Q

2022 COVID Guidelines

As we welcome audiences back for live performances, the health and safety of our patrons, artists, volunteers, and staff remain our highest priority. To that end, our policies and procedures are based on recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and regulations from state and local governments, as well as the best practices in the performing arts industry, and the recommendations from the dedicated and knowledgable physicians on our Board of Directors. Please note that we will continue to monitor all relevant data and recommendations closely and make appropriate adjustments as deemed safe.
  • The Skaneateles Festival will not request proof of COVID vaccination nor proof of a recent negative COVID test result.
  • Face masks are strongly encouraged inside indoor concerts but are not required. Should this change, if you have purchased tickets, you will receive an e-mail in advance with further information and masks will be provided at the door.
  • The Festival encourages audience members who feel ill or show symptoms of illness to stay home. To facilitate this, we are offering a flexible exchange policy. Call the Box Office at (315) 685-7418 and explain your situation; we will exchange your tickets to another 2022 Festival performance based on availability.

SKANEATELES FESTIVAL

History

Spirit of the Festival

The idea for a Skaneateles Festival came together quickly in the spring of 1980 in discussions between musician Lindsay Groves and Skaneateles residents Beth Boudreau and Louise Robinson.

The first season, two weeks, was presented that August in the village’s Library Hall. Through the generosity of David and Louise Robinson, their home, Brook Farm, soon became the Festival’s center. At Brook Farm, musicians would live, eat, rehearse, relax, and perform, all because of the Robinsons’ hospitality. That same hospitality was extended to the thousands of concertgoers who sat under the stars and listened to music on Saturday evenings for the first 36 years of the Festival.

The phrase “Spirit of the Festival” flowed from the spirit of the Robinsons, and their legacy continues today.

1980

The first season features two weeks of concert with Lindsay Groves as Music Director. The first night, Aug. 16 in Skaneateles Library Hall, …

1981

The season expands to three weeks of concerts at Library Hall. Pianist/violinist Paul Hersh is the artist in residence. His debut is in Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. …

1982

Three weeks of concerts continue at Library Hall, and Paul Hersh again is the artist in residence. Soprano Christine Klemperer performs in Schubert’s “The Shepherd on the Rock,”…

1983


This is the first season of four weeks. Performances move to St. James Episcopal Church. One Saturday concert is scheduled at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church. Paul Hersh and Joseph Genualdi are artists in residence…

1984


Violinist Andres Cardenes makes his Festival debut Aug. 9 in Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor and Dvorak’s Quartet No. 1 in D Major…

1985


Tenor Marcus Haddock sings Vaughan Williams’ “On Wenlock Edge” and a Bach aria from “My Soul Glorifies and Praises.” Eliot Fisk plays Boccherini’s Quintet for Guitar and Strings with Joseph Genualdi on violin and Paul Hersh on viola…

1986


In memory of Brian Israel (1951-1986), Barbara Rabin, clarinet, and Patricia DeAngelis, piano, perform his “Trois Grotesques.” Eliot Fisk is featured in Boccherini’s Guitar Quintet. Joseph Genualdi solos in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4…

1987


This is Robert Weirich’s first full season as a performer. He appears all four weeks and in the first week plays in Dvorak’s Piano Quintet, Op. 81 with Adrzej Grabiec and Kathleen Tesar, violins; Michelle LaCourse, viola; and Lindsay Groves, cello; and solos in Schumann’s Kinderscenen, Op. 15…

1988


The Festival Educational Outreach Program presents Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” to 900 schoolchildren at Allyn Arena in June. Thomas Benjamin’s “Nocturne/Aubade/Danse” has its world premiere, with Andrea Bonsignore-Berry, oboe; Alan Ross, violin; Michelle LaCourse, viola; and Lindsay Groves, cello…

1989


Pianist Ruth Laredo and violinist Kurt Nikkanen perform in Franck’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, Dvorak’s Dumky Trio and the Schumann Quintet for Piano and Strings in E-flat Major…

1990


In February, the Festival and WCNY-FM win the Lucien Wulsin Award from National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” for the Aug. 19, 1989, recording of Delius’ “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring,” Ian Hobson conducting…

1991

In Robert Weirich’s first year as music director, he begins a three-year programming cycle with the Year of the Composer, honoring one each week. George Rochberg, Curtis Curtis-Smith and Otto Luening are in attendance, but John Adams is not…

