Three days of Beethoven at Canada’s Symphony in the Barn festival—amid cows, pigs, cattle, and chickens

Posted on: July 27, 2021

“Symphony in the Barn, where mostly urban classical music lovers practically mingle with cows, pigs and chickens, is back in business starting Friday,” writes Scott Dunn in Saturday’s (7/24) Owen Sound Sun Times (Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada). “All five Beethoven piano concertos and other music will be performed to in-person audiences in the open air, from a purpose-built barn-like stage at this three-day event held at Glencolton Farm, near Durham. Capacity is limited to 75 per cent under COVID-19 restrictions … festival founder Michael Schmidt said…. He anticipates 700 people in all…. Distancing will be required outside of personal bubbles and people will be asked to bring a mask. Schmidt [founded] the festival … 26 years ago. Last year’s event … was live-streamed.… Schmidt runs a mixed farm, with horses, beef cattle, heritage pigs and chickens and specialty grains … Part of the festival experience for many is camping at the farm for the weekend. Yet they still emerge from their tents well dressed for the concerts, Schmidt said…. The festive has two artistic directors now: [pianist] Kati Gleiser … and … violinist and conductor Kevin Mallon. There are five soloists, including Gleiser, and a full orchestra of 16 onstage.”