The Austin Chamber Festival invariably serves a pleasant cocktail esteemed traditional ensembles mixed with boundary-changing experiments. This year’s fest for example features alt classical rockers Mother Falcon as well as American String Quartet and cello rock band Break of Reality.
Also regularly on the fest roster are several free concerts. Here’s our picks:• Seventh Annual Pride Concert. 7:3o p.m. July 7, St. James Episcopal Church, 1941 Webberville Road
Austin composer and pianist Russell Reed started this now-popular annual concert to celebrate the contributions of gay and lesbian composers and musicians.
Reed and his collaborators uncover chamber music gems that are too infrequently performed.
This year the Capital City Men’s Chorus is joined by an ensemble including. Turner Partain, violin; Nora Karakousoglou, cello; Bryan Kennard, flute; Adam Bedell, percussion; Jim James, piano; and Reed on piano.
• “Beat the Rush” Blanton Concert with Cordova Quartet, 5:30 p.m. July 16. Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. MLK Jr. Blvd.
Started at Rice University, the Cordova Quartet is now the Young Professional String Quartet in Residence at the University of Texas.
They’ll play a program that will include William Grant Still’s Danzas de Panama, Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major and Roberto Sierra’s Mambo.
See the complete Austin Chamber Music Festival schedule here: http://austinchambermusic.org/festival-2015/