These festivals below may have age restrictions as well as audition requirements. (One, Summer Music West, is actually for younger students, which is not as common as festivals geared toward the more advanced or even semi-professional player.) Be sure to read the pages carefully. Remember, too, that I can’t be held responsible for any errors. I’m relaying information I find online or elsewhere, but I have no connection to any of what is listed.
***Why attend a music festival?
If you have to ask, I’m not sure I should tell you … but really … we learn a great deal from hearing other musicians, both oboists and other musicians. Festivals often bring in the cream of the crop. And besides, even with the hard work that some of these require, they are great fun!
I’ve included some information for each festival, but I haven’t put up everything and you should visit the links to see the actual admission and audition requirements.
For younger, less advanced students, I recommend Summer Music Camps.
Please note that sometimes the terms camp, workshop and festival overlap somewhat. For this reason I actually recommend that everyone check Music Workshops and Master Classes and Summer Music Camps as well as this page
Apple Hill Chamber Music Festival
This festival appears to have something for everyone … youth, amateurs, professionals … but this has only been determined by their site. I have no familiarity with them. It was recommended by an IDRS member.
From the site:
THE APPLE HILL SUMMER CHAMBER MUSIC SCHOOL AND FESTIVAL combines concerts by the Apple Hill Chamber Players and Guest Artists with chamber music workshops which are attended by a community of 275 participants of all ages, backgrounds, and geographic locales, and skill levels ranging from professional to skilled and enthusiastic students and amateurs.
The Summer Festival concerts, held in the beautiful and historic New England setting of the two-hundred year old Apple Hill Concert Barn, are accessible to all. Over the thirty years of the Apple Hill Summer Festival, these concerts have inspired audiences totaling over 40,000 persons ? young, old, local residents, and visitors from all over the US and throughout the world.
The Apple Hill Summer Chamber Music School has provided opportunites for over 8,000 participants to study and perform under the guidance of the Apple Hill Chamber Players. These participants have formed highly motivated, accomplished, supportive, and fun-loving communities which give special life to Apple Hill’s philosophy that music is a language which has the capacity to join together persons of diverse backgrounds and points of views in ways which heighten empathy, humanity, and excellence.
PROFESSIONAL, STUDENT, AND AMATEUR CHAMBER GROUPS are matched according to playing level and experience, not age. Participant ages range from 12 to 90. Throughout the summer, no more than fifty-five participants are at Apple Hill at one time, in a carefully controlled mix of musicians oaf all abilities, ages, backgrounds, and locales.
Apple Hill believes in honoring the special voice in all musicians. We coach, encourage, and applaud all groups equally, from the highest level professional groups to those containing musicians who are just starting to play chamber music. Our goal is touse the tools of inspired chamber music playing and coaching to build special communities which cross cultural, ability, gender,ethnic, and age barriers.
Be sure to read this page as there are additional things you should know. For instance, you’ll be required to do a bit of work at this camp!
International Summer Music Academy at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA
I know absolutely nothing about this group! I merely found it on one of my online searches.
From the site:
ARIA is geared to high school students, college students, and young professionals, ages 14 to 32, and provides a comprehensive learning experience under the guidance of a distinguished faculty. The program aims to provide an intensive and in-depth study of one?s instrument through private lessons, workshops, master classes, seminars, faculty concerts, and student concerts. Private lessons take place in the afternoons, with the mornings and evenings devoted to seminars, master classes, and workshops which deal with technique, repertoire, musicianship, and career issues. Most seminars and workshops are interactive, and participants will be asked to bring their instruments, as they will actively participate on a rotating basis at the discretion of the teacher. During the four-week session, participants can expect to receive 8 lessons (most or all being private), and in addition to actively take part in or audit seminars, workshops, and master classes.
Recommended by an IDRS member, this is a well known festival.
From the site:
The Aspen Music Festival and School is a high-level training ground for the world?s next generation of professional musicians. It is also a premier classical music festival that presents more than 200 musical events in nine weeks and serves as a summer retreat for many of the world?s great musical minds.
What sets the Aspen Music Festival and School apart from other summer programs for students is the incredible breadth of musical experience it offers to young musicians. With programs from orchestra to opera, conducting to contemporary music, piano, guitar and more; a student body ages 8 to 68, from 39 countries and virtually every major conservatory; a distinguished faculty with experience in nearly every facet of music-making; and 200-plus world-class concerts, master classes, and lectures, the School is an intense musical world of its own, a crucible of artistry that has shaped young classical performers for more than fifty years.
There are a number of opportunities at Banff, and it would take a lot of space to list them all. I encourage you to check out the site, and see all they have to offer. Here are some of the “blurbs” found at the site:
Music Programs Overview
Musicians specializing in music of any period from “early music” to the latest in digital composition are welcome to apply. Professional development residencies give composers, solo performers, ensembles, singers and jazz musicians an opportunity to concentrate on personal artistic development in an interactive and supportive environment. Residents shape their program under the guidance of the program directors, and are given the opportunity to expand their artistic insights through interaction with distinguished visiting artists and each other. There are many performance opportunities, and interaction with artists from other disciplines is encouraged and supported.
