Music's Mayfest returns May 20–24

Wed, 05/04/2016

Cornell University’s Department of Music, under the artistic direction of pianists Xak Bjerken and Miri Yampolsky, will present its ninth springtime festival of world-class chamber music in Ithaca May 20–24. Mayfest will offer six intimate concerts in four inspiring locations: Cornell’s Barnes Hall, Klarman Hall, Lab of Ornithology, and the Carriage House Café.

This year, the programs will feature works from the theatrical to the sublime, from contemporary masterworks to older classics, like the romping good time of the Beethoven Septet. Enjoy the lush sonorities of Franck, Strauss, and Chausson, side by side with a special focus celebrating Prokofiev’s 125th anniversary year. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steven Stucky will be remembered with the East Coast premiere of his Piano Quintet, and a new work by his student, Loren Loiacono. At the Lab of Ornithology, Mayfest will offer a program of music about birds and nature by Robert and Clara Schumann, Schubert, and Mendelssohn to complement the concert venue.

Mayfest will feature a mixture of new faces and returning friends from the US and abroad. Clarinetist Chris Grymes and violist Gilad Karni will make their Mayfest debuts, while soprano Íride Martínez, violinists Tatiana Samouil and Xiao-Dong Wang, cellist Zvi Plesser, and percussionist Michael Compitello will return to the festival. 

Tickets may be purchased online or at the door. Admission will be charged for each concert: $20 for adults and $10 for students. A festival pass, including one ticket for each of the six concerts, is available for $100. Note that all children below the age of 18 will be admitted free with an accompanying adult.  

Arranged with Cornell’s Commuter and Parking Services, parking restrictions in the Sage South lot (corner of Campus Rd. and Sage Ave., near Barnes Hall) will be suspended one hour before each Barnes Hall event (May 21, 22, 24) and in the lots at the corner of Stewart Avenue and Williams Street, near the Carriage House Café, between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. for the May 23 performance.  A map showing both venues and parking can be found on the Mayfest website.

Complete information on Mayfest 2016, including detailed concert programs, biographies of all of the performers, links to purchase tickets, and a map of the venues and parking can be found at