Founded in 2004, ChamberFest Canandaigua (formerly Canandaigua LakeMusic Festival) quickly became an essential part of cultural life in the Greater Rochester area and has established a regional reputation for its concerts’ innovative programming, inviting atmosphere, and musical excellence. Led by artistic directors Amy Sue Barstonand Kevin Kumar, the Festival has showcased such world-class artists such as pianist Jon Nakamatsu, clarinetist Charles Neidich, as well as the world-class Borromeo, Corigliano, Orion, and Ying Quartets.
Since its inception, ChamberFest Canandaigua has been dedicated to engaging new audiences for classical music and to educational projects that introduce music to a new generation of audiences. Its pioneering Classical Blue Jeans concerts, which pair an interactive musical show with a barbecue dinner and traditional fiddling in a rustic setting, have been lauded by New Yorker critic Alex Ross. The Festival was recently showcased in a national NPR broadcast, as part of America’s Music Festivals, hosted by Orli Shaham.
ChamberFest Canandaigua's comprehensive educational and outreach programs have included partnerships with numerous community organizations, including Canandaigua’s Wood Library, YMCA, Wegmans, and Finger Lakes Community College, where the four subscription concerts have been held in its state-of-the-art concert hall.