Instrumental Program

Session 1: June 22 – July 13, 2019
Session 2: July 13 – August 3, 2019
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Priority Deadline: January 21, 2019

Instruments used in this program:

I really enjoyed being able to work with so many other musicians. I played in three regular chamber groups and I also played for four student composer groups. I was able to play both traditional classical music as well as music written by composers at the Festival. I feel like being able to play with so many musicians with different opinions helped me to grow as a player and I was able to become more confident in my own musical ideas.
—Holly Workman

Program Overview

The Bowdoin International Music Festival is one of the world’s premiere music institutes, providing an intensive and in-depth exploration of chamber and solo music. Every summer, 250 students make life-long connections with peers, enhance musicianship through study and performance, and engage with world-renowned faculty.

Festival faculty come to Bowdoin from leading conservatories including Curtis, Cincinnati Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman, Indiana, Oberlin, Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes, New England Conservatory, Peabody, Rice, Royal College of Music, and University of Southern California, among others. At Bowdoin, these faculty members are dedicated to collaborating with and guiding the next generation’s most promising artists.

Festival alumni are represented in major orchestras, renowned ensembles, and conservatories worldwide. Notable alumni include Jennifer Koh, Emanuel Ax, Paul Neubauer, Anne Akiko Meyers, James Austin Smith, Derek Bermel, Ray Chen, and many others. Alumni are also represented in chamber ensembles such as the Parker, Dover, Navarra, and Pacifica String Quartets, and Manhattan Chamber Players.

Festival students are defined by their dedication, creativity, curiosity, and passion for excellence in music. A summer at the Festival surrounds students with like-minded peers while offering opportunities and resources to realize these passions, bring joy through music to the lives of others, and prepare for meaningful lives in the arts.

Program Details




  • Flexible schedule
  • Free Tickets to events
  • HD video recordings of performances
  • Live streaming of performances and masterclasses
  • Photo sessions with photographer-in-residence

Scholarships and Program Fees

  • The Festival is committed to enrolling all admitted applicants regardless of financial need. Please review our scholarship opportunities to learn more about applying for financial aid.
  • Program fees

Application Requirements

Audition videos

Please submit two contrasting pieces of any length that best represent your current level of playing. An accompanist is encouraged, but not required. Videos may be uploaded or linked from youtube or vimeo.

Resident Assistant

If you would like to be considered for a resident assistant (RA) position, you must complete the RA portion of the application.

Pre-formed Groups

Each instrumentalist must apply individually and be accepted. The group will be coached together, but members will be treated as individuals for the purpose of admissions, financial assistance, and housing assignments.

Letter of Recommendation

You will need to provide your recommenders email address. Please tell them to expect an email from SlideRoom requesting an electronic submission of your recommendation.

Financial Assistance

If you would like to be considered for financial assistance from the Festival, you must complete the financial assistance section of the application.

Application Fee

Non-refundable application fee.

  • $79 on or before 11:59 pm EST on January 21, 2019
  • $149 after 11:59 pm EST on January 21, 2019

The best part of the Festival was the chance to experience top-level teaching and gain a new sense of musical independence. My instructors are such amazing teachers and inspiring individuals. I’ll carry what I learned from them for a very long time.
—Bowie Ma

Apply to Bowdoin Festival

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