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Lakes Area Music Festival announces LAMFcast

LAMFcast will explore everything from the inner workings of specific pieces to the broad historical context of music culture, organizers stated.

Garrett McQueen headshot
Lakes Area Music Festival Artistic Advisor Garrett McQueen will lead LAMFcast which will explore everything from the inner workings of specific pieces to the broad historical context of music culture. Submitted Photo
Contributed / Lakes Area Music Festival

The Lakes Area Music presents LAMFcast, a series of online lectures and discussions June 30 through July 24.

Led by newly appointed Artistic Advisor Garrett McQueen, LAMFcast will explore everything from the inner workings of specific pieces to the broad historical context of music culture, organizers stated in a news release.

Sessions will take place 10-10:45 a.m. each Wednesday and Saturday and attendees are encouraged to participate in a question-and-answer following the session. LAMFcast will be available through Zoom and Facebook Live. Links to LAMFcast Zoom rooms are available at the organization’s website at lakesareamusic.org/lamfcast .

The first discussion will feature music festival artistic directors Scott Lykins and John Taylor Ward as they focus on the highlights and themes of the upcoming festival season. McQueen will then present each Saturday on topics such as supporting the arts, issues of diversity in Western classical music and cultural appropriation in Western classical music.

McQueen is a bassoonist, speaker and podcast host based in the Twin Cities. In 2021, The New York Times noted his weekly podcast, “TRILLOQUY,” as a standout, which should be “required listening for industry leaders and listeners alike,” the release stated. In his new role as an artistic adviser of the Lakes Area Music Festival, he will lead ongoing adult education programs and help to shape the future of the music festival’s programming.

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Rounding out these events will be talks by other members of the music staff, including Paul Hopper of the Metropolitan Opera; baroque violinist, Chloe Fedor; and the music festival’s incoming music director, conductor Christian Reif.

John Taylor Ward
John Taylor Ward, who has served as associate artistic director for 12 years for the Lakes Area Music Festival, will now share the role as the artistic director with Scott Lykins. Submitted Photo

“LAMFcast was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Taylor Ward, artistic director, stated. “We had to find new ways to connect with our audience, and this series has continued to provide enrichment to our audience, while expanding our reach to music lovers worldwide.”

Founded in 2009, the music festival connects the nation’s best performers and audiences through classical music and inspiring education. This year’s festival will take place at the Gichi-ziibi Center for the Arts in downtown Brainerd. It will feature 150 artists from around the world in chamber music, symphonic repertoire and opera from July 30 to Aug. 22.

The music festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Brainerd. To find out more or to make a tax-deductible gift, visit lakesareamusic.org or call 218-275-5263 (ASK-LAMF).

Artistic Directors
Lakes Area Music Festival Artistic Directors John Taylor Ward (left) and Scott Lykins smile for a photo. Submitted photo

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LAMFcast session schedule

  • June 30: “Planting New Roots” will be presented by Lykins and Taylor Ward discussing the July 30 concert titled “Seasons Recomposed.” The two will discuss the major themes of the 2021 season: natural imagery and inspiration; “our organizational re-grounding after a turbulent year; and the artist’s paradox of making something old compelling to contemporary audiences, or creating new works in a medium laden with history.”

  • July 3: “THIS is America” presented by McQueen on the July 31 and Aug. 1 concert titled “American Roots.” The description of the cast is, “When Antonin Dvorak came to the United States in the late 19th century, he affirmed the importance of something that American arts institutions are still grappling with: Diversity. Garrett McQueen will take audiences from the days of Dvorak to today, highlighting how America’s diverse musical landscape offers a perspective of both the American past and a guide for a more inclusive American future.”

Christian Reif
Christian Reif. Submitted photo

  • July 7: “Musical Roots” presented by Reif on the Aug. 11 “Rain & Red Clay “concert. The description states, “Many can point to a piece or a musician who made us first fall in love with western classical music, and professional musicians carry a multitude of influences into their performances and life. Christian Reif discusses his own early music influences as well as how composers look to the past for inspiration.”

Garrett McQueen headshot
Lakes Area Music Festival Artistic Advisor Garrett McQueen will lead LAMFcast, which will explore everything from the inner workings of specific pieces to the broad historical context of music culture. Submitted photo
Contributed / Lakes Area Music Festival

  • July 10: “Supporting the Arts” presented by McQueen on the Aug. 7-8 ”Spring Strings” concerts. The description states, “Institutional and individual support has always been an integral part of classical music’s survival – a story told by many of the art form’s most celebrated figures! Garrett McQueen will offer his thoughts on how this idea applies to the lives and music of Tchaikovsky and Grieg, as well to the life of a composer whose name isn’t as familiar: Grażyna Bacewicz.”

Paul Hopper
Lakes Area Music Festival artistic advisor Paul Hopper of the Metropolitan Opera curated the Music Festival's third concert of its digital Winter Series: Transcending the Night. Submitted photo

  • July 14: “Neoclassicism: Something New from Something Old” presented by Paul Hopper, artistic advisor of the Aug. 14-15 concerts titled “The Rake’s Progress.” The description states, “In creating ‘The Rake’s Progress,’ Igor Stravinsky and W. H. Auden made a truly unique work — to this day, there is nothing quite like it in the operatic repertoire. In this lecture, we will explore the methods they used to give operatic norms and traditions from the 18th century a thoroughly modern twist.”
  • July 17: “Appropriate” presented by McQueen, artistic adviser of the Aug. 18 concert titled “Watermark.” The description states, “There’s a very thin line between celebrating someone else’s work and appropriating someone else’s work. Where should composers draw that line? How should audiences approach music that was inspired by other composers? Garrett McQueen will explore these ideas with music of the past and music of the present as the guide.”

Chloe Fedor
Chloe Fedor, New York-based violinist and baroque specialist, was appointed to the Lakes Area Music Festival's newly formed Artistic Advisory Council. Submitted photo

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  • July 21: “Song and Dance in Baroque Instrumental Music” presented by Chloe Fedor, artistic adviser of the Aug. 4 concert titled “Partita.” The description states, “It has been said that every piece of baroque music is either a song or dance — even when there are no singers or dancers present. In this talk, Chloe Fedor explores the interplay between musical structure and other artforms at the time, as well as how that history affects modern interpretations of baroque music.
  • July 24: “Land Acknowledgement” presented by McQueen, artistic adviser of the Aug. 21-22 concert titled “Tribute to the Earth.” The description states, “What does it mean to make a land acknowledgement? How can global citizens pay the land? In what ways can music help answer these questions? Garrett McQueen will dive into this conversation and apply it to two well-known orchestral classics and one brand-new work by composer Jimmy López Bellido, which will celebrate its world premiere by the Lakes Area Music Festival Orchestra.”

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