June 23–August 14, 2018

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.

We consider orchestra, private study and chamber music each to be vital components of the instrumental program and our schedule illustrates this. The orchestra rehearses daily for the majority of the seven weeks and performs its concerts in Chautauqua’s newly renovated (in 2017) 4,400-seat Amphitheater. Each instrumentalist receives six private lessons with a member of the faculty and is scheduled for a minimum of 12 hours of reserved practice time each week. There are 2 distinct phases of chamber music for every student to participate in. Most students are engaged by an integrated three-phase mock audition component comprising of: psychology, performance and debriefing providing priceless insight into the professional road ahead. String players should note that there is a Resident Luthier on site who holds regular hours in Lenna Hall.

The MSFO is a major component of the curriculum and attracts musicians from leading music programs across the United States and around the world. Timothy Muffitt, music director of the Baton Rouge Symphony and the Lansing Symphony, is the principal conductor for the six-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 2018, the concerts are scheduled for July 2, July 9, July 18 (joint collaboration with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra), July 23, August 6 and August 13.

2017 MSFO Repertoire

Apply Today :: MSFO

070517 First music school festival orchestra mpo 056Chautauqua welcomes applications from talented students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin or religious background. Admission is by application and audition for full-term students.

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msfo teachingEach 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.

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Cost & General Information

070517 First music school festival orchestra mpo 107Living costs, meal plans, tuition and deposit requirements for the upcoming season.

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Housing and Student Life

bellinger2Students live in our dorms side by side with other musicians, dancers and visual artists forming relationships that last a lifetime.

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Guest Artists and Master Classes

07xx17 flutemasterclass ec340Chautauqua'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.

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MSFO Chamber Music

20170803 ls 03722Chamber 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.

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