Application due date
extended to March 30, 2017
(Electronic or print & send applications)

August 7-17, 2017
Announcing the 2017 High Peaks Program For Outstanding Instrumentalists

Scholarships Available

We are now accepting applications for the end-of-summer intensive 10-day seminar in Rensselaerville, NY August 7 through 17, 2017 for violinists, violists, cellists and pianists.   For those of you who are returning, there's no need to describe the beauty of the mountaintop and the scenery that inspired some of America's greatest painters; the fresh air, local farm food, and inspiring serenity, not to mention the exhilarating lessons and classes with teachers from top conservatories; and the wonderful international young artists who gather.

Photo Credit: Arthur Dominguez, videography & photography
Patty Donar, photography

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In past summers, students presented concerts at the historic Olana estate on the Hudson River, at Basilica Hudson, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, Clermont State Historic Site, and at the Orpheum Theater in Tannersville, NY, and enjoyed community hospitality at house concerts and soirees. Most participants feel that the musical and instrumental progress and growth achieved during this session outdoes an entire semester back at school, and the bonding and friendships that are formed add a memorable dimension to the experience. Our alumni are enjoying careers in all spheres of music—as members of ensembles, conductors, teachers, and soloists.


Photo Credit: Arthur Dominguez, videography & photography
Patty Donar, photography

The total cost for the 2017 edition of Catskill High Peaks Festival is $1,450 for housing, meal plan, private lessons, master classes, performance opportunities, hikes, picnics, etc.  The campus of the Carey Institute for Global Good offers superb accommodations and recreational facilities, including tennis, swimming and kayaking.  We will continue our chamber music component of coachings (sonatas, piano trios and quartets, string quartets and quintets, cello chorus) with some of today's most esteemed artists and teachers including pianist Michael Chertock (CCM); violinists Irina Muresanu (Boston Conservatory and University of Maryland) and Peter Zazofsky (Boston University); violists Michael Strauss (Oberlin) and Pierre Henri Xuereb (Paris Conservatoire); and cellists Yehuda Hanani (CCM), Alexander Baillie (Birmingham Conservatoire, UK and Bremen Hochschule, Germany), and DoYeon Kim (CCM) as well as Baroque specialists Paul Dwyer (Acronym, Chicago Lyric Opera) and Adriane Post (Apollo’s Fire and Handel and Haydn Society); and collaborative piano faculty Mikael Darmanie (SUNY Stony Brook) and Miki Sawada. New this year is an opportunity for mandolin players to work with Vincent Beer-Demander (Royal Conservatory Liège). This will be an outstanding group of committed instrumentalists, and we manage to have a lot of fun as we delve deeper into the music and advance technically.

  • Late night jamming and "Moonlight Sonatas" performances by participants.

  • Workshops on technique, historically-informed performance, cultural context for music.

  • Individualized guidance for going beyond the notes for performances that communicate meaning.

  • Sessions on ensemble skills--matching timbre, honing intonation, and cultivating a holistic view of the score.

  • Trips to local sites of significance and interest: former whaling town Hudson, NY, now enjoying a cultural renaissance; and access to the Hudson Valley.

  • A focus in 2017 on the Romantics, the Baroque, and women composers.
  • Opportunity to participate in “Buddy Day” with El Sistema-trained kids.

  • Talks by leading composers and scholars
Students who can demonstrate an advanced level of musicianship are encouraged to inquire about applying. We look forward to sharing the magic of music in the mountains.


Non refundable application fee $75.00

Download your application (print and send)


Non refundable application fee  $75.00.
For accepted applicants, fee will be applied to cost total.

Other Payment Options
Call us directly with your credit card at 800.843.0778 or
Send a check made out to Close Encounters With Music--Catskill High Peaks

Mail to:
Catskill High Peaks Festival
c/o Close Encounters With Music
PO Box 34
Great Barrington, MA 01230

Available scholarship awards based on need and merit


Catskill High Peaks Festival   PO Box 34  Great Barrington, MA  01230 
Toll-free 800-843-0778 / email:

Donations are made through Close Encounters With Music a non-profit organization. 
Your contributions are tax exempt to the amount permitted by law.

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