A Season of New Beginnings: The Geneva Music Festival

story by Emily Grazier, photos by Jan Regan

Music lovers, mark your calendars! The Geneva Music Festival returns this spring for its twelfth year, featuing an exciting lineup of community outreach events and ticketed concerts from mid-May to mid-June.

The theme for this year’s festival is A Season of New Beginnings. Groundbreaking new guest artists, musical selections and a deeper approach to community outreach all encompass the concept of fresh starts and positive change.

The festival opens in late May with returning artists ATLYS, an all-female crossover string quartet with a fresh and dynamic approach. In collaboration with musicologist Anya Wilkening, ATLYS will explore the festival’s theme of new beginnings. New and returning artists from around the country, including Geoffrey Herd, Hannah Collins, Eliot Heaton, Eric Wong, Max Geissler and Esther Park, will perform in themed concerts over the following weeks.

Featured new artists include the Montrose Trio, the Ulysses Quartet and the Jeff Hamilton Trio.

Founded in 2013, the Montrose Trio has performed across the US and around the world. Pianist Jon Kimura Parker, violinist Martin Beaver and cellist Clive Greensmith will perform in Geneva on June 9.

The Ulysses Quartet, featuring Christina Bouey and Rhiannon Banerdt on violin, Colin Brookes on viola and Grace Ho on cello,“believes intensely in the power of music to inspire, enlighten and bring people together.” The group has received multiple awards since its inception in 2015, including the grand prize in the 2016 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and first prize in the 2018 Schoenfeld International String Competition. While Brookes has participated in the Geneva Music Festival as a solo artist for many seasons, the Ulysses Quartet will make their Geneva debut on May 26.

The festival will take place at historic venues throughout Geneva, including the Smith Opera House, The Gearan Center for the Arts on the Hobart and William Smith campus, Geneva On The Lake and The Cracker Factory. A livestream will also be available for those who wish to participate virtually.

The festival was preceded by a spring benefit concert and silent auction on March 19.

Tickets for live events, a schedule of performance, additional information about the festival, and updated COVID-19 precautions can be found at genevamusicfestival.com.

Admission for students through Grade 12 is free.

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