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, 1:00 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


All participants will receive complimentary access to this year’s guest artist performances on UNO’s Musical Excursions and Friends of Music series.



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.
  • 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. 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. 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!