After growing attendance and stellar music at the Lakes Area Music Festival in its first four years, founder Scott Lykins is excited to present the Lakes Area with a fifth season of exciting world-class concerts. Born and raised in Nisswa, MN, he began studying piano at a young age and, through the Brainerd public school orchestra program, began playing cello at the age of 12. He performed solos with the Brainerd High School Chamber Orchestra, and was selected for and named principal cellist of the Minnesota All-State Orchestra. During his last two years of high school, Lykins traveled weekly to Minneapolis, where he served as principal cellist of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies’ top orchestra and studied with former Minnesota Orchestra cellist Joseph Johnson. After high school, he attended DePaul University in Chicago before transferring to the Eastman School of Music, where he graduated in the spring of 2009, receiving a Bachelors of Music in Cello Performance with distinction. He has participated in the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the National Orchestra Institute, National Repertory Orchestra and the Summer Music Festival at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, CO. As an orchestral performer, he has served as principal cellist of the Classical Symphony of Chicago and the Eastman Philharmonia Orchestra, and has played with the Syracuse Symphony and the New World Symphony in Miami. This spring, Scott earned a Master of Music in cello performance at Eastman, studying with Professor Alan Harris. Other teachers include Stephen Balderston, Brant Taylor, and Steven Doane. Following the success of last summer’s festival series, Scott also completed the Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program at Eastman, a certificate program designed to inspire students with a personal vision, to equip them with the professional skills and experience that will allow them to take charge of their musical prospects, and to encourage them to provide leadership in the musical culture and marketplace.