NOLA Chamber Fest is an annual chamber music festival and competition collaboratively presented by Lyrica Baroque, New Orleans Friends of Music and the University of New Orleans. The festival aims to inspire and motivate musicians through the unique experience of tight-knit collaboration and artistic independence that only chamber music can offer. NCF offers aspiring musicians access, opportunity, and exposure to perform, compete and learn alongside their peers.

NCF _About -23

Our five-day festival includes performances by world renowned chamber ensembles, an online competition, masterclasses and Creativity Day for local musicians. We are honored to partner with The Willow School, St. Katharine Drexel Preparatory School, Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra, Palacios House of Arts and Crescent City String Academy.





Aizuri Quartet

Miho Saugusa & Emma Frucht, violins
Ayane Kozasa, viola
Karen Ouzounian, cello

The Aizuri Quartet has established a unique position within today’s musical landscape, infusing all of its music-making with infectious energy, joy and warmth, cultivating curiosity in listeners, and inviting audiences into the concert experience through its innovative programming, and the depth and fire of its performances.

Praised by The Washington Post for “astounding” and “captivating” performances that draw from its notable “meld of intellect, technique and emotions,” the Aizuri Quartet was named the recipient of the 2022 Cleveland Quartet Award by Chamber Music America, and since its inception in 2012 has received major chamber music prizes on three continents and been in residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Quartet’s debut album, Blueprinting, featuring new works written for the Aizuri Quartet by five American composers, was released by New Amsterdam Records to critical acclaim (“In a word, stunning” —I Care If You Listen), nominated
for a 2019 GRAMMY Award, and named one of NPR Music’s Best Classical Albums of 2018. 

In 2022, the Aizuri Quartet makes its major concerto debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in performances of John Adams’s Absolute Jest, open for and perform with the legendary indie band Wilco in 5 performances at New York City’s United Palace, and are featured with Wilco on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Throughout 2022 the Aizuri Quartet is a fellow of the Artist Propulsion Lab at WQXR, New York City’s classical music station.

Akropolis Reed Quintet

Kari Landry, clarinet
Andrew Koeppe, bass clarinet
Ryan Reynolds, bassoon
Matt Landry, saxophone
Tim Gocklin, oboe

Celebrating their 13th year making music with a “collective voice driven by real excitement and a sense of adventure” (The Wire), Akropolis has “taken the chamber music world by storm” (Fanfare). As the first reed quintet to grace the Billboard Charts (May 2021), the untamed band of 5 reed players and entrepreneurs are united by a shared passion: to make music that sparks joy and wonder. 

Winner of 7 national chamber music prizes including the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal, Akropolis delivers 120 concerts and educational events each year and has premiered over 130 works. They are the first ensemble of their kind to grace the stage on noteworthy series like Oneppo (Yale University), Chamber Music San Antonio, Phillips Collection (Washington, D.C.), Summerwinds Münster (Germany), Flagler Museum (Palm Beach), and many more.

“There’s nothing tentative in [Akropolis’] approach, and that extends to their programming of multifariously challenging and imaginative new works” (The Wire). Currently, Akropolis is collaborating with GRAMMY-nominated pianist/composer Pascal Le Boeuf and drummer Christian Euman on their Are We Dreaming the Same Dream? project, an album and touring program drawing classical and jazz idioms together to reflect on American identity.

Akropolis’ 22-23 season will include premieres of the music of Augusta Read Thomas and Omar Thomas; imaginative renditions of music by Ravel, Bernstein, Rameau, Shostakovich, and Gershwin; and touring their 4th album, Ghost Light, lauded for its “range, agility, and grace” (The Whole Note).

Winner of the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award and a nonprofit organization which has received 5 consecutive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Akropolis runs a festival in Detroit called Together We Sound and an annual, yearlong residency at three public Detroit high schools.

The “pure gold” (San Francisco Chronicle) Akropolis Reed Quintet performs worldwide and is represented exclusively by Ariel Artists.

Benjamin Atherholt

Benjamin Atherholt is the Programming Director with Lyrica Baroque, and the Contrabassoonist and Assistant Principal Bassoonist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also the Contrabassoonist with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra performing each summer in upstate New York. His specialty as a Contrabassoonist has engaged him in performances with orchestras including the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and Houston Symphony, where he is featured on the 2013 Grammy Award winning recording of Berg’s Wozzeck. A passionate educator, Ben is the Instructor of Bassoon at Tulane University and frequently teaches as a featured guest artist in masterclasses and residencies across the country. Ben grew up in Houston, Texas and holds a B.M. in performance and composition from Oberlin Conservatory studying under the tutelage of George Sakakeeny and Jeffrey Mumford respectively.

Mia Rotondo

Mia Rotondo is an activist educator with 20 years of experience in the classroom serving students whose needs are often not met in the general education setting. Mia works closely with fellow radical educators, students, and community members to build and facilitate flexible, child-led learning spaces. In 2007, she co-developed an award-winning theater education program in Philadelphia focused on elevating neurodiverse perspectives. Over the past several years she has partnered with KID smART and The Kennedy Center to develop and provide professional development around creating more joyful and just spaces that provide arts integrated experiences for ALL learners. 

Chloe Swindler

Hailed by the International Trumpet Guild for her “sweet, singing sound” and “shimmering vibrato”, Chloe Swindler is a trumpet soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist in the Greater Boston area. She is the second prize winner of the 2019 International Trumpet Guild Solo Performance Competition and a finalist of the 2019 Yale School of Music Woolsey Concerto Competition. Chloe has performed under the baton of Peter Oundjian, Ken-David Masur, and Marin Alsop. As a recording artist and performer, she has played in Capitol Records (Los Angeles), Boston Symphony Hall, Dizzy’s Club (NYC), Scullers Jazz Club (Boston), and Lotte Concert Hall (Seoul, South Korea). Chloe performed with Lizzo at the BET Awards and with Harry Styles at Coachella in 2021. She served as the Trumpet Faculty for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2021 YOLA National Festival and as a Lecturer of Music at California State University, Los Angeles in the fall of 2021.

Currently, Chloe works at Berklee College of Music as the Assistant Director of Programming and Engagement for Diversity and Inclusion. She earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of California Los Angeles, Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, and Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts.

Roadmap Quartet
1st Prize 

Zachary Tucker, soprano saxophone
Connor Cyrus, alto saxophone
Sheridan Mackey, tenor saxophone
Jackson Fussell, baritone saxophone
Johnny Salinas, coach