Since 1995, Symphony in the Barn has led the way for concerts outside of the standard concert hall setting. We have been at the forefront of marrying fine artistry with the biodynamic agricultural experience.

Founded by farmer/conductor Michael Schmidt in 1995, Symphony in the Barn has opened its doors to performers and visitors from around the world, transforming Glencolton Farms into a one-of-a-kind cultural and agricultural experience. Symphony in the Barn has been host to critically-acclaimed opera productions, jazz concerts, an annual film festival, its annual Christkindl market, First Nations dance, classical chamber and orchestral performances, and integrated farm to table concert collaborations. 

Set on a fully operational 300-acre biodynamic dairy farm, Symphony in the Barn's annual summer festival includes concerts, events, panel discussions, and composer residencies - a yearly convergence of innovative thinkers and world-renowned performers, centred on themes of sustainability, education, and artistic enlightenment. The festival offers residency to professional musicians, visiting multimedia artists and through our inaugural mentorship study programme scheduled to begin in summer 2018, international amateur and pre-professional musicians, bringing world-class performances to the rural setting of Durham, Ontario and offering social development through creative collaboration, mentorship, and agrarian fellowship.

With the tagline of “Where Culture Meets Agriculture”, the Symphony in the Barn Festival continues to critically and artistically examine the interaction of the arts with larger society through site-specific and thematic curation in a rural agricultural setting: where a typical concert not only includes a full-scale performance, but also is accompanied by the sounds of the birds in the rafters, a visit by one of the farm animals, a starlight reception, and farm-baked refreshments. 


Concerts within the setting of a living farm, where chickens lay their eggs and horses graze, give a completely different ambiance to what culture is all about; AGRI-Culture.
— Michael Schmidt, Founder & Co-Artistic Director