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Our mission is to explore our humanity and inspire community through music.

  • We serve the Twin Ports and North Shore; 

  • We engage audiences in world-class chamber music performances and outreach programming; and 

  • We champion living composers, including regional and diverse artists.


Our Story

The Duluth Chamber Music Festival connects a small ensemble of outstanding classical musicians with communities in Duluth, Minnesota. As we explore our humanity and inspire community through music, our 2023 festival will include a main stage concert at UMD’s Weber Hall on Thursday, August 17, and outreach programming, including at Essentia Hospital. Among other repertoire, our programming this season pairs string quartets by Classical-period Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn and living California-based composer Gabriela Lena Frank. Haydn is known by musicians as the father of the string quartet, and this f minor quartet this summer was composed in Hungary, where he was working at the time. Frank (b.1972) is a living, female BIPOC composer with Peruvian, Chinese, and Jewish heritage, who has taken the quartet genre to maximalist and toe-tapping heights rooted in her heritage. Also featured are 5 beautiful melodies by Dimitri Shostakovich and a lush, Romantic-era piano quintet by Antonin Dvorak, a masterpiece which will anchor the program as the finale.

As stated above, our festival week's goal is to offer residents of the Duluth region meaningful classical music experiences at the highest possible level. DCMF will present these in both traditional settings for free, as well as nontraditional settings at no charge. This is an effort to remove barriers to what can often be seen as an elitist art form, when in fact, music should be for everyone and transcend obstacles and pre-conceived perception.. Our mission is to serve the Twin Ports area by engaging audiences and championing living composers, including regional and diverse artists.

The 2023 festival, like our inaugural festival in 2022, will feature a small ensemble, including members of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, and Juilliard School faculty. These artists have multiple Grammy awards among their many accolades. These musicians are selected both for their musicianship and their dedication to building relationships between performers and listeners, as well as the fact that they all have close personal connections to the city of Duluth and the state of Minnesota. Three of the performers who contributed to the success of our first season will return this year.

The festival’s Co-Artistic Directors, Juilliard faculty pianist Sayaka Tanikawa and San Francisco Symphony violist Matt Young, have collaborated in performances across the United States, Asia, and Europe since meeting as classmates at the Yale School of Music over two decades ago. The other members of our board are well-qualified to guide the Duluth Chamber Music Festival as an artistic organization and as a contributor to our community: College of St. Scholastica Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Bret Amundson; Duluth-based neurosurgeon Dino Terzic; Duluth-based attorney and Yale School of Music graduate Elizabeth Sellers Tabor; retired Duluth attorney and musician Joanne Piper-Maurer.

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