Talented Young Musicians to Attend the Chamber Music Institute at Holy Cross

Talented young musicians from around the world will descend on the College of the Holy Cross June 22 – 27 to attend the selective Chamber Music Institute. This is the second year the College has run the intensive program, which aims to develop chamber music skills and nurture the individual talent of violinists, violists, cellists and pianists. Established in 2014 by Jan Müller-Szeraws, artistic director of the program, and fellow Artists-in- Residence Adam Golka and Saul Bitran, the institute brings together young musicians and garners them the opportunity to learn from and perform with internationally renowned faculty at the beautiful facilities at the College. The program, mentored and inspired by Distinguished Professor of Humanities Shirish Korde and Loyola Professor of Music Osvaldo Golijov has an intensive week-long curriculum that will culminate with two concerts in Brooks Concert Hall, both are free and open to the public.

The first of the two concerts will feature music by Brahms, Schumann, Mozart, Dvorak, Beethoven and Ravel on Friday, June 26 at 7 p.m. The second concert will feature music by Shostakovich, Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven, Dvorak and Brahms on Saturday, June 27, at 2 p.m.

There are 16 participants in the program this year between the ages of 14 -35 and hail from across the U.S., Korea, Colombia and Costa Rica.

Admission to the program is a highly selective process. Applicants to the program must provide two YouTube videos of contrasting pieces, which they feel are representative of their abilities and current level. Thanks to a generous gift given by John and Janis Raguin, the program offers full scholarship to all selected participants.

During their time on campus the musicians will be assigned two pieces of music, one piece will be coached from an outside perspective by faculty members, the other will include a faculty member playing with the participants in the ensemble. These two types of interaction give students the benefit of traditional coaching as well as the opportunity to witness from a non-verbal perspective how the coaches approached the pieces from within the ensemble and being on equal footing with them during the performance.

“Chamber music is an incredible laboratory capable of shining light on the complexities of the human condition. It is a humbling path capable of leading to the most beautiful feelings of unity, self-realization and respect for each other,” says Müller-Szeraws.“Working on the great masterpieces of the classical chamber music repertoire teaches us true teamwork, transcending the individual ego, putting ourselves at the service of a greater cause and instilling in us awe and gratefulness for this marvelous art-form.”

Daily from 3 to 5 p.m. students will attend workshops that feature: percussion with a global perspective from Marcus Santos of Grooversity; exploration of the Alexander Technique from Tommy Thompson of the Alexander Technique Center in Cambridge; a graphic analysis of the notation of musical hierarchies and its application to the introduction of Mozart’s “Dissonance Quartet” from Eric Wen of the Julliard School/Curtis Institute of Music; Gabriella Diaz a concert violinist will discuss a fearless approach to a contemporary repertoire; and Chris Arrell, associate professor of music at Holy Cross will discuss music technology in performance and practice.

Selected students will have the opportunity to play their solo repertoire in a featured master-class. Faculty members will engage the students and each other and explore the students’ performance as departing points and bring light to the diverse aspects of music making. The group will foster open discussion on technical advice, music interpretation, and the spiritual resonance of playing music in today’s society.

Learn more about the Chamber Music Institute