August 18-22, 2020
University of Washington, Seattle
Join internationally renowned artists for a week of intensive exploration of the chamber music repertoire at the University of Washington School of Music.
Applicants should be skilled amateur musicians who wish to develop their chamber music skills to a high level in an intense week of music making. Participants will be put into groups with a similar level and repertoire interest to participate in daily rehearsals, coachings, masterclasses as well as informal lectures and performances given by faculty artists. Groups will also have a chance to showcase their work and perform for a public audience at the end of the week.
- Application deadline: March 15th
- Notification of admission: March 29th
- Course Fee due: June 15th
Required Application Materials: one solo and one chamber music video recording, repertoire list and brief statement of background and musical experience. Pre-formed groups are welcome to apply as a group, or as individuals.
10 am - 12:30 pm Rehearsal
12:30 pm - 2 pm Lunch
2 pm - 3:30 pm Coaching
4 pm - 5:30 pm Town Hall Seminar/Masterclass
Dinner on your own
8 pm Evening voluntary sight reading party
Ieva Jokubaviciute - Piano
Benjamin Peled - Violin
Benjamin Peled, originally from Chicago, was appointed to the first violin section of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam, in 2006. In addition to performing as a guest Concertmaster for the Staatskapelle Berlin, and Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, he has also led as a Concertmaster for the Houston and Vancouver Symphonies. He has performed as a member of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra as well as having made guest appearances with the Mahler and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras. Peled is a founding member of the award-winning Alma Quartet (www.almaquartet.com), who’s 2016 debut album “Schulhoff The Complete String Quartets” was named to the prestigious German Record Critic’s Prize “best list”. He has collaborated with such artists as Menahem Pressler, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Lisa Batiasvhili, Denis Kozhukhin, and Guy Braunstein, and has been featured as a chamber musician in concert halls such as the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Seoul Arts Center, Hamarikyu-Asahi Hall Tokyo, Kleine Zaal of the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, as well as at the Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival. A former student of William Preucil and Paul Kantor, Peled plays on a violin by J.B. Vuillaume on generous loan from the Stichting Donateurs Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest.
Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir - UW Music Assistant Professor, Cello
“Riveting” (NYTimes) cellist, Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir, has appeared as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, Toronto and Iceland Symphonies, among others, and her recital and chamber music performances have taken her across the US, Europe and Asia. Following the release of her debut recording of Britten’s Suites for Solo Cello on Centaur Records, she has performed in some of the world’s greatest halls including Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall and Disney Hall. The press have described her as “charismatic” (NYTimes) and praised her performances for their “emotional intensity” (LATimes).
An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated in performance with Itzhak Perlman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode and members of the Emerson, Guarneri, St. Lawrence and Cavani Quartets and has performed in numerous chamber music festivals, including Santa Fe, Seattle, Orcas Island, Bay Chamber, Prussia Cove and Marlboro, with whom she has toured. She is cellist of the Seattle-based group, Frequency, and cellist and founding member of Decoda, The Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall.
The 2018-2019 season started with a national TV appearance with the Iceland Symphony on their annual “Our Classics” program. Also this season, Sæunn makes her debut with the BBC and Seattle Symphonies performing the award-winning cello concerto, Quake, written for her by Páll Ragnar Pálsson. Chamber music appearances take her to Carnegie Hall in New York City, Seoul, Glasgow, Cleveland and Los Angeles, as well as recitals in Reykjavík, and Chicago following the Spring 2019 release of her recording of Icelandic solo cello music on the Sono Luminus label.
Highlights of the 2017-2018 season include the US premiere of Betsy Jolas’ Wanderlied and the Hong Kong premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina’s Canticle of the Sun, as well as recitals and chamber music appearances in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, Glasgow, London and Reykjavík. In addition to commissioning Daníel Bjarnason to write his piece for multi-track celli, Bow to String, Sæunn enjoys close working relationships with composers of our time such as Páll Ragnar Pálsson, Halldór Smárason, Melia Watras, Jane Antonia Cornish and Þuríður Jónsdóttir.
Sæunn has garnered numerous top prizes in international competitions, including the Naumburg Competition and the Antonio Janigro Competition in Zagreb. She received a Bachelor of Music from the Cleveland Institute of Music, a Master of Music from The Juilliard School and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from SUNY Stony Brook. Her teachers and mentors include Richard Aaron, Tanya Carey, Colin Carr and Joel Krosnick.
Born in Reykjavík, Iceland, Sæunn serves on the faculty of the University of Washington in Seattle, teaching cello and chamber music. For more information, please visit www.saeunn.com