Brown County ChamberFest begins Sunday

NASHVILLE — RiverSong Music Inc. is a nonprofit organization that promotes community education and enrichment through classical music.

It will host the ChamberFest Brown County music festival Sunday through Aug. 22 in Nashville.

The event will provide the public an opportunity to attend concerts, lectures and multimedia presentations given by world-class artists, ensembles and lecturers.

Andreas Ioannides, artistic director of RiverSong Music Inc., moved to Ireland last September after he accepted a job as a professor at the Cork School of Music and is glad to be back, he said.

“Nashville United Methodist Church is our main venue for most of our concerts, and that’s a really beautiful space there and a lovely piano,” he said. “Then we’re also doing a poetry event at Country Heritage Winery, so we wanted to tap into all of these different types of places and hopefully different types of audiences, as well.”

Some of the musicians appearing at the festival for the first time are a string quartet from Chicago.

“These are four members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra,” Ioannides said. “That’s a pretty big deal because the Chicago Symphony is widely considered one of the best orchestras in the world.”

He said some of the four people who comprise the string quartet also are the principal cellists of the symphony orchestra of Chicago, which is a real honor because they are extremely selected.

“We have Andrea Levine, the principal clarinetist of the Louisville Orchestra in Kentucky, and we also have Rachell Wong, who was an IU student that moved to New York City and now she lives in Seattle,” Ioannides said. “She also won the 2020 Avery Fisher Career Grant for baroque violin, so she’s a rising star in what we call early music field.”

The event also has some professors from Indiana University coming in, so they’re excited about this year’s roster.

“We have some new people in the festival this year and some who will be returning from last year,” Annie Hawk, president of RiverSong Music Inc., said. “So it will be a mix of new and old.”

The festival is spread out between the following venues: Nashville United Methodist Church, Brown County Presbyterian Fellowship, St. Agnes Catholic Church, Country Heritage Winery and Brown County Playhouse.

Hawk said they’ve expanded because there are many sub-communities of Brown County they wanted to include in the event.

“St. Agnes has a beautiful sanctuary, and it will be perfect for the baroque music, which is a violin and harpsichord,” she said. “They have a wonderful space, and the whole back of the sanctuary is trees, so you can look out and see nature.”

Hawk said besides the festival music, they also want to highlight the visual arts of Brown County. Before the baroque concert, there will be an open house at the art gallery nearby, which has some Indiana artists’ work on display.

“Andreas was a pianist at the Brown County Presbyterian Fellowship church, and so they’re very much excited about having a concert there, and they are actually sponsors this year,” Hawk said.

She said the first group on Sunday at the Presbyterian church is a guitar duo that will be performing some classical music that will lead up to some music by The Beatles, and the music is really up close and personal.

Ioannides said for those who might not be familiar with chamber music, he would encourage them to give it a shot.

“Some of the greatest musicians in history composed these works that we are performing, and the music is extremely expressive music and very emotional,” he said. “I feel like people can kind of connect with that because those emotions don’t change regardless of when the music was written.”

He said a piece might have been written 200 years ago but can still really affect on an audience now the way it did back then.

“What classical really means is that this music has withstood the test of time and there’s a reason for that,” Ioannides said. “We’ve found that people who come to listen to this with an open heart and open ears are really affected by this music, not just adults but teenagers, too, because they can really relate.”

He said some of the music is very theatrical, and the performers are working hard to make the music happen.

“There is a conversational aspect with chamber music, like small groups, and the musicians are conversing with each other really and with the audience,” Ioannides said. “So I think that’s very appealing to the audience.”

He said Brown County is a very beautiful area of Indiana and attracts a lot of visitors because of its possibilities of hiking and other outdoor activities.

“There are also a lot of arts and crafts, so we encourage people to experience the whole package,” Ioannides said. “Music and nature really meet in Brown County.”

The only ticketed event is $32.50 for the Lincoln String Quartet & Pacifica Quartet at Brown County Playhouse, but it’s free for ages 18 and under, and there’s a special price for college students. Visit for information.

The other festival events are open to the public with optional donations, but for those who want to make sure they have a seat when they arrive, there is an online $20 fee to reserve one. Visit for information on events and ticketing.

If you go

What: Guitar duo From Rameau to The Beatles

When: 7 p.m. Sunday

Where: Brown County Presbyterian Fellowship, 602 N. State Road 135, Nashville

What: Early music duo Diverse Bizarrie

When: 7 p.m. Monday

Where: St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1008 McLary Road, Nashville

What: Poetry reading “The Musics of Poetry”

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Country Heritage Winery, 225 S. Van Buren Street, No. 3, Nashville

What: Clarinet, piano, voice and strings “Clarinet Transformations”

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Nashville United Methodist Church, 36 S. Jefferson St, Nashville

What: Piano and strings “Passion and Despair”

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 18

Where: Nashville United Methodist Church, 36 S. Jefferson St., Nashville

What: Piano trio “In Memory of a Great Artist: The Tchaikovsky Trio”

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 19

Where: Nashville United Methodist Church, 36 S. Jefferson St., Nashville

What: Chamber Music Gala with members of Lincoln String Quartet & Pacifica Quartet

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 20

Where: Brown County Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St., Nashville

Admission is free for all performances at Nashville United Methodist Church, Brown County Presbyterian Fellowship and St. Agnes Catholic Church. Donations are much appreciated.

If you wish to ensure your seat, you may reserve it for a fee of $20.

Poetry reading/open mic at Country Heritage Winery is a free nonticketed event.

Tickets for the Lincoln String Quartet performance Aug. 20 are available for $32.50 at the Brown County Playhouse website,, or call the box office at 812-988-6555 Thursday through Sunday after noon.

Information about the ChamberFest Brown County music festival can be found at