The Lakes Area Music Festival


The Lakes Area Music Festival connects the nation’s best performers and audiences through excellent classical music and inspiring education.


The Lakes Area Music Festival is a thriving worldwide hub for classical music and a force for broad and sustained development in central Minnesota.

Core Values

EXCELLENCE. Touching the hearts, minds, and souls of audiences through the intrinsic quality that defines master artists.

RADICAL HOSPITALITY. Eliminating economic, geographic, and demographic barriers that often make classical music inaccessible, while bringing artists into central Minnesota to foster inclusive dialogue and lasting relationships.

SUSTAINABILITY. Ensuring that the Lakes Area Music Festival will be a long-term catalyst for positive change within our greater community.


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 200 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 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.

Fiscal Transparency

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.

Send this to a friend