Arts & Culture

Violinist Augusta McKay Lodge to Perform With UK’s New Early Music Orchestra

Augusta McKay Lodge performing Johann Sebastian Bach's Sarabande from Partita in D Minor.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 30, 2019) Augusta McKay Lodge, an internationally sought-after violinist, will travel to the University of Kentucky the first week of September to work with faculty and students in establishing an early music orchestra at UK School of Music. As part of the visit, McKay Lodge will perform in a free public concert Sept. 5, at Singletary Center for the Arts.

Praised as “the real thing, a true virtuoso” and “an exceptional violinist” (Seen and Heard International), McKay Lodge is a prize-winning Baroque and modern violinist based in New York and Paris. Enjoying a flourishing solo career, McKay Lodge has had concerto appearances in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall; a concert series with Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra; and many featured solos as concertmaster of Juilliard415. Most recently she gave her solo debut at Carnegie Hall.

McKay Lodge has claimed grand prizes at Concert Artists International, Juilliard’s Historical Performance Concerto Competition and the Indianapolis Baroque Concerto Competition; semifinalist honors at Le Concours Corneille (France) and International Musica Antiqua Competition; and finalist honors in the 2016 International Indianapolis Baroque Concerto Competition. Her ensemble, Voyage Sonique, placed second in the international Lyceum Club de Suisse Concours de Musique.

McKay Lodge’s debut solo album of unaccompanied Baroque violin works, “Beyond Bach and Vivaldi,” was released on the Naxos label in 2018. Named one of the Top 20 Albums of 2018 by WQXR, it was under consideration for the 61st Grammy Awards. Early Music America wrote, “Lodge’s special skill, in addition to her intonational and tonal felicities, is … an inexpressible sense of pace and pause that focuses the listener’s attention on each piece’s most poignant moments.”

As part of her visit the Bluegrass, McKay Lodge will collaborate with UK faculty and students to present a special orchestral concert on period instruments beginning 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

This project was conceived in Cumberland, Maryland, in October 2018, where McKay Lodge performed with UK Associate Professor of Trumpet Jason Dovel at Mountainside Baroque, where the UK Baroque Trumpet Ensemble was a featured ensemble-in-residence. Following that concert, UK students expressed their enjoyment collaborating with early string instruments, and McKay Lodge generously offered to come to Lexington to help get an early string project going at UK.

The UK concert will be a tour de force and will involve UK faculty and students from string, brass, voice and keyboard areas. UK faculty and student performers will include:

While Lexington is already home to several orchestras that employ modern instruments, this concert will feature period instruments to better recreate the sound of early music. Audiences will hear violins and violas with gut strings, theorbo instead of guitar, trumpets without valves, harpsichord instead of piano, etc.

The concert repertoire will include music by Heinrich Schmelzer, Philipp Jakob Rittler and Pavel Josef Vejvanovsky, and other works featuring McKay Lodge and Elizabeth Arnold as soloists.

In addition to the concert, McKay Lodge will also present masterclasses to string and brass studios and speak about her thriving career in early music during her visit at UK School of Music.

For more information, contact Jason Dovel at or 859-257-7177.

The School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition, theory and music history.

photo of Augusta McKay Lodge with violin and bow
Augusta McKay Lodge

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