About NOLA Chamber Fest

About NOLA Chamber Fest

NOLA Chamber Fest was established to promote chamber music in New Orleans and the Gulf South region. Our mission is to inspire and motivate classical musicians through the experience of true collaboration and artistic independence that only chamber music can offer.

Presented by Lyrica Baroque in collaboration with the New Orleans Friends of Music, NOLA Chamber Fest is proud to annually host New Orleans’ very own chamber music competition. The competition consists of five divisions: Junior, High School, College, Graduate and Community. Musicians from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra judge the competition. Cash prizes are awarded to the winning group in the High School, College, Graduate and Community divisions. Winning groups also receive the opportunity to perform in a masterclass for world-renowned chamber ensembles and perform in the Winners Showcase Performance.

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Our Team

Jaren Atherholt, Executive Director Lyrica Baroque


Jaren Atherholt is the Principal Oboist of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, a position she has held since 2007. She is also the newly appointed Assistant Professor of Oboe at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Originally from Fairbanks, Alaska, Jaren left home at the age of sixteen to pursue oboe study at the Interlochen Arts Academy with Daniel Stolper. After graduating from Interlochen, she earned her bachelor’s degree in music performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with John Mack and a master’s degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University where she studied with Robert Atherholt.

Prior to obtaining her position with the LPO, Jaren spent two seasons as Principal Oboist of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra. She has performed as guest Principal Oboist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony and Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria in Mexico City. She has also performed as guest Associate Principal Oboist with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Jaren has been a featured concerto soloist with the LPO, Tulane University Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, Washington Chamber Symphony at the Kennedy Center, and the Fairbanks Symphony.

Jaren spends her summers performing in the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and has participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Verbier Festival Orchestra, Music Academy of the West, and Spoleto Festival USA. She also previously served on the faculty of the John Mack Oboe Camp, Wintergreen Music Festival and the Vianden International Music School and Festival in Vianden, Luxembourg. Jaren has been a member of the Interlochen Oboe Institutes faculty for four summers, teaching with Linda Strommen, Elaine Douvas and Daniel Stolper.

An active chamber musician, Jaren spent four summers performing in the Marlboro Music Festival. She has also performed for the Grand Teton Music Festival Winter Chamber Series, A Far Cry, and is the founder and Executive Director of Lyrica Baroque, a chamber ensemble and non profit organization based in New Orleans.

Jaren enjoys practicing Ashtanga yoga in her free time. She is married to Ben Atherholt, who she met at Rice University. Jaren and Ben enjoy spending time with their two dogs, Rocky and Jessie.

Gabrielle Fischler, Director NOLA Chamber Fest

gabrielle-fischler-headshots-redone-6Violinist Gabrielle Fischler is a second year New Orleanian, having moved from Boston where she was a co-founding member of the conductorless string orchestra Palaver Strings. Palaver Strings is an ensemble committed to diversifying the accessibility of classical music and promoting social justice and human welfare through cross-collaboration of the arts and unconventional partnerships. She currently works as a teaching artist and freelancer in the greater New Orleans area, serving on faculty at the Ellis Marsalis Center and with Make Music Nola. Other educational endeavors include maintenance of her private studio where she provides lessons and chamber music coachings, as well as visits to Musicollaborative, a community based music education service dedicated to exposing youth and families to culturally relevant music and learning. In April of this year, Gabrielle helped to launch the New Orleans chapter of Groupmuse, an organization dedicated to fostering and building community through art and classical music house concerts. Gabrielle makes local appearances with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Orleans Opera, Crescent Chamber Artists, the New Resonance Orchestra, Groupmuse, Jefferson Performing Arts Society, and other performances around the city and greater New Orleans area.

If you have questions about NOLA Chamber Fest, contact Gabrielle at nolachamberfest@lyricabaroque.com