Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw.’ So wrote Thomas Jefferson at the height of summer in 1791, gazing across the lake known as the pearl of the Adirondacks - the spectacular mountain range that leads all the way from the heart of New York State to the Canadian border.

The violin-playing President isn’t the only musician to have been inspired by Lake George and its surroundings, which boasts some of the wildest terrain in the East of the USA. As New York City sprang up, the area quickly became a favourite retreat for artists, musicians and writers in need of a convenient escape from the bustle of metropolis.

Singer-composer power couple Louise and Sidney Homer made their home amid Lake George’s dense forests and still waters in the early 1900s. They were soon followed by star of the Metropolitan Opera, soprano Marcella Sembrich, who built a studio on the lake’s west shore that remains virtually unchanged today (it is open to the public, as both a museum and performance space).

Lake George

As summer begins to wane and the light sharpens in August, the foliage around Lake George begins to reveal an unmatched palette of oranges, reds and yellows. It is the perfect time to fall into the embrace of the Adirondacks, whether hill walking, hiking, canoeing, backcountry camping, exploring the town’s cutesy shops and boutiques - or sampling a music festival that is rapidly reinventing the meaning of the phrase ‘cultural destination.’

Lake George Music Festival is on a mission to re-imagine the concert experience and build audiences for classical and experimental music in the 21st century. It looks to the future by taking inspiration from the past – in particular, from the generations of musicians who have found solace and calm in this unspeakably beautiful place, and had their creativity fired as a result.

Since 2011, Lake George Music Festival has offered experiences like no other such event. It combines traditional classical music with experimental music and visionary collaborations, ignoring genre boundaries wherever possible. Experiences range from open rehearsals to receptions and informal talks, and of course, concerts from our own ensembles – the Lake George Festival Chamber Players and Symphony Orchestra. Mozart and Mahler rub shoulders with Xenakis and Reich, while our Festival Symphony Orchestra annually invites progressive and curious colleagues from the realms of rock or electronica to help build its annual Sounds of Our Time series.

Lake George

Highlights of this season’s orchestral series at the historic Carriage House on the grounds of the Fort William Henry Hotel include works by Saint-Saëns, Dvořák, Sibelius and the world premiere of a newly commissioned symphony by Sheridan Seyfried. Details of all the recitals, chamber music performances and orchestral concerts scheduled can be found on the festival website.

What can’t be adequately described there, or even here, is the spirit of openness that characterizes this festival - one in which an atmosphere of friendliness, approachability and exchange between musicians, residents and visitors underlines everything that happens. Consider yourself invited to this magical corner of the Adirondacks from August 6-17 this year, where you’ll soon learn why creative minds have flocked here for a century and more - and why the feel refreshed and inspired when they do.

Find out more, visit: lakegeorgemusicfestival.com

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