Aspen Music Festival And School

Center for Advanced Quartet Studies Back To Programs of Study /...

Important Information
  • Four-week program: July 5-August 1, 2021
  • Groups are invited to arrive in Aspen as early as June 22 to begin rehearsing.
  • Open to pre-existing ensembles
  • All students receive fellowships covering tuition and stipend for off-campus housing
  • Video audition recordings are required
  • Group resume, individual biographies, repertoire list, and 2 letters of recommendation are required
Fees & Deadlines
Deadline: January 5, 2021
Application open September 1, 2020

Application Fee

$25 September 1-15, 2020
$60 September 16-December 1, 2020
$125 December 2, 2020-January 5, 2021

Pacifica Quartet
Escher String Quartet
American String Quartet
James Dunham
Sylvia Rosenberg
Donald Weilerstein


The Center for Advanced Quartet Studies is this country's premier training program for emerging string quartets. Alumni of the Center are among today's celebrated quartets and have won numerous prestigious chamber music awards and competitions. Instructors and coaches include members of the world's preeminent string quartets: the Pacifica Quartet (Simin Ganatra, Austin Hartman, Mark Holloway, and Brandon Vamos), the Escher String Quartet (Adam Barnett-Hart, Pierre Lapointe, Brendan Speltz, and Brook Speltz), the American String Quartet (Peter Winograd, Laurie Carney, Daniel Avshalomov, and Wolfram Koessel), as well as James Dunham (former member of the Cleveland Quartet, current member of the Axelrod String Quartet), Donald Weilerstein (former member of the Cleveland Quartet), and Sylvia Rosenberg (violin pedagogue and chamber musician).

Invited groups will immerse themselves in their preparations in a spectacular and inspiring environment. All participants will receive a fellowship that covers tuition and includes a stipend to use toward securing off-campus housing. Fellows are not required to be in Aspen until Sunday, July 4. However, we understand that many groups do not have the luxury of rehearsing together immediately prior to their Aspen residency and so fellows are invited to arrive as early as June 22. With proof of residency (lease agreement), the housing stipend will be extended by one week’s proration. Beginning, Monday, July 5, four weeks of intensive study devoted exclusively to quartet repertoire and performance practice will ensue.

Participating quartets can expect a rigorous schedule of daily studio and master classes along with four-six hours of rehearsal, public master classes, and individual and group formal program recitals in addition to numerous other public performances.  Students have the option to study privately with members of the Pacifica Quartet while in residence. They also may participate in the full spectrum of musical activities offered by the AMFS including concerts, recitals, lectures, panels, and more.

Admitted groups will be expected to participate in a number of community engagement activities and performances.

The Center for Advanced Quartet Studies was established by Claus Adam and Gordon Hardy through the generosity of Mrs. Jane W. Kitselman.

How to Apply


  • Group resume required
  • Individual biographies required
  • Repertoire list required
  • Two letters of recommendation required
  • One member of the ensemble should apply under their name on behalf of the group

Quartet members may simultaneously apply as individuals for the Orchestra/Instrumental Program and for the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies opportunity. Applicants who are interested in applying on their instrument for the Orchestra/Instrumental Program must submit a second application and the applicable fee at the time of submission. .

Audition Repertoire

Please note: There is no live audition.

Recorded Audition

VIDEO recording of a first movement from a quartet of Mozart, Haydn or Beethoven (Op. 18) and a second contrasting movement from a quartet of a different time period of the ensemble’s choosing. Please upload these as two separate video files.



Recording Specifications
  • Recordings must be recent: made no more than three months prior to application.
  • Each excerpt or work must be played through without stopping.
  • All excerpts and works must be uploaded in the order listed.
  • Please label each upload with the name of the excerpt or work. DO NOT include your name.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO