The founder and director of the Geneva Music Festival Geoffrey Herd reflects on musical education, the festival’s 10th anniversary and his 300+ year old violin.
For 10 years, the Geneva Music Festival has presented acclaimed international artists in venues throughout the Finger Lakes and brought culturally diverse programming and educational concerts to local school districts. Ahead of the festival’s 10th season, which begins later this month, founder and artistic director Geoffrey Herd discusses its origins, impact and this year’s festival program on the Pulteney Street Podcast with President Joyce P. Jacobsen. The accompanying music, Brahms G Major Sextet, was recorded live by Herd at the 2019 Geneva Music Festival.
Herd, who grew up in Geneva, is an accomplished violinist who has performed at venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. A soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, as well as an innovative artistic director and dedicated instructor, Herd studied at Rice University, Yale School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has collaborated with many of the finest contemporary classical musicians, including Ani Kavafian, Clive Greensmith, James Dunham, Laurie Smukler, Ettore Causa and Jinjoo Cho. Herd has performed concertos with numerous orchestras including the Rochester Philharmonic, the Thailand Philharmonic, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Ithaca College Symphony, the Amherst Symphony, the Finger Lakes Symphony, the University of Tennessee Symphony Orchestra and the Longmont Symphony. In 2016, Herd joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville where he built a thriving studio, attracting students from around the globe who frequently participate in some of the nation’s top music festivals. He was recently appointed to the University of Louisville faculty as Assistant Professor of Violin. He is co-director of the Knoxville Suzuki Academy, director of the University of Tennessee String Project and president-elect of the Tennessee Chapter of the American String Teacher Association. He plays on a Francesco Rugeri “ex-Ernst” violin made in Cremona in 1673.
Since 2011, the Geneva Music Festival has gathered many of the nation’s best classical and jazz performers each summer and is regularly supported by the National Endowment for the Arts as well as other competitive granting organizations. The festival has been lauded as a leader in innovative programming and promotion of diversity and inclusivity in the arts, championing composers and musicians who have often been neglected on the concert stage.
The 2021 season runs from May 10 through June 12. Click for tickets or more information.