2024 Season: Heroic Journeys

This summer, people from around the world will gather in Paris, France, to celebrate the heroic potential of humanity at the Olympic Games. In those same weeks, Central Minnesota will be its own hub for world-class talent as the Lakes Area Music Festival presents its 16th annual season: HEROIC JOURNEYS.

Our exceptional roster of more than 250 professional, classical musicians come from the nation's top ensembles to makes the Lakes Area of central Minnesota their musical home. Together they perform chamber music, orchestra, and opera– as well as various community outreach activities extending their impact throughout the local community.

This season, we light the torch and embark together on the HEROIC JOURNEYS to come. Join us this summer in Brainerd!


Gala: Summon the Heroes
6:00PM, Friday, July 26, 2024
8:00PM, Friday, July 26, 2024
On July 26 the world's best athletes will gather in Paris for the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. That same night we celebrate the opening ceremonies of our 16th annual season, featuring 250 of the world's best classical musicians. This is the moment that will empower the next step of LAMF’s journey! LAMF’s annual gala and largest fundraiser of the year will feature Christian Reif conducting the LAMF Orchestra in iconic fanfares and daring musical adventures by superstar composers, including John Williams and Leonard Bernstein.
Beethoven's Ninth
3:00PM, Sunday, July 28, 2024
The season begins with our most epic and joyful journey yet, in a single performance of Beethoven’s monumental Ninth Symphony. Christian Reif conducts the Orchestra in collaboration with a chorus of singers from the Legacy Chorale of Greater Minnesota, Brainerd High School, and the acclaimed Minneapolis-based choral ensemble, VocalEssence singing the powerful "Ode to Joy".
Storms, Shipwrecks & Sorcery
7:30PM, Wednesday, July 31, 2024

Storms, Shipwrecks, and Sorcery is a fantastical journey through some of the most dramatic music of the 17th and 18th centuries. This program evokes both literal storms and clouds of rage. Guest soprano Nola Richardson stunningly portrays two sorceresses scorned, both the anguished Armida from Handel’s Armida Abbandonata and the vengeful Médée, namesake of Clérambault’s …

A Night at the Opera
7:30PM, Friday, August 2, 2024

Whether you are a lifelong opera fan or just stepping into this world for the very first time, this is your chance to experience opera’s greatest moments all in one concert, featuring our cast of Resident Artists and the LAMF Symphony Orchestra. Our Resident Artist Program provides singers early in their careers with mentorship and performance …

Thrills & Superheroes
3:00PM, Sunday, August 4, 2024

Enjoyable for kids of all ages! With the powers of winds, strings, brass, and percussion combined, the ultimate superhero of the stage is formed! In this family-friendly concert narrated by Jeff Andrews and featuring music and story by Russell Peck, kids of all ages will embark on a spectacular journey through the dynamic forces, instruments, and …

Block Party
7:30PM, Wednesday, August 7, 2024

Join us for a block party at the Mississippi Landing Amphitheater along the river in Brainerd! Listen to pop and classical music hits performed by our string orchestra while enjoying food trucks, a beer tent, and social time with friends. Free and open to the public; no tickets required. NEW LOCATION at Lyman P. White Park. …

A mixed race woman with natural hair wearing an elegant red dress and matching red lipstick
Julia Bullock in Recital
7:30PM, Friday, August 9, 2024
GRAMMY® award-winning soprano Julia Bullock first connected with the LAMF community in 2009, starred in the festival’s first opera production, Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and has made many returns to the festival stage since. This summer, she returns for an exclusive solo recital with collaborator and pianist Bretton Brown.
The Rake's Progress
7:30PM, Saturday, August 10, 2024
3:00PM, Sunday, August 11, 2024
Opera director Omer Ben Seadia and music director Christian Reif lead an all-star cast in an exquisite production of Igor Stravinsky’s delightfully clever opera, The Rake’s Progress. The story concerns the decline and fall of Tom Rakewell, who deserts his rural country town and girlfriend Anne Trulove for the seductive delights of London.
Jackiw Plays Dvořák
7:30PM, Wednesday, August 14, 2024

In a deeply moving new work, American composer Leanna Primiani centers the heroic stories of the survivors of human trafficking, painting a sonic landscape that emerges from tragic darkness into hope and light, and awakening our understanding of this tragic issue. Stefan Jackiw, a virtuosic musician with “talent that’s off the scale” (The Washington Post) …

A Hero's Life
7:30PM, Saturday, August 17, 2024
3:00PM, Sunday, August 18, 2024

The unrivaled brilliance of Gustav Holst’s Jupiter from The Planets sets the stage for the 2024 Lakes Area Music Festival’s closing ceremony. As the U.S. premiere of Lil Lacy’s Aurora honors new beginnings and the opportunities of a new day, Richard Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life) tells the ultimate story of adventure and accomplishment. …


Friday, July 26, 8 p.m.

