Young Artists Program

The Manchester Music Festival (MMF) Young Artists Program is a full scholarship, six-week intensive chamber music festival for string players and pianists, ages 18-26. Occurring annually every summer in scenic Manchester, Vermont, the 2017 Young Artists Program will take place from July 3 to August 13, 2017. Young Artists receive daily coaching sessions by a faculty composed of world-renowned artists and pedagogues.

2017 Musicians

cameron audrasCAMERON AUDRAS, viola
Audras began his viola studies at age 11. He is currently the principal violist of the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra, where he has been a member for seven years, and is employed by the American Youth Symphony. For the past three summers, Audras has studied and performed at the Center Stage Strings Music Festival at the University of Michigan on a full scholarship and the Credo Chamber Music Festival at the Oberlin Conservatory. He has served as a member of a string quartet in the Colburn School of Music’s Chamber Music Association. Audras is the first prize recipient of the Valley Talent Music Scholarship Competition, and is a current finalist in the Henry Schwab Violin and Viola Competition. He plans to attend the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music in the fall where he intends to continue his viola studies with professor Che-Yen Chen.




Francesco Barfoed

Francesco Barfoed, born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1996, has studied the piano since the age of 10. He attended the local music schools and a music-focused high school before enrolling at The Royal Danish Academy of Music, where he has been studying since 2015 with assistant professor Søren Rastogi. Francesco has always been a very active chamber musician, accompanist and soloist. He has performed with several renowned musicians; for example Danish clarinetist Jonas Frølund, with whom he has performed domestically, internationally, and live on the national radio in Denmark. His repertoire spans a wide range; from most clarinet/piano chamber music pieces to many trios as well as considerable soloworks such as Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto no. 1. Francesco wishes to continue his piano studies at Rutgers University, NJ, from the fall of 2017 and has received lessons and master classes with many honored professors, including Robert Lehrbaumer, Min Kwon, Eugen Indjic, James Giles, Daniel Epstein, Vladimir Valjarevic, Philip Kawin, Pavlina Dokovska, Juhani Lagerspetz and Matti Raekallio.

cory blaisCORY BLAIS, cello
Cory Blais is currently a student in the graduate program at the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin under Professor Bion Tsang. Mr. Blais performs with the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra, a graduate piano trio, and a newly formed cello quartet comprised of other graduate cellists in the studio of Professor Tsang. Aside from his academics in the Butler School of Music, he has joined the faculty of The University of Texas String Project, a program recognized as being one of the world’s finest for the training of teachers and the development of young talent. Within String Project, Mr. Blais enjoys teaching a large private studio, as well as classes on technique, repertoire, and music theory. In 2015, he received his Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from The Ohio State University under Mark Rudoff.




Patrice CalixtePATRICE CALIXTE, violin
Beginning the violin at the age of eight, Canadian violinist Patrice Calixthe was later admitted to an exceptionally competitive high school music program in Montréal, Québec where he studied with Francine Pépin. He then went on to study with Claude Richard at the Université de Montréal where he obtained his undergraduate and master’s degrees in music performance. Patrice will be moving to Austin, Texas this fall to start an Artist Diploma with Mr. Daniel Ching at the Butler School of Music. A very experienced orchestral musician, Patrice has freelanced with many orchestras in Québec and Ontario, including the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec and Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra. With regard to summer festivals, he was appointed concertmaster of the Orchestre de la Francophonie for three years in a row, and was selected to be part of the National Academy Orchestra for the past two summers. Patrice is now living in Calgary where he has a contract with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

Amelia Dietrich AMELIA DIETRICH, violin
A native of North Carolina, violinist Amelia Dietrich recently graduated from The Colburn School in Los Angeles where she was a student of renowned pedagogue Robert Lipsett. An avid chamber musician, she was a founding member of the Calla Quartet – silver medalists at the 2015 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. She has performed in chamber series all over the United States and Australia alongside artists Robert McDonald, Alessio Bax, Ida Kavafian, Ani Kavafian, Hagai Shaham, David Bowlin, Steve Tanenbom, Roger Tapping, Nicholas Chords, and Michael Kanen. Amelia has been coached by members of the Tokyo and Guarneri string quartets and has spent her summers performing at the Internationale Sommerakademie in Austria, Yellow Barn Young Artist Program, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and The Perlman Chamber Music Workshop. Amelia has been invited to perform multiple times with the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival and, more recently, was a featured soloist with the Concert on the Hill Series, both in New Hampshire. She previously studied with Ara Gregorian, distinguished professor at East Carolina University and will be attending Juilliard in the fall as a master’s candidate with Ida Kavafian. Amelia currently plays on a 1794 Johannes Cuypers violin.


Wynton GrantWYNTON GRANT, violin
American violinist and composer Wynton Grant has performed widely across the United States. Raised in Sheridan, WY, he began his violin studies at age seven, and the following year gave his public debut, winning first prize in the Stars of Tomorrow competition. He has been a winner of the Ars Flores Competition, and last fall was a finalist in the Orchestra Noir Collegiate Concerto Competition. He has performed in Carnegie Hall on multiple occasions, and has performed for the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York. Wynton graduated from Lynn Conservatory magna cum laude, and was honored to speak at convocation. While at Lynn, he studied with Elmar Oliveira, and he recently completed his Masters of Music degree at the Yale School of Music with Syoko Aki. Wyntonwill be continuing his studies this fall at the University of Southern California, where he will study with Dr. Lina Bahn. In his free time, Wynton enjoys making music, taking photographs, and is an avid world traveler. Follow his adventures on Instagram @Wyolinist for more.

