Eastman Cello Institute

UPDATE (May 16, 2023): We are no longer accepting auditions for this summer’s institute.

INS 417
Eastman Cello Institute – a three-week program
June 25-July 14, 2023 / Monday-Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (plus some evenings)
Rooms: ESM 514, Ciminelli Formal Lounge

Faculty: Cora Swenson Lee, Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan Universities; Lisa Caravan, Eastman School of Music; Daniel Ketter, Missouri State University
Guest faculty: Alan Harris, Eastman School of Music; David Ying, Eastman School of Music; Jennifer Carpenter, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; John Delmonico, Delmonico and Dugdale Strings; additional guest presenters TBA

The Eastman Cello Institute is a three-week intensive course designed to help students develop strategies for learning and mastering the cello. Instruction will focus on techniques for healthy playing and longevity at the instrument, as well as techniques specific to solo, collaborative, and orchestral repertoire. Students will receive lessons with faculty members, participate in daily technique classes, and attend special topics workshops such as injury prevention, practice strategies, and  instrument maintenance.

Participants will have several performance opportunities over the three weeks, including daily performance classes, and recitals featuring Cello Ensembles, Bach Suites, and collaborative works with piano. Specific repertoire to be performed will be assigned upon acceptance and in consultation with each student’s private teacher. Participants will be working from the Eastman Cello Institute Technique Book (free with registration).

Daily Schedule:

9-10 Technique Class
10-12 lessons/ rehearsals with piano
12-1 lunch
1:15-2:45 Performance Class/Masterclasses/Orchestral Repertoire classes
3-5 lessons/ rehearsals with piano
5-6 dinner
6-8 cello ensemble rehearsals / special topics workshops

Special Topics Workshops will include:

  • Injury Prevention 
  • Practice Strategies
  • Eurhythmics 
  • Improvisation 
  • Instrument Maintenance 
  • The Bottom Line – from continuo bass lines to Bach
  • New piece premiere with the featured composer of the Cello Teaching Repertoire Consortium

View/download the 2023 Eastman Cello Institute schedule

Faculty Concerts: (will be livestreamed)

Faculty “Cellobration” concert (cello and chamber ensembles featuring Cello Institute faculty): 
Thursday July 6, 7:30 pm Hatch Hall

Participant Concerts: (all concerts will be livestreamed!)

Student Unaccompanied Recital: Friday, July 7, 7:30 p.m. in Hatch Recital Hall
Student Cello Ensemble Concert: Saturday July 8, 3:00 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall
Student Collaborative Recital I: Thursday July 13, 7:30 p.m. in Hatch Recital Hall
Student Collaborative Recital II: Friday July 14, 7:30 p.m. in Hatch Recital Hall

***Please note that each participant will perform on only ONE of the Collaborative Recitals, and those dates will be determined at a later time. If you have family who would like to attend the final recitals in person, it is best to plan to attend both dates. If that is not possible, please put in a request for a specific date as soon as possible. Participants are required to attend all ECI faculty and student performances even if they are not performing themselves.

This institute is designed as a residential program; participants age 14 and older may reserve on-campus housing and meals at the Eastman Student Living Center. The housing cost includes three meals per day. Students must be 14 by the first day of the program in order to stay in the Student Living Center; students under age 14 may not stay on campus and will need to make alternate housing arrangements. Note that housing space is limited this year; please reserve early once you have confirmed you will attend. For information about on-campus housing and a list of resources for those staying off-campus, click here.

Orientation Session: Sunday, June 25, 6:30 p.m. (room TBA)

Planning your arrival and departure:
First scheduled activity: Orientation Session, Sunday June 25, 6:30 p.m. (room TBA)
Last scheduled activity: Student Collaborative Recital II, Friday July 14, 7:30-9:30 p.m., Hatch Recital Hall

Professional Development Hours: 100
$2,300 / noncredit (institute tuition only)
$3,920 / tuition with housing and meals   

“I’ve learned so much about healthy and effective cello habits and technique and can already see improvement in my playing. The faculty are very kind and insightful.” — 2022 Cello Institute participant



Important Deadlines/Dates:

Starting January 15 – applications accepted (auditions will be reviewed as they are received)
April 15 – final application deadline
April 25 – deadline for students to accept or decline invitation
May 15 – final registration deadline

Application Procedure:

Admittance is by audition only. Class size is limited to 16 spots; auditions will be reviewed as they are received. There is no fee to audition for this institute. 

Click the link at the bottom of this page to use our online Audition Form. Auditions must be received by April 15, 2023.

Required materials: (examples provided in application guidelines document, below)

  • Résumé, including name and contact information of your current teacher and information on which school (high school or college) you will be attending the following school year (if applicable)
  • Short biography
  • Letter of recommendation from current teacher – letters can be included with your audition materials or sent in either of the following ways:

Audition requirements:

  • Two 3-octave scales and arpeggios (1 major and 1 minor key of your choice)
  • 1 etude or 1 orchestral excerpt 
  • 1 movement of Bach
  • 1 movement of a solo piece of your choice that best represents your technical and artistic abilities
    Applicants are encouraged to present repertoire by composers who have been traditionally underrepresented by virtue of their gender, race, ethnicity, or cultural heritage.
    Search composers using the following database links:
    Anna’s Composer Database: https://annascomposerdatabase.com
    Institute for Composer Diversity: https://www.composerdiversity.com/
    or resources available here: https://libguides.esm.rochester.edu/c.php?g=1057653&p=7705809 

Audition video instructions:

  • All videos must be shot facing directly at the student (no side-angles); camera should be placed between 5-15 feet from the student so that face and both arms are clearly shown
  • Each required audition selection must be recorded as a separate video
  • All videos must be uploaded to YouTube (unlisted or public videos preferred; private videos don’t work)
  • Please compile all file links into one Word document as shown in the “Audition Video Links” template below (do not forward individual videos to the Summer@Eastman office)
  • Links should be “active” so that videos can be viewed directly from your document (you may wish to test this before submitting your audition)

Application material templates:

You may use existing résumés or biographies if you have them; these templates are provided in case you need help putting information together.

Short Biography
Audition Video Links

Please follow this format (or very similar) for your application materials. This will help us get to know you as thoroughly as possible through your application!

Audition deadline: Please send your résumé, short biography, recommendation letter, and recordings by April 15, 2023.

Read our blog: New Pedagogical Works for Advancing Young Cellists