Named for the branching footprint of the Mississippi River Delta, the Birdfoot Festival brings dynamic live chamber music to New Orleans each May. In its third season, Birdfoot has gained an enthusiastic local following and won glowing critical reviews for its fresh approach to presenting chamber music and its “youthful, rule-bending style.”
May 27–30, 2014, the Birdfoot Festival will fill the Contemporary Arts Center with its annual celebration of dynamic live chamber music in an exciting new residency partnership. During its four-day residency, the Birdfoot Festival will be rehearsing, performing, and staging its Chamber Music Mentoring Program, outreach events, and city-wide performances at the CAC as well as across New Orleans:
- Live Chamber Music—Birdfoot events take place in jazz clubs as well as concert halls. They foster musical dialogue between performers and audience members, no matter how familiar or adventurous the repertoire on the program. Times–Picayune music critic Chris Waddington applauded Birdfoot for “a string of glorious, unbuttoned performances of works rarely heard on local stages.”
- International quality with a local flavor—Birdfoot brings emerging and established international artists together to study great works of chamber music in depth and share them with the community. The result is a series of innovative live (and lively) chamber music concerts and events throughout New Orleans that engage fresh ears and experienced concert-goers alike. Since its first season in 2012, Birdfoot has included internationally acclaimed artists, including British pianist Danny Driver, Borromeo String Quartet violinist Kristopher Tong, and Israeli clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein.
- Mentoring, Education and Outreach—Coached, mentored and inspired by Birdfoot’s outstanding artists, local music students experience the “communication and joy of playing with other musicians” in the festival’s three-week intensive Chamber Music Mentoring Program. Participants learn the teamwork, leadership, and ensemble skills intrinsic to chamber music. Their music teachers and parents have been enthusiastic about this program, with one 2013 parent writing that the Birdfoot’s “approach to working with students represents a new high standard for the New Orleans area.”
The Birdfoot Festival 2014 @ the CAC residency will culminate with “Mania and Madrigals,” a concert exploring musical obsession, lust (and blood), at the CAC’s Freeport McMoRan Theater on Friday May 30—Admission: $25 General Public, $20 CAC members, $15 students (w/ID). The residency will also feature a lunchtime sneak-preview performance and discussion in the Spun Cafe and selected rehearsals open to the public.