Festival artistic director Linda Chesis saw Cooperstown, NY as an ideal location for a music festival, with its picturesque lake setting, small town charm, restaurants and attractions, including the Glimmerglass Festival, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, The Farmers’ Museum, and the Fenimore Art Museum.
She started the Festival with three events in 1999, and since then the Festival has offered the region nearly 100 concerts, from classical to contemporary, jazz to bluegrass, cabaret to kids’ concerts. In 2011, the Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival became the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival to better reflect the range of music it offers.
The Festival has featured: Midori, Hank Jones, the Tokyo String Quartet, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Tim Fain, Bill Charlap, Hilary Kole, Simone Dinnerstein, and Mark O’Connor.
Festival concerts have been featured on Performance Today, America’s most popular classical music radio program, with more than 1.3 million weekly listeners on more than 260 stations around the country.
Linda Chesis, founder and artistic director of the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival, has been hailed by critics on three continents as one of the most exciting and dynamic flutists of her generation. She has frequently collaborated with such renowned artists as Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, James Levine and the late Jean-Pierre Rampal and has performed with orchestras and in solo recitals throughout the US, France, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, and Korea.
The top prizewinner at the Paris and Barcelona International Competitions, and at the National Flute Association Competition, Ms. Chesis received her Premier Prix from the Conservatoire National Superier de Musique and subsequently was appointed principal flute of the Orchestre de Capitole de Toulouse. Ms. Chesis has been the recipient of many awards including a Solo Recitalist’s Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She has been the subject of numerous television and radio broadcasts, and her performances can be regularly heard on American Public Radio’s Performance Today.
Ms. Chesis has been a guest artist at the Salzburg Mozarteum, the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, Bravo! Colorado, Tanglewood Music Festival, An Appalachian Summer Festival, and Music from Angel Fire, among others.
Ms. Chesis is professor of flute and chair of the Woodwind Department at Manhattan School of Music. She has offered master classes at universities, conservatories and for flute associations around the globe. Her recordings can be heard on the EMI, Nonesuch and Music Masters labels.