March 25-28, 2022


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

Musicians From Marlboro

Guest Artist Judges

Galit Kaunitz

Tucker Fuller

Cara McCool Woolf

Robert Young

Kathleen Winkler

Marina Lomazov

Teaching Artists

Tadeu Coelho

Trenton Thomas

Benjamin Atherholt



Early-bird registration ends Friday, December 3, 2021 at midnight.

Registration ends Friday, February 25, 2022 at midnight.


Community Ensembles will participate in our Community Ensembles Showcase Performance on March 27, 2022 and should register here. For more information visit our Community Ensembles page.



  • Our competition will be entirely online this year – be sure to plan ahead to create your recording! Visit our resources page for more.
  • Our College Division is now open nationally!
  • We’ve moved to the registration platform Acceptd. Participants should now register as an ensemble and will be able to submit their recordings, scores, group headshot, and group bio all at once. Email us with any questions! 
  • Ensembles are now defined as 2 – 6 performers. 
  • Ensembles are required to prepare at least one work by an underrepresented composer. Be sure to check the repertoire requirements for your ensemble’s division. Visit our resources page for research guidance and tools. 
  • TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR EARLY-BIRD RATES! Be sure to check your ensemble’s division page for more information. 

“nola chamber fest provides an outstanding platform for my students of varying ages to grow such skills as independence, deep listening, collaboration, and disciplined preparation. the chance to work in masterclass with world-renowned musicians is also invaluable. i’m very grateful this festival exists in new orleans, and i see the potential for ncf to serve as a model and leader for fostering youth chamber music across the country.”

conservatory symphonic band director, lusher charter school

Guest Artist Judges

Catalyst Quartet


Each entering chamber ensemble should consist of 2 – 6 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 NCF Director Benjamin Atherholt at 

*A full time professional musician is considered someone who earns the majority of their income as a performing musician or music teacher. 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. 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 an ensemble. For example, if three members of a quartet are enrolled in an undergraduate program and the fourth member is enrolled in a graduate program, the quartet 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. 


All registration fees are nonrefundable. Please email us with any questions or concerns regarding the registration fee. NOLA Chamber Fest will do its best to assist you with any concerns regarding financial needs.



“i want to send a big thank you to nola chamber fest staff! the kids had terrific coaching sessions, and we are so thankful for these opportunities! for my son’s group, it was the perfect ‘first’ master class! we all appreciate the work you do for the music students in our community! thank you, thank you!!”

nola chamber fest 2020 parent
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. After much discussion with our collaborators, team members, and guest artists, we have decided to present NCF 2021 100% virtually! Advanced preparation went into this year’s festival so that we could pivot quickly and efficiently to an online platform if needed. Everyone working to present NCF is excited by the possibilities technology offers so that we can continue to create, be inspired, and stay safe.

The biggest change is that all ensembles interested in participating will now need to submit a video recording including Junior, High School and Community ensembles. But don’t worry! We have wonderful resources available to help you every step of the way. Learning to use technology is part of our continually evolving industry and we are excited to help you embark down this path! Be sure to watch our Recording Resources video and read through our Resources PDF Guide available on our website.

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!