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Crescent City Chamber Music Festival Makes Its Debut

Looking for a way to cure the August blues? The inaugural Crescent City Chamber Music Festival’s got your back.

The Manhattan Chamber Players in concert. (Photo via Crescent City Chamber Music Festival)

Looking for a way to cure the August blues? The inaugural Crescent City Chamber Music Festival‘s got your back.

From Aug. 16 -21, the festival’s artistic director, Luke Fleming, and the Manhattan Chamber Players present three concerts — plus a slew of shows staged at hospitals, nursing homes, and schools across town — of intimate classical music, all performed for free for the New Orleans community.

The Manhattan Chamber Players. (Photo: Sophie Zhai)

Fleming, a violist and New Orleans native, founded the festival in a partnership with Tulane as a form of outreach to bring some of the country’s top classical artists back to his hometown in order to “lift the human spirit and inspire a love of classical music” in new audiences, according to the festival’s website.

The formal concerts include performances Aug. 18 at 6 p.m. at Urban South Brewery (1645 Tchoupitoulas St.), Aug. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Tulane’s Dixon Hall (150 Dixon Hall Annex) and Aug. 21 at 3 p.m. at Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church (3900 St Charles Ave.). Both the events at Tulane and Rayne include pre-concert talks (at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively).

The concert at Urban South Brewery will feature specially paired beer flights plus an opportunity to discuss the music with the musicians following the performance, while the show at Tulane will explore themes of restoration and renewal in the works of Johannes Brahms and Franz Schubert.

Titled “Three Paths to Brilliance,” the concert at Rayne tackles works by Ludwig van Beethoven and Antonín Dvořák that illustrate the progress and change made between an artist’s first major work and what he or she is able to achieve later in life.

“It means so much for me to bring this amazing music and mission to my family, friends, and so many more here in this unique, wonderful city,” Fleming said in a statement announcing the festival’s debut.

For more information, visit the Crescent City Chamber Music Festival’s website.

Jennifer Odell is a freelance music writer. Her work appears regularly in DownBeat, Jazz Times, Offbeat and the Gambit, among other publications, and she leads the New Orleans chapter of the Jazz Journalists Association. In her spare time, she enjoys second lining to the Hot 8 or TBC, costuming, and eating all of the crawfish.

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