Pre-College String Chamber

June 24 - 30, 2018

For viola, violin and cello players completing grades 8-12

Designed for senior high violin, viola, and cello students, this program focuses on strengthening musicianship and fundamental techniques through string chamber music. Classes include technique and repertoire sessions, masterclasses, individual practice, and daily seminars. Students are exposed to a wide range of repertoire and gain perspective on all facets of string practice and chamber performance. Established (pre-formed) chamber groups of at least three musicians are encouraged; however, all interested string players can apply.

Application Instructions:

All interested students should complete the ISYM online application. Applications for pre-formed groups will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and priority will be given to groups who apply by May 21. Pre-formed group members should apply separately and then email ISYM@illinois.edu to indicate the members of the group. A recording is not required for acceptance. Placement Recordings Once accepted to ISYM, all Pre-College String Chamber participants will need to submit a placement recording. These recordings determine the performance level of pre-formed groups and help us place individual applicants into chamber ensembles with performers of similar ability. This recording should be submitted after you apply and are accepted into the Pre-College String Chamber program. You do not need this recording at the time of application, and it does not determine acceptance into the Pre-College String Chamber program. The recording should be about 5 minutes long and include a good representation of your abilities as a player. The recording is for placement only, it is not an admissions audition for ISYM. There will be no live audition on the first day of the String Chamber program. For more information on submitting your recording, refer to the String Chamber Welcome Letter.

Here is what a typical day in the Pre-College String Chamber Institute will look like:

  • 8:30- 9:30 am:  Individual Practice/Lessons
  • 9:45- 10:45 am: Chamber coaching/Rehearsal
  • 11:00- noon:  Individual Practice/ lessons
  • Noon- 1:00: lunch
  • 1:15- 2:15 pm:  Chamber coaching/Rehearsal
  • 2:30- 3:30 pm: Group Master Class/ Rehearsal
  • 3:45-4:45 pm: Electives
  • 5:15 pm: Dinner and evening activities
  • 10:30 pm- lights out

Click Here for Program Costs.

The Jupiter String Quartet

Nelson Lee, violin 
Megan Freivogel, violin
Liz Freivogel, viola
Daniel McDonough, cello

The Jupiter String Quartet is a particularly intimate group, consisting of violinists Nelson Lee and Meg Freivogel, violist Liz Freivogel (older sister of Meg), and cellist Daniel McDonough (husband of Meg, brother-in-law of Liz). Formed in 2002, the members of this tightly-knit ensemble make it their mission to spread a love of chamber music through both performing and teaching. In addition to touring throughout the United States and abroad, the Jupiters are Artists-in-Residence at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, where they maintain private studios and run the string chamber music program. The quartet also places a strong emphasis on developing relationships with future classical music audiences through outreach work in schools and other educational performances. They believe that chamber music, because of the intensity of its interplay and communication, is one of the most effective ways of spreading an enthusiasm for “classical” music to new audiences.

Rudolph Haken, Viola, The University of Illinois

Rudolf Haken is a violist and composer internationallyrenowned for his creative melding of disparate musicalstyles and genres. He is particularly known for his work with extended-range violas, appearing in concert on four continents with his Rivinus five-string viola and Jensen six-string electric viola. Performances of his compositions, including numerous commissioned works, have met with great success both in live performance and recordings. In September 2012, violinist Rachel Barton Pine premiered Rudolf Haken’s solo violin work Faust at Chicago’s Beethoven Festival. Pine had commissioned this work from Haken as part of an effort to bring heavy metal influence into solo acoustic violin music. In April 2011, Haken’s Violin Concerto for Stefan Milenkovich was premiered at the NOMUS Festival (Novi Sad, Serbia) and at Kolarac Hall in Belgrade. A Centaur CD of concertos composed by Rudolf Haken was chosen as a 2007 “Critics’ Choice” by American Record Guide. In 2004, WTTW-Chicago produced a video featuring Haken performing his transcriptions of Van Halen and Metallica on a Jensen five-string electric viola. This video was shown frequently in passenger areas at O’Hare and Midway airports in Chicago.

Read more about Professor Haken.