World-class musicians, students to convene at Western Reserve Academy

Ascent Music of Cincinnati announced that the Ascent International Chamber Music Festival has chosen the campus of Western Reserve Academy as the home for its 2024 season. The festival, which includes faculty of international repute, brings a summer classical music experience back to Hudson. The last time this occurred in Hudson was when the Encore Festival was at WRA in 2005. 

The festival will run from June 23-July 13 and will host an international student body of approximately 72 aspiring classical musicians who will reside within the WRA campus.

Alan Rafferty, cellist of The Cincinnati Symphony and co-founder of Ascent said the move from Cincinnati Conservatory to WRA reflected the desire for a “more collegial environment.”

“Once we toured the WRA campus and saw its world-class facilities and the sense of community, it was a quick decision for us” he said.

Ascent was particularly drawn to the myriad of instructional and performance spaces on campus and within the community.

 “While our curriculum is intensive,” added Ascent Co-founder Sarah Kim, “we are very much looking forward to performing for the people of Hudson both on the WRA Campus and throughout town. We value the performance experience afforded our students and look forward to showcasing their talents.”

Additional performances will also feature members of faculty, offering a rare opportunity to see and hear these international artists in an intimate setting.

Rafferty said that many faculty members were once students here years ago when Encore was in Hudson.
“They all have warm memories of the campus and the community, but we look forward to their reactions when they see all the beauty of the campus improvements as well as the variety of choices downtown,” he said.  Rafferty.
Kim added, “Our students expect a lot when they attend a festival, not only intensive instruction, coaching and performances, but an environment where they can build relationships that will be revisited as their careers unfold.  Many members of our faculty had such bonding experiences decades ago in Hudson and we feel certain our students will as well.”  

Visit for a schedule of performances available to the public. ∞

Photo: Hudson will be the backdrop for the 2024 Ascent International Chamber Music Festival. Pictured are (l-r) Alan Rafferty and Dr. Sarah Kim of Ascent Music of Cincinnati, Hudson Mayor Jeffrey Anzevino, Dr. Melissa Kraut and Gary Stevens, also of Ascent. Photo submitted.