Another site I found on a search. I know nothing about this program, other than what I read at the site.
From the site:
6300 COLLEGE STATION
BRUNSWICK, ME | 04011-8463 | 207.373.1400
The Bowdoin International Music Festival’s Music School is an internationally-acclaimed 6-week program designed for serious students with advanced musical ability who are motivated, disciplined, and comfortable with a significant amount of independence. Teachers and chamber coaches expect students to make full use of individual practice time, and to make significant progress during their time at the festival. Students are encouraged to take advantage of all masterclasses and performance opportunities, and to attend all concerts. Each student’s experience will reflect the energy, drive, and self-discipline he or she brings to the program.
Again, I am not familiar with this program.
From the site:
The Brevard Music Center offers summer study in music to students age 14 and older.
To be admitted to the Brevard Music Center, a student must submit a completed application. Application is made online, at this web address: www.brevardmusic.org/study
Students who cannot complete an online application should contact the BMC Admissions Coordinator (828-862-2140) for accommodation.
I don’t know anything about this program. I received the brochure at UCSC. I like the full scholarship for all students notion though!
This festival “is an intensive three-week program for 40 advanced student musicians” that includes coaching in chamber ensembles, master classes and private lessons (for oboe: Robert Walters, Principal, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Prinicpal designate, Cleveland Orchestra).
For an application write, call or email:
The Colorado Colelge Summer Music Festival
14 East Cache La Poudre Street
Colorado Springs, CO 80903-3294
Phone: (719) 389-6098 Fax: (719) 389-6955
Email: [email protected]
Guilford College, North Carolina
The Eastern Music Festival and School is one of this country’s foremost training programs for aspiring young musicians between the ages of 14 and 20, presented within the nationally known summer music festival of which it is part.
For over 40 years, the central focus of the Eastern Music Festival and School has remained the needs of the pre-professional student. The School at EMF limits enrollment to no more than 200 students, making this unique program “up close and personal,” ensuring access to faculty, visiting artists and artistic staff, and creating an extremely nurturing and friendly environment.
Presented by Kent State University, in cooperation with The Cleveland Orchestra
Summer School and Festival
Music Academy of the West is an intimate summer school and festival providing an intense and diverse international music community of young artists, esteemed faculty, conductors and guest artists.
With its founding in 1947 it established on the West Coast a rich tradition of training by performancethat brings to audiences more than 200 events over eight weeks – Festival Orchestra, Tuesdays at Eightfaculty chamber concerts, fully staged opera, opera scenes, young artist picnic concerts, free community concerts and daily masterclasses – all open to the public.
It is the mission of the Music Academy of the West to provide the best possible instruction and inspiration for gifted young musicians, instrumental and vocal, primarily of college and graduate school age.
The essential objective remains the same as it has since 1947: to concentrate on those facets of technique and style that the professional musician needs most private tutelage, small ensemble coaching, masterclasses and large ensemble or opera experience with their peers, all under the guidance of the best faculty, coaches, directors and conductors. In addition, students have the opportunity to hear and observe an outstanding artist faculty in recital, chamber music, and concerto performance.
The NRO, a non-profit organization, has as its primary mission the training of talented young musicians for seats in symphonic orchestras in the United States and abroad. Alumni currently play in virtually every major and regional orchestra in the U. S. and in orchestras world-wide. Each summer, approximately 86 musicians are chosen in a nationwide audition tour to participate in an intense symphonic orchestral experience.
The NRO performs two full orchestra concerts each week in Breckenridge’s beautiful Riverwalk Center between late June and mid-August. In addition, members of the NRO take part in smaller chamber concerts during the festival, and the full orchestra plays at several other locations in the state. Toward that end, a full range of symphonic literature is performed, or the equivalent of a full symphony season.
A slightly extended weekend of music in a city north of L.A.
An intensive, three-week performance workshop for professionals, teachers, select talented students and advanced devotees.
Recommended by an IDRS member who says:
For a few years I’ve attended the Orvieto Musica Chamber Music Workshop in Orvieto, Italy, and have had a ball upgrading my playing each time.
It’s run by a duo of terrific musicians. Attendees have been very talented and the workshop is great for those of us who work other jobs during the year. It’s
about 3 weeks long, and I’ve performed music as fast as I could learn it on modern and baroque oboes for concerts in various towns and churches around the area.
ll participants are housed in comfortable pensione facilities, newly renovated and equipped with modern amenities, in the heart of Orvieto. Rooms are double or triple occupancy, with single rooms available for an additional $450. The workshop fee includes continental breakfast and vouchers for one main meal daily at select local restaurants. Orvieto boasts many inexpensive pizzerias and food markets, all within easy walking distance.
Orvieto Musica, Inc.
6500 East Ridge Road, #187
Odessa, TX 79762, U.S.A.M
Sarasota Music Festival
Nope. I don’t know this one either! The name sounds familiar, though.
