The Lakes Area Music Festival


The Lakes Area Music Festival sparks connections between its central Minnesota community and the nation’s top classical performers to create transformative musical experiences.


To be a creative cultural force, essential to our region and vital to the world of classical music.

Core Values

EXCELLENCE. We believe in creating the highest quality of experience for our musicians and audiences as measured against any international standard.

ACCESSIBILITY. We believe in eliminating cultural, economic, and geographic barriers that often make classical music inaccessible.

COMMUNITY. We believe that creating lasting relationships between artists and audiences leads to a shared sense of purpose and long-term commitment to our region.


The Lakes Area Music Festival (LAMF) was established during the summer of 2009 when co-founding Artistic & Executive Director Scott Lykins returned to his hometown of Brainerd, Minnesota with four colleagues from the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, New York). In an effort to create an outlet for their musical gifts, these musicians put on six free concerts, and enlisted members of the Minnesota and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras to participate. Each concert drew successively larger audiences, which encouraged the series organizers to continue the event annually. Based on the community’s demonstrated interest in and desire for musical enrichment, the festival programming has expanded year to year offering a packed three week calendar of musical activities for a wide and diversifying audience.

Each season performances range from chamber music to symphonic orchestra to opera and ballet, performed by an all-star roster of over 250 artists from top orchestras and opera companies worldwide. In addition, educational opportunities are offered for audiences of all ages – including a week-long daycamp for children, performance-based opportunities for youth, open rehearsals, pre-concert lectures, and so much more.

LAMF furthers it’s reach into the community through its Outreach initiative- bringing classical music into area public libraries, eldercare facilities, correctional facilities, women’s shelters and more.

Annual Report and Fiscal Transparency

Everything the Lakes Area Music Festival does is only possible thanks to the support of hundreds of donors, volunteers, and community organizations. We strive to make the greatest impact we can with the support we receive from our audience and community, and we are proud of the work we do.

If you'd like to learn more about the impact your support of LAMF has, you can find our annual reports from past seasons below:

We make our 990 forms from the past three fiscal years – and our 1023 IRS Form – accessible to our audience upon request. To receive a digital copy please send your request to:

Lakes Area Music Festival acknowledges that we gather on the ancestral and contemporary native lands of the Dakota and Anishinaabe peoples in the Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Anishinabewaki, and Mdewakanton Territories ceded in the Treaty of Cession 357 in 1855.