Geneva Music Festival
2018 marks the 8th season for the Geneva Music Festival, a three-week series of concerts and community engagement events, May 31 to June 17, performed in Geneva, Canandaigua, Auburn and Skaneateles, serving audiences who hail from the towns, villages and cities of the Finger Lakes along with visitors to the region. Founded in 2011 by violinist and Geneva native Geoffrey Herd, then 24 years old, as a weekend of chamber music with fellow Genevan’s violinist Eliot Heaton and cellist Hannah Collins, today, this professional music festival has expanded its programming and scope, presenting 14 concerts with nearly two dozen musicians.
The founding musicians have played leading roles since the Festival’s inception. Herd is a Lecturer of Violin at the University of Tennessee, Collins is a professor at the University of Kansas School of Music and Heaton is concertmaster for the Michigan Opera Theatre. Love of performance and fondness for the community they grew up in brings this talented trio home each June when they and their professional musician colleagues present the Festival’s public concerts and outreach programs with school children and seniors.
GMF’s mission is to entertain, inspire and create appreciation for chamber music throughout the region by presenting concerts of the highest quality to diverse audiences of all ages in areas with little access or exposure to music of this caliber. A wide variety of styles and genres are offered including classical, jazz, bluegrass, Latin and new music. Exceptional world renowned artists include violinists Ani Kavafian and Jinjoo Cho, cellists Clive Greensmith and Max Geissler, Cleveland’s Cavani String Quartet, pianists Esther Park and Cahill Smith, violists Eric Wong and Ettore Causa, the jazz group La Voz De Tres, multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless, vocalist Dashon Burton, the New Morse Code, organist Raymond Nagem from NY’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and the Thomas Bergeron Quartet. In addition to returning artists, some of whom are mentioned above, this season we welcome Broadway actress Syndee Winters singing as Lena Horne, percussionist T.S. Monk, son of the jazz great Thelonius Monk, rising star pianist Michelle Cann and poet Mwtabu Okantah performing with the Cavani String Quartet for the Festival’s celebration of African American music, composers and performers.
During the 2017 season, the Festival attracted a record attendance of 1,150 people; over 600 students in Auburn and Geneva were treated to free school concerts, workshops and personal interactions with the musicians. Complimentary performances held at Canandaigua’s Ferris Hills, Geneva Rotary, and Village Landing of Skaneateles last season will be repeated in 2018, adding a school performance for Skaneateles High School students and a presentation for residents of the Commons on St. Anthony, Auburn. All children age 18 and under may attend concerts for free.