A new classical music festival launching in Ottawa this summer is meeting a “huge demand,” said the artistic and executive director of Music and Beyond.

“People kept calling to say they were leaving Ottawa in the summer to hear classical music,” said Julian Armour. “I really wanted to respond to the erosion of support for classical music in society generally — on the radio, in schools and in performance.”

Featuring 350 musicians and 82 concerts in its first season, Music and Beyond, which runs July 5–14, presents classical music in all its forms, including orchestras, ensembles, choirs and Baroque groups in venues including the National Arts Centre, the National Gallery of Canada and downtown churches.