Instrumental Program

Session 1: JUNE 22 – JULY 13, 2024
Session 2: JULY 13 – AUGUST 3, 2024
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2024 Applications Closed

Instruments used in this program:

Program Overview: every summer, the Festival’s instrumental program provides an intensive and in-depth exploration of chamber and solo music for 250 students. The summer institute offers lessons, studio classes, coachings with Festival faculty, and ample performance opportunities. Festival students are defined by their dedication, creativity, curiosity, and passion for excellence in music. A summer at the Festival brings together 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. Festival alumni are represented in major orchestras, renowned ensembles, and conservatories worldwide. Notable alumni include Emanuel Ax, Derek Bermel, Ray Chen, Jennifer Koh, Anne Akiko Meyers, Paul Neubauer, James Austin Smith, Alisa Weilerstein and many others. Alumni are also represented in chamber ensembles such as the Parker, Dover, Navarra, Pacifica, and Escher String Quartets, Horszowski Trio, and Manhattan Chamber Players.

Visit ADMISSIONS HOME for information about program fees, student life, and the application process.

Instrument Note: wind players (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn) are accepted in our Fellowship Program.

By The Numbers



3 or 6










Audition 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.

Percussion Audition Videos: please submit a multi-percussion solo, a 4-mallet solo, a 2-mallet solo (or a few orchestral excerpts), and a snare drum solo (or a few orchestral excerpts). Applicants may substitute chamber works for one or two of these solos, for instance Puts's "And Legions Will Rise" or Akiho's "LIgNEouS 1" instead of the 4-mallet solo. Videos may be uploaded or linked from YouTube or Vimeo.

Admitted Students will also have live chamber music placement auditions over Zoom in advance of the Festival (Session One: Late May; Session Two: Early July). Please prepared to play 2-5 minutes of a solo piece of your choice.

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.

Study at the Bowdoin Music Festival

Hear from the Festival's artistic directors and students about what it's like studying at Bowdoin.


  • Private lessons with esteemed faculty (1 per week)
  • Studio classes
  • Chamber music (2 coachings per week)
  • Ample practice time
  • Composer lectures
  • Seminars with faculty and guest artists


  • Young Artist Series performances
  • Community Concert performances
  • Masterclasses
  • Collaborations with student composers
  • Festival orchestra


  • Flexible schedule
  • Free tickets to faculty concerts
  • Livestream of performances and masterclasses
  • HD video recordings of performances
  • Photo sessions with Festival photographer

Apply to Bowdoin Festival

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