Founded in 2005, ChamberFest Canandaigua, formerly the Canandaigua LakeMusic Festival, has quickly become 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 Barston and Kevin Kumar, the Festival has showcased such world-class artists as pianist Jon Nakamatsu, clarinetist Charles Neidich, as well as the Borromeo, Corigliano, Orion ensembles and the Ying quartet.
Since its inception, the Festival 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.
The Festival's comprehensive educational and outreach programs have included partnerships with 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.