The Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, now in its 10th season, is the only such Festival in the US to premiere a new commissioned work by a leading American composer every season. Held every August in Lexington, Kentucky, the Festival brings together a quintet of nationally recognized musicians to offer Central Kentuckians three formal concerts at the beautiful Fasig-Tipton Pavilion in the famed Bluegrass horse country, pop-up concerts by its Ensemble-in-Residence, educational programs, and a world class guest artist. Its core group of musicians is led by Music Director Nathan Cole, first Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Pianist Alessio Bax, violist Burchard Tang, cellist Priscilla Lee, and violinist Akiko Taramoto complete the ensemble. A guest artist is invited each year to compliment the group. This year’s guest artist is Jason Vieaux, Grammy-winning guitarist hailed by NPR as "perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation." Past guest artists have included famed clarinetist Alexander Fitterstein; Joseph Conyers, Assistant Principal Double Bass with the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Andrew Bain, Principal Horn with the LA Philharmonic.
During its second season, the Festival began a commissioning program, presenting a world premiere each year. Since then, new pieces from cutting edge composers such as Jeff Beal, Adam Schoenberg, and Daniel Kellogg have been offered. The 2016 season presents a new work by award-winning composer Avner Dorman. During the 2010 season, the Festival announced a co-commissioning partnership with the Lexington Philharmonic whereby every other year each organization contracts a new piece from the same composer. This is a unique partnership that allows a composer to interact with multiple audiences inside one city. In addition to commissioning music, each year the Festival commissions a visual work from Lexington’s strong community of artists to serve as the iconography for the Festival.
The Festival was expanded in 2013 to include a week-long set of concerts and programs by its Ensemble-in-Residence, Windsync. This year, the Ensemble in Residence programs and the formal concerts are seamless, providing musical offerings every day of the Festival.