March 18 – 22, 2021


our festival 

Since 2014, NOLA Chamber Fest has encouraged the advancement of chamber music in greater New Orleans and the entire Gulf South. Our mission is to inspire and motivate musicians through the experience of tight-knit collaboration and artistic independence that only chamber music can offer. The festival offers learning and performance opportunities for enthusiastic elementary, middle and high school-aged musicians, dedicated college and graduate ensembles, passionate community musicians and today’s top emerging professional talent. NOLA Chamber Fest’s reach is rapidly expanding, drawing more participants each year. Collaboratively presented by Lyrica Baroque, the New Orleans Friends of Music, and the University of New Orleans, NOLA Chamber Fest provides meaningful educational and artistic opportunities for our community. Check out our past events page to learn more.

“NOLA Chamber Fest 2020, as it has in the past, provided my young students with a rewarding, positive, and rigorous artistic experience. Facing a global public health crisis and serious uncertainty in virtually all aspects of life, our middle schoolers were extremely disappointed by the forced cancellation of an event they planned and worked for all year. Students, parents, and school leaders all struggled to find ways for the students to participate remotely, and fortunately, were pleased and grateful to observe and participate in the masterclasses delivered by members of the Escher Quartet….Everyone involved in this project expressed joy and satisfaction at the opportunity created for them by the diligent effort of NOLA Chamber Fest. The artistic merit and gentleness our students received did much to create a sense of purpose for young musicians at a very trying time in their lives.”

marta jurjevich, lusher charter school

Featured Guest Artists

Catalyst Quartet

Aizuri Quartet

Guest Artist Judges

Galit Kaunitz

Tucker Fuller

Cara McCool Woolf

Robert Young

Kathleen Winkler

Marina Lomazov


Emerging Ensemble and Graduate divisions are now open to ensembles across the nation!

Judges’ Masterclasses
Separate wind/brass, string, and piano/mixed ensemble chamber masterclasses with our Guest Artist Judges.

New Registration Process
Registrations will now be accepted through Active! Please email us with any questions or if you need help registering!


  • Friday, March 19th, 6:30 PM
    Panel Discussion with Guest Artist Judges
  • Saturday, March 20th, 9:00 AM
    NOLA Chamber Fest Competition
  • Saturday, March 20th, 7:00 PM
    Judges’ Masterclasses: Wind/Brass, String, and Piano/Mixed Ensembles Masterclasses led by Guest Artist Judges
  • Sunday, March 21st, 1:00 PM
    Interface Masterclass with Aizuri Quartet
  • Sunday, March 21st, 4:00 PM
    Junior Division Masterclass with Aizuri Quartet
  • Monday, March 22nd, 6:00 PM
    Awards Ceremony and Winners Showcase Performance


All participants will receive complimentary tickets to this year’s guest artist performances on UNO’s Musical Excursions and Friends of Music series. Friends and family members of NOLA Chamber Fest participants can purchase tickets online or at the door the day of the event. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021, 7:00pm – Catalyst Quartet Performance
$15 adults
$10 UNO alumn
Free for all students and NOLA Chamber Fest participants

Monday, March 22, 2021, 7:30pm – Aizuri Quartet Performance
$15 Friends + Family discounted ticket price
Free for all students and NOLA Chamber Fest participants



Each entering chamber ensemble should consist of 2 – 8 performers, none of whom may be full-time professional musicians.* If you have any questions about your ensemble’s eligibility, please do not hesitate to contact us at

*Musicians would only be excluded from participating if the majority of their income is earned as a performing musician. This does not apply to the Emerging Ensemble division.


Ensembles should receive a minimum of three coachings from a qualified professional coach prior to the competition, however we strongly encourage weekly coachings. Coachings may be done via Zoom or other online platforms depending on social distancing restrictions. Please email us if you have any questions or need help finding a coach. 


Division determination is made based on the oldest age of any member in each ensemble. For example, if three members of a quartet are enrolled in an undergraduate program and the other member is enrolled in a graduate degree program, they should enter in the Graduate division. Check our division pages for more specific information.

Ensembles entering in Junior, High School, College, and Graduate divisions may not have a faculty or staff member as part of their ensemble. Community division ensembles may not have a member who makes the majority of their income from performing with their applied instrument. 


A non-refundable registration fee for each participant must be included with the registration form.

  • Free admission to the Catalyst Quartet performance on UNO’s Musical Excursions series. 
  • Free admission to the Aizuri Quartet performance on the Friends of Music series.
  • Detailed comment sheets from each of the Guest Artist Judges.
  • A digital video of your performance sent via email (DVDs are available for an additional fee).
  • Opportunity to perform in the Judges’ Masterclasses on Saturday, March 20, 2021, led by the Guest Artist Judges. Participation in the Judges’ Masterclasses is open to all registered ensembles, regardless of preliminary round results. Space may be limited depending on the number of applicants. More information including masterclass schedules will be sent via email.


A Statement About COVID-19

Lyrica Baroque is proud and eager to present NOLA Chamber Fest 2021 with the New Orleans Friends of Music and the University of New Orleans. We have an exciting festival planned with many wonderful opportunities. Even as we present these plans to you, we remain acutely aware that COVID-19 is an evolving situation. We continue to work with the Friends of Music, the University of New Orleans, and health and safety experts to monitor the health situation in Louisiana and to plan for all scenarios. We will communicate with you regularly as we receive further guidance from the city and state. 

Preparation and rehearsal is important for NOLA Chamber Fest, but only as long as you are following safety protocols and guidelines. NOLA Chamber Fest is a wonderful opportunity to stay motivated and continue practicing, learning and collaborating with your colleagues. If you have questions or concerns about masks, the airborne spread of the virus, risks for wind playing vs. string playing, or any other concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help!