The Sarasota Music Festival is an intense three-week event encompassing chamber music, master classes, and orchestra. A distinguished faculty of international artists works closely with students from the United States and abroad in a beautiful setting on Florida’s West Coast. Major emphasis of the Festival is given to the coaching and performance of chamber ensembles. All participants, however, must participate in master classes and orchestra. Concerts include weekend performances by guest artists at Holley Hall and the Sarasota Opera House. Student participant concerts are held throughout the Festival at these and other performance venues. A typical week for a student participant will include participation in 2 master classes, 1 or 2 ensemble assignments with rehearsals and coachings, and 3 orchestral rehearsals with a single performance.
100% tuition scholarships
Over 65% housing subsidy
An affordable experience
Bottom Line: UNDER $600! for three fantastic weeks!
Recommended by an IDRS member.
From the site:
a unique opportunity for young classical musicians to study and perform chamber music in the shadows of the beautiful Northern California Redwoods…
a community of 50-60 intermediate and advanced students and 13 professional musicians who join together to explore the vast and fascinating world of chamber music…
an environment that is intense, yet supportive, where informal daily performances help participants develop the knowledge, technical skills and passion that are the building blocks of a successful life in the world of music, as well as the self-discipline and self-confidence that are essential to success in any field.
Sequoia accepts 50-60 intermediate and advanced students with strong sight-reading skills, ages 12 to 20, for each week. The workshop accepts players of violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and French horn. Pianists with exceptionally good reading skills are also encouraged to apply.
Each year, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra takes on a dynamic new identity with the participation of both returning and new musicians. Through nationwide auditions, an extremely talented group of young professionals and students, of many nationalities, are selected to form the Spoleto Festival USA’s resident ensemble. The Orchestra works with the Festival’s Music Director for Opera & Orchestra, Emmanuel Villaume, as well as with guest conductors in opera, symphonic, choral, dance, chamber and contemporary music performances.
The Festival Orchestra is central to the international excellence of performance at Spoleto Festival USA and has, over the years, proven to be one of the finest opportunities for young musicians to gain extensive performance experience. Alumni of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra can be found in every professional orchestra in the United States.
This is run through San Francisco Conservatory.
There are a different weeks for different programs.
This is a part of UOP.
The Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific offers a uniquely rounded musical experience for emerging, talented orchestral players.
Selected musicians from around the world will play int eh SOAP Festival Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Arthur Arnold. Participants will take part in master classes, private lessons, chamber music concerts and will enjoy performances by outstanding faculty and the Victoria Symphony — the SOAP Orchestra in Residence.
The SOAP takes place in the town of Powell River on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada.
Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific
Attn: Artistic Director
7280 Kemano Street
Powell River, BC
Canada V8A 1M2
Established in 1940 under the leadership of former BSO Music Director Serge Koussevitzky, the Tanglewood Music Center provides a rounded musical experience for emerging professional musicians of exceptional ability. Participants work with internationally renowned musicians, including members of the Boston Symphony and resident and guest artists, in a scenic environment of remarkable beauty.
Do keep in mind that this is for experienced musicians who have completed most or all of their training. They are well respected.
For the younger player, try the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (see below).
Also offered at Tanglewood for younger artists ages 15-18 and also adults are the programs of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI), two to eight week programs June 20-August 14, 2004.
Their Young Artists Programs are offered in Orchestra and Chamber Music, Wind Ensemble and Chamber Music, Voice, Composition, Piano, and Harp. Workshops take place over two-week periods, with concentrations in orchestral instruments and string quartets.
BUTI offers Adult Music Seminars (AMS) on BSO performance repertoire in the form of weekly classes, rehearsal, and concert attendance.
For complete information, please contact:
Boston University Tanglewood Institute
855 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Telephone: 617-353-3386 or 1-800-643-4796
Email: [email protected]
The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival was founded in 1990 to provide young professional musicians with a challenging musical environment in which to develop skills in orchestral, chamber music, and solo performance. The four-week orchestral fellowship program on the University of Houston campus is guided by distinguished artists from the Moores School of music faculty, members of the Houston Symphony, and internationally recognized guests, many of whom perform as soloists with the festival orchestra and on the festival’s chamber music concerts.
-Four-week residency program in orchestral and chamber music performance
-Full tuition fellowship
-Geared towards college, graduate, or young professonal players. Self-motivated and responsible younger students may apply.
-International musical community from the U.S. and over fifteen (15) countries in 2004
-Faculty comprises guest artists, members of the houston symphony, and faculty of the Moores School of music
-Chamber music coachings
-Faculty artist chamber music series
University of Houston, Texas’ premier urban research university, is located on a beautiful park-like campus in the country’s fourth largest city.
Rebecca and John J. Moores School of Music Building, a spacious 144,000 square foot facility.
Moores Opera House, an 800-seat hall praised for its acoustical excellence and celebrated mural by Frank Stella.
-Four weekly orchestral programs
-Student chamber music concerts
-Master classes with artist faculty and guests
University of Houston | School of Music
David Ashley White | Director
In association with
Texas A&M University | Summer Performance Series
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion