SummerFest brings Music to the Mountains


By Jenn Sheridan · 


Dalia Smallwood | Lake Tahoe SummerFest

Lake Tahoe SummerFest returns to Sierra Nevada College from July 31 to Aug. 16 bringing some of the best classical musicians from around the world to Lake Tahoe for nine nights of music under the stars.

Founded in 2011, Lake Tahoe SummerFest comes from the vision of Madylon Meiling, who dreamed of bringing a major music festival to the area and creating an opportunity for people in the region to experience classical music and visual and performing arts.

Lake Tahoe SummerFest musicians play under the direction of artistic director and conductor Joel Revzen, who brings a wealth of experience from his background as artistic director and conductor with the Berkshire Opera and the Arizona Opera among other positions. He also has recorded pieces with the London Chamber Orchestra, and was the pianist and conductor on the Grammy-award winning “The Art of Arleen Auger.”

The Lake Tahoe SummerFest orchestra is joined by guest musicians each week to create a well-rounded sampling of styles and periods of music throughout the event. Pianist Joseph Kalichstein kicks off the festival from July 31 to Aug. 2. A founding member of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, he has made many recordings and regularly performs internationally.

On Aug. 7 and 8, classical guitarist Ana Vidović joins the orchestra bringing experiences as one of the premier classical guitarists of her generation. Vidović comes from the small town of Karlovac near Zagreb, Croatia. Vidović tours globally with recent concerts in Poland, Reunion Island of France, and Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, Bucharest, Japan, and at festivals in Brazil, Germany, Netherlands and Scotland.

Cellist and conductor Paul Watkins joins the orchestra on Aug. 14 and 16. Acclaimed for his inspirational performances and eloquent musicianship, Watkins enjoys a distinguished career as a cellist, conductor and chamber musician.

Guest soloists include assistant principal double bass of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra Jeremy McCoy, who will take the stage with the Lake Tahoe SummerFest Orchestra on Aug. 9. Principal oboe player Nathan Hughes joins the series on Aug. 14. He is Principal Oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and a member of the faculty of The Juilliard School.

Each week also features a Meet the Musician event showcasing smaller ensembles of musicians in a more intimate setting with food and music inspired by specific locations and the opportunity to meet and converse with musicians.

Families of all ages will enjoy the performance on Aug. 1 of “Finding Beethoven,” which is an interactive concert where the audience is introduced to the life and work of the composer who was almost completely deaf when he composed many of his greatest masterpieces. The presentation will be interpreted through ASL.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit Reservations are required in advance for the free family concert on Aug. 1. All performances are located at Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village. Ticket prices vary with special pricing for students and children ages 15 and younger.


July 31
Destination Genius Orchestra Concert | 7:15 p.m.

Aug. 1
Family Concert in American Sign Language | 10 a.m.
Meet the Musicians Chamber Music | 7:15 p.m.

Aug. 2
Passion for Dance Orchestra Concert | 4 p.m.

Aug. 7
Spanish Fire Orchestra Concert | 7:15 p.m.

Aug. 8
Meet the Musicians Chamber Music | 7:15 p.m.

Aug. 9
Hollywood in Tahoe Orchestra Concert | 4 p.m.

Aug. 14
Hero’s Passage Orchestra Concert | 7:15 p.m.

Aug. 15
Meet the Musicians Chamber Music | 7:15 p.m.

Aug. 16
The Danube-Baltic Express Orchestra Concert | 4 p.m.