Christian Reif, conductor
Andrea Ross, voice
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers

  • JOHN WILLIAMS:  Summon the Heroes
  • JOHN WILLIAMS:  Bugler's Dream
  • JOHN WILLIAMS:  Mission Theme
  • JOHN WILLIAMS:  Call of the Champions
  • JOHN WILLIAMS:  Olympic Spirit
  • LEONARD BERNSTEIN:  Olympic Hymn
  • CARL ORFF:  ‘O Fortuna' from Carmina Burana
  • VENGELIS: Theme from Chariots of Fire


Sunday, July 28 3 p.m.

Christian Reif, conductor
VocalEssence Ensemble Singers
Legacy Chorale of Greater Minnesota
Brainerd High School A Cappella Choir

  • LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN:  Symphony No. 9


Wednesday, July 31, 7:30 p.m.

Chloe Fedor, artistic advisor, and violin
Nola Richardson, soprano

  • JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER:  Die Fechtschule (The Fencing School)
  • GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL:  Armida Abbandonata (Abandoned Armada)
  • JOHANN HEINRICH SCHMELZER: Lamento sopra la morte di Ferdinando III (Lament over the death of Ferdinand III)
  • ANTONIO VIVALDI: Violin Concerto Op. 8, No. 5, La Tempesta di Mare (The Tempest of the Sea)
  • GIOVANNI BATTISTA BUONAMENTE:  Sonata a tre violini (Sonata for 3 Violins)
  • MATTHEW LOCKE:  Curtain Tune from The Tempest
  • HENRY PURCELL:  Chaconne from The Fairy Queen


Friday, August 2, 7:30 p.m.

Christian Reif, conductor
LAMF Opera Resident Artists

  • Variety of familiar arias and ensembles from the opera repertoire


Saturday, August 3, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.

Thalea String Quartet performance of three world premieres by composer fellows. 11 a.m. at Tornstrom Auditorium
Orchestral reading of fellows' works with Christian Reif and the LAMF Symphony, 2-4 p.m. at Gichi-ziibi Center


Sunday, August 4, 3 p.m.

Christian Reif, conductor
Jeff Andrews, narrator

  • RUSSELL PECK:  The Thrill of the Orchestra
  • MICHAEL GIACCHINO:  “Incredits” from The Incredibles
  • JOHN WILLIAMS:  Superman March


Wednesday, August 7, 7:30 p.m.

New Location: Mississippi Landing Amphitheater at Lyman P. White Park


Friday, August 9, 7:30 p.m.

Julia Bullock, voice
Bretton Brown, piano

This winter, at the 66th annual awards ceremony, Julia Bullock was awarded a GRAMMY® in the category of ‘Best Classical Solo Vocal Album’ for her 2022 Nonesuch Records album, Walking in the Dark, “an album that shines, introducing us to an artist curating a career on her own distinctive terms,” (NPR). A regular guest artist of the Lakes Area Music Festival, Julia returns this summer to perform a solo recital in collaboration with pianist and LAMF Vocal Fellowship leader, Bretton Brown.


Saturday, August 10, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 11, 3 p.m.

Christian Reif, conductor
Omer Ben Seadia, director
Miles Mykkanen, Tom Rakewell
Kearstin Piper Brown, Anne Truelove
John Taylor Ward, Nick Shadow
Sara Couden, Baba the Turk

  • IGOR STRAVINSKY:  The Rake’s Progress


Wednesday, August 14, 7:30 p.m.

Christian Reif, conductor
Stefan Jackiw, violin

  • LEANNA PRIMIANI:  Neither men nor money validate my worth
  • ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK:  Violin Concerto in A Minor
  • W. A. MOZART:  Symphony No. 38, “Prague”


Saturday, August 17, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 18, 3 p.m.

Christian Reif, conductor
Thomas Reif, concertmaster

  • GUSTAV HOLST:  “Jupiter” from The Planets
  • LIL LACY:  Aurora  – U.S. Premiere
  • RICHARD STRAUSS:  Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life)