June 24–August 7, 2023
For our 2023 season, Chautauqua will require all enrolled students to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by the time of arrival unless a medical exemption is secured by March 15. Please email email@example.com for more information on medical exemptions.
Each summer we enroll 82 of the most promising young instrumentalists from here and abroad to join us for an exciting summer of music making. Our students are typically 18 to 28 and enrolled in (or recently graduated from) undergraduate or graduate studies. On occasion, we do admit a high school student who is advanced enough and ready to undertake seven weeks of intensive study.
The School of Music at Chautauqua considers orchestral work, private study, and chamber music each to be vital components of the program. The orchestra rehearses daily for the majority of the summer and performs its concerts in Chautauqua’s newly renovated (in 2017) 4,400-seat outdoor Amphitheater. Other facets of orchestral study include sectionals, repertoire classes and mock auditions all run by our professional faculty. Topics covered include the psychology of auditioning, performance issues/anxiety, and instant feedback providing priceless insight into the professional road ahead.
Our chamber music program runs throughout the festival and includes a 10-day intensive period during which the orchestra does not meet, allowing the students to be fully focused on their chamber music projects. Students receive regular coaching from our distinguished faculty and have multiple performance opportunities. Many of the ensembles mix with our voice, piano and even theater and dance programs to provide a wide and diverse offering of performing experiences.
Private study rounds out the curriculum with each student receiving six private lessons with a member of our world-renowned faculty. Master classes from both resident and guest faculty are part of the program as well. Our climate-controlled practice cabins provide an ideal environment for the personal work that goes into a summer of artistic growth.
String players should note that there is a Resident Luthier on site who holds regular hours in Lenna Hall.
Timothy Muffitt, music director of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Laureate of the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, is the principal conductor for the concert series by the MSFO. There are no auditions for seating, all sections are rotated for each concert.
The Music School Festival Orchestra is underwritten by the Hultquist Foundation of Jamestown, NY.
In 2023, the concerts are scheduled for July 3, July 10, July 17 (with the Chautauqua Opera Conservatory), July 24 (with the School of Dance) and August 7.
Get Instrumental Program information
The 2023 School of Music welcomes applications from all pre-professional students. All eligible musicians will be considered with no preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability, or age. Applications open on November 1.
Each instrumentalist receives six private lessons with a member of the faculty. Students are welcome to practice in our new air-conditioned cabins located on the campus.
Cost & Concert Attire
Living costs, meal plans, tuition and deposit requirements for the upcoming season.
Housing and Student Life
Students live in our dorms side by side with other musicians, dancers and visual artists forming relationships that last a lifetime.
Guest Artist and Master Classes
Chautauqua’s music festival is peppered with a rich master class program that caters to each individual student. During the seven-week festival over 50 public master classes will be held and all students are encouraged to attend and learn technique from masters outside of their primary study.
Instrumental Chamber Music
Chamber Music is scheduled for all sections of the orchestra in two distinct phases. The first phase is with faculty coaches between weeks 2 to 4, and the second phase is with guest coaches and different repertoire between weeks 5 to 6.
Sigma Alpha Iota Competition
The Sigma Alpha Iota Philanthropies, Inc. Competition rotates annually among the three departments, in 2023 the competition will be held within the Opera Conservatory. Photo: Marie Engle, Mezzo, 2018 SAI Winner
Watch past Music School Festival Orchestra performances.