1992

“Music from the Skaneateles Festival” is released, a CD with benefit concert performances of 1987 and 1990. In January, the Festival wins the ASCAP-Chamber Music America Award for Adventuresome Programming of Contemporary Music at CMA’s annual meeting. The season is the Year of the Performer…

1993

 

The season is the Year of the Listener. Robert Weirich conducts two Saturday orchestra concerts, one a program of symphonic jazz with Jean Kopperud the soloist in Bernstein’s “Prelude, Fugue and Riffs for Clarinet and Jazz Ensemble.” Julie Newell, soprano, and Patrick Mason, baritone, sing Bernstein’s “Arias and Barcarolles” with Kwang-Wu Kim and Robert Weirich, piano four-hands. George Rochberg introduces his Sonata-Aria and Piano Trio No. 3…

1994

Robert Weirich solos in Mozart’s Piano Concerto in G Major, K. 453. Awadagin Pratt and David Kim perform Brahms’ Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 108, and Pratt is the soloist in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, Ian Hobson conducting. Jeffrey Kahane conducts Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme,” Steven Doane, cellist…

1995

Peggy Pearson, oboist, makes her debut in John Steinmetz’ “Mixed Blessing” and is the soloist in the Strauss Oboe Concerto, Robert Weirich conducting. Barry Snyder, piano, and Curtis Macomber, violin, perform Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Piano, and Snyder and Steven Doane perform Chopin’s Sonata for Piano and Cello…

1996

The Peabody Trio performs piano trios by Haydn in E minor and Ravel. Robert Weirich’s “A Flurry of Fanfares” for brass has its first performance. William Cowdery, fortepiano, and Robert Weirich, harpsichord, solo in an orchestra concert with Bach’s Clavier Concerto in E-flat Major and Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 414, Robert Kapilow conducting…

1997

The Cassatt Quartet performs Mozart’s Quartet in D Major, K. 575, Sculthorpe’s From Ubirr with Simon 7 on didjeridoo and Brahms’ String Quintet in D Major, joined by Kazi Pitelka, violist…

1998

Chamber Music America presents its Distinguished Service Award to David and Louise Robinson. Robert Weirich conducts an all-Mozart opening concert and solos in the Piano Concerto No. 27…

1999

The Festival performs its first opera, Britten’s “Noye’s Fludde,” Grant Cooper conducting. The Magellan String Quartet with various accompanists performs Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro, Schoenberg’s “Transfigured Night” and Strauss’ Sextet from Capriccio. Awadagin Pratt, piano, joins the Miro String Quartet in Dvorak’s Quintet in A Major, Op. 81…

2000

In Diane Walsh’s first year as artistic director, she debuts in the opening night concert playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, Grant Cooper conducting…

2001

A CD is released, “Chamber Music by the Lake, Volume I,” highlights of the 2000 season. The Chip Jackson Jazz Quartet performs opening night…

2002

A second CD is released, “Chamber Music by the Lake, Volume II,” highlights of the 2001 season. Eugene Drucker and Diane Walsh perform Bartok’s Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano…

2003

Eugene Drucker and Diane Walsh perform a sonata by Strauss and Bartok’s “First Portrait.” The lights go out across the Northeast Aug. 14, but the blackout doesn’t prevent a full evening of candlelight music…

2004

The 25th Anniversary Season includes a fifth week of performances and welcomes back many friends from the early years. Eugene Drucker on violin, Roberta Cooper on cello and Paul Hersh on piano play Beethoven’s “Archduke Trio.” Hersh is the pianist in Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet with David Brickman violin, Melissa Matson viola, Lindsay Groves cello, and Ed Castilano bass (3 of the same musicians that performed this piece in 1981)…

2005

This is the first season for new artistic directors, the husband and wife team of cellist David Ying and pianist Elinor Freer. Opening night features the Ying Quartet in Debussy’s String Quartet in G minor and, with Freer, the Bloch Quintet for Piano and Strings…

2006

The season is dedicated to the memory of Dr. David Robinson, a Festival co-founder and owner of Brook Farm, who died July 9. The season opens with the Daedalus Quartet in a free community concert that concluded the Hyperscore program, in which the quartet performed new music composed by community residents using the Hyperscore software; the quartet had spent a week in May in residency in local schools…

2007

Mike Seeger brings the sound of traditional southern mountain music to the first week, performing a selection of American music with the Ying Quartet. Baritone Timothy Jones sings songs by Berlin, Kern, and Gershwin in an evening of Reel Music…

