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About Us

The Organization

Now in an 20th year, the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival continues to enrich lives in the Finger Lakes by bringing music, particularly classical chamber music, to young and old.  The Festival is organized as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.  As of 2021, while continuing some public concerts, our mission is especially focused on our longtime outreach to young people in their schools and camps.

The Festival began through a change meeting between Richard Auldon Clark and Joyce Hunt of Hunt Country Vineyards at the New York State Fair in the summer of 2001.  They quickly discovered their mutual love of classical music and the Finger Lakes Wine Country.  Richard expressed his dream of bringing his Manhattan Chamber Orchestra to the area and Joyce enthusiastically offered her winery as the venue.  Appreciative audiences and generous patron support soon followed.

Glenn Curtiss Museum Event

Our Artistic Director


Composer, conductor, violinist, and violist Richard Auldon Clark is Artistic Director and Conductor of the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, and now for the 20th year, the Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival. A strong proponent of American music, Mr. Clark has performed and/or recorded hundreds of world premieres, and his work has received extraordinary praise in the New York Times, Fanfare, American Record Guide, Washington Post, and dozens of others.


Mr. Clark has recorded the music of David Amram, Henry Cowell, Seymour Barab, Lukas Foss, Alan Hovhaness, Otto Leuning, Osvaldo Lacerda, Dave Soldier, Alec Wilder, and many more.  An active studio musician as well, Mr. Clark has performed and recorded for Broadway, television, commercials, and films, including several films for Philip Glass. Mr. Clark’s compositions have been praised in the New York Times and broadcast on NPR stations around the country.  With more than twenty chamber works to his credit, Mr. Clark has premiered six new compositions in the past three years in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall., In September 2016, his opera Happy Birthday, Wanda June with a Libretto by Kurt Vonnegut was premiered by Indianapolis Opera. A frequent collaborator, Mr. Clark works with dancers, choreographers, and visual artists in the creation of new works.  Currently, Mr. Clark is Professor of Music at Butler University where he conducts the Butler Symphony Orchestra and Butler Ballet.


Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival

PO Box 605

Penn Yan, NY 14527

Richard Auldon Clark

In 1987, Mr. Clark founded the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, and continues to serve as its director and conductor. Hailed by the media as an "extraordinary ensemble of virtuosos," and credited with providing the "definitive versions of forgotten American masterpieces," the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra has been dedicated to innovative, exciting and multi-cultural programming. The MCO has premiered and recorded the music of such diverse composers as William Grant Still, Alec Wilder, Victor Herbert, Henry Cowell, Alan Hovhaness, Otto Luening, Dominick Argento, Randall Thompson, Eric Ewazen, David Amram and Dave Soldier. The MCO performs music of all genres with a special emphasis on contemporary American music.

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