The Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra (WCYO) based in Ridgefield, announces the addition of the Charles Ives Music Festival (CIMF) to the organization’s educational and performance programming. The first CIMF concert of the 2019-20 season will be held Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7:30 p.m., at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Ridgefield. The concert will feature award winning duo cellist Julian Schwarz and pianist Marika Bournaki in a program entitled “Variation.”

The mission of the WCYO is to educate and inspire young musicians through the study and performance of classical and contemporary musical works, participation in enrichment activities, and engagement with the community. CIMF furthers that mission and honors the legacy of Charles Ives by bringing American music to the Fairfield County area with both educational and performance programs. CIMF provides interactive educational events, centered around the exploration of chamber music, for both children and adults in our community. CIMF concerts feature dynamic and unique artists performing the music of Ives, other 20th and 21st century American composers, and works that transcends the traditional boundaries of classical music to incorporate other styles and genres.

“We are extremely excited about the addition of the Charles Ives Music Festival to the WCYO program offerings” said Laurie Kenagy, president of the WCYO Board of Directors. “CIMF increases and enhances the educational and performance opportunities available to the youth musicians we serve, and expands the organizations reach by offering workshops to adult musicians as well.”

The WCYO also introduces Paul Frucht as artistic director and Jonathan Cziner as associate artistic director of the Charles Ives Music Festival. Paul and Jon will work with WCYO Music Director Eric Mahl to further the educational programs offered by the organization and will curate a series of chamber concerts featuring acclaimed musicians performing in diverse formats and venues.

“Over the last five years, I have worked to bring both American music and educational opportunities to the greater Fairfield County community and I could not be more excited to begin the next chapter of that work with the WCYO. At CIMF, there will be opportunities for all — children, adults, instrumentalists, composers, fans of Ives, fans of new music, those interested in chamber music, those interested in orchestral music, and those looking simply to attend concerts of the highest caliber right in their own backyard.”

The performance is open to the public. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students, and are available online at or at the door the evening of the concert.