2008

Imani Winds draw a standing-room-only crowd for Music Is Fun! the season-opening FamilyFest event. The Turtle Island Quartet present an afternoon community concert in the Clift Park gazebo. Joel Fan, piano, joins Imani Winds in Poulenc’s Sextet for Piano and Winds…

2009

The highlight of the 30th anniversary season is the commissioning of a new piece of chamber music, Carter Pann’s “Summer Songs,” based on five poems from local residents about summer in Central New York. Excerpts are heard at a community concert at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, and the world premiere is August 28 in Skaneateles with the composer present…

2010

Composer Paul Moravec spends a week in residence with Trio Solisti, which performs his Passacaglia, Scherzo, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Tempest Fantasy,” with Alan Kay on clarinet and Malcolm Ingram as reader…

2011

The Festival introduces pop-up Music Blasts throughout the village and invites community members to compose short pieces of music in the Hyperscore II composition project. The Chiara Quartet opens the season with two pieces by composer-in-residence Stacy Garrop, 10 Hyperscore II compositions, and a new work by Garrop, who curated Hyperscore II…

2012

The season opens with a week devoted to Bach and his later champions, including Mendelssohn, whose Piano Trio No. 2 is performed by Jung-Min Amy Lee on violin, David Ying cello, and Elinor Freer piano…

2013

Nature is the season’s theme, beginning with the natural sounds of the voice. Jennifer Aylmer, soprano, and Randall Scarlata, baritone, are soloists in songs for voice and piano (Laura Ward) by Schubert and pieces from Verdi to Bernstein…

2014

The Festival’s 35th anniversary season marks the end of Elinor Freer and David Ying’s 10 years as artistic directors. Performers from the Festival’s early seasons – Joseph Genualdi and Curtis Macomber, violin; Maria Lambos and Melissa Matson, viola; Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliott, cello; Stewart Rose, horn; and Robert Weirich, piano – return for a concert of Grieg’s Violin Sonata No. 3, two pieces for horn and piano, and Brahms’ String Sextet No 2. Fireworks Ensemble (including saxophone, guitar, piano, and percussion) headline a Brook Farm concert that ends with fireworks over the lawn…

2015

This is the debut season for new artistic directors Aaron Wunsch and Julia Bruskin, whose first performance, on opening night, is the Britten Sonata for Cello and Piano. Pianist Orion Weiss joins Wunsch for three Dvorak Slavonic Dances and accompanies Metropolitan Opera soprano Lisette Oropesa on four songs by Bizet…

2016

This season marks the opening of the Festival’s new outdoor venue, the Robinson Pavilion at Anyela’s Vineyards. Pianists Aaron Wunsch and Rieko Aizawa play Corigliano’s “Gazebo Dances,” and Wunsch and the Parker Quartet offer Dvorak’s Piano Quintet in A Major…

2017

Windsync, the Daedalus Quartet, and bassist Doug Balliett perform Martinu’s Nonet No. 2 for Winds and Strings, and cellist Julia Bruskin joins the Daedalus in Schubert’s Quintet in C Major…

2018

Composer Derek Bermel discusses his new work, “Encounter with the Moon,” commissioned by the Festival and given its world premiere by Tai Murray, violin; Xavier Foley, bass; and Rebecca Carr, narrator…

2019

The Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary by commissioning two new pieces. Pianist and multimedia artist Lera Auerbach composed “Fractured Dreams,” a sonata for violin and piano, for Hilary Hahn, and they premiere the work…

2020

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, 2020 was a year of reinvention.  The pandemic forced us to eliminate all in-person events.  The Festival responded with four live performances recorded at WCNY for TV broadcast, live streaming and simulcast on Classic FM…

2021

The theme was “Together Again in 2021” and we were delighted to be back with in-person concerts.  An abbreviated two-week season was held with reduced seating capacities at all venues and COVID-19 protocols and CDC guidelines for safety in place…

“I am asking that all of our supporters invite one person who doesn’t enjoy classical music. Once they’re here, we’ll do the rest. It’s the kind of magic for which the Festival is known.”

Robert Weirich

Music Director 1991 – 1999

We hope to see you soon!

2022 SKANEATELES FESTIVAL | TERMS AND CONDITIONS | PRIVACY POLICY

97 E. GENESEE STREET | SKANEATELES, NY 13152 | 315.685.7418| MUSIC@SKANFEST.ORG