Becca KasdanBECCA KASDAN, violin
Becca began her musical studies at the age of five. A native of Massachusetts, she studied for ten years at the New England Conservatory Preparatory Program with Magdalena Richter, Anait Arutunian, and Joshua Peckins. In 2012, Becca toured Argentina with the NEC Youth Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Hugh Wolff. The following year she became a member of Benjamin Zander’s Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and went on tour to Carnegie Hall. Becca currently studies with Violaine Melançon at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University where she serves as Co-Concertmaster of the Peabody Concert Orchestra. Additionally, she has had the privilege to perform in master classes for distinguished artists such as Midori Goto and perform in the Shriver Hall Concert Series at Johns Hopkins University. Deeply passionate about chamber music, Becca has also played in master classes for the Borromeo String Quartet and the Chiara String Quartet. She has toured Germany and Austria,performed in Lincoln Hall, NY, and has attended many prestigious summer music festivals. In addition, Becca is extremely devoted to bringing music into the community. She is co-principal of the Peabody String Sinfonia, a new, selective ensemble at Peabody Conservatory that performs exclusively at community venues. Becca has collaborated many times with the Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusetts, and the United Way and Creative Access projects in Baltimore, Maryland. Previous teachers have included Nicholas Kitchen, David and Linda Cerone, Elmar Oliviera, Joan Kwuon, Daniel Phillips, Brian Lewis, David Rubinstein, and Alexander Velinzon.

Benjamin LannersBENJAMIN LANNERS, cello
Benjamin Lanners is an eighteen-year-old cellist from a musical family; his parents are concert pianists and university music professors. He began his cello studies with Jeffrey Lastrapes at the age of eight, and subsequently studied with Dr. Meredith Blecha-Wells. Benjamin now studies with Norman Fischer, Professor of Cello and Director of Chamber Music at Rice University. Benjamin has performed in public master classes for Alan Harris, Brinton Averil Smith, Carter Enyeart, Miles Hoffman, and John Sharp among others. In the summer of 2015, Benjamin was one of 12 cellists in the country selected to play in the National Youth Orchestra-USA. The group of young musicians performed in Carnegie Hall before departing on a two-week tour of sold out concerts in China under the baton of legendary Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit. In the summer of 2016, Lanners joined the National Youth Orchestra once again for a performance at Carnegie Hall conducted by Christoph Eschenbach and a tour of major cities throughout Europe under the baton of Valery Gergiev. From 2014 to 2016, Benjamin participated in the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain. He was named Co-Principal Cello for all three years. In 2015 and 2016, Lanners performed in the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra, and as a winner of the Concerto Competition he performed Dvořák’s Cello Concerto with the ensemble in March of 2016. Benjamin was also a member of the Oklahoma All-State Orchestra (2014-2016), and the North Central Oklahoma Honors Orchestra (2010-2015). He performed with the Amici New York Orchestra in the 2014 and 2015 OK Mozart Festivals. Benjamin is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in cello performance at Rice University, class of 2020.

Jeremy Julio LauretaJEREMY JULIO (JAY) LAURETA, viola
NYC-based violist Jeremy (Jay) Julio Laureta took his first private lesson at Mannes Prep at the age of fourteen, and since then has been a national prize winner in competitions held by the National Federation of Music Clubs and the Music Teachers National Association. He has also been the recipient of fellowships from the Lake Tahoe, Texas, and National Music Festivals, and has been profiled and featured on Interlochen Public Radio and SiriusXM. Jay has served as a teaching assistant at the Dali Quartet International Music Festival and Interlochen Center for the Arts. As violist of the Madkoi Quartet, he has performed extensively in collaborations with composers, singer-songwriters, and the Italian fashion magazine Uomo Moderno in performances for the Italian royal family, AIDS charity (RED), and more. Jay studies with Karen Ritscher at the Manhattan School of Music on a full scholarship. He graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy under Renee Skerik at the age of sixteen with its highest musical honor, the Young Artist Award. His chamber music studies include mentorship from members of the Juilliard and American string quartets, and he currently studies contemporary music with Anne Lanzilotti. Prior to Manchester, he will be attending the Yellow Barn Young Artists Program and the Next Festival for Emerging Artists. Jay plays on a Douglas Cox viola, graciously on loan from the Virtu Foundation, and a bow borrowed from the American Viola Society. He is honored to be part of the Young Artists family.

In Ae LeeIN AE LEE, violin
In Ae Lee is a South Korean violinist. She made her first debut with Wonju Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 16. In Ae is a prize winner of CBS Broadcast Music Competition, International Music Competition by Music Association of Korea, Seoul City Venusto National Music Competition, Haydn International Competition, and Southern Methodist University’s Concerto Competition in Dallas, TX. In Ae participated in collaborative chamber recitals with distinguished artists such as Escher Quartet, Andres Diaz, Iggy Jang, and Parry Karp. She was also selected to be part of the honors chamber recital in Dallas, TX with her trio and string quartet. In Ae performed several recitals at Southern Methodist University and also appeared as a soloist with Onnuri Youth Orchestra (Korea), Meadows Symphony Orchestra (Dallas), and the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival Orchestra. In Ae recently performed with a Sejong Soloist String Orchestra at the United Nations. She was also invited to give a recital for a fund raising concert for the Wesley United Methodist Church in Carrolton, TX. In Ae studied for her Performer’s Diploma from Southern Methodist University with Chee Yun Kim and is currently studying for her bachelor’s degree at The Juilliard School with Hyo Kang.

Anna LeunisANNA LEUNIS, violin
Anna is a junior at the Eastman School of Music where she is pursuing her degree in violin performance with Oleh Krysa, as well as an English Literature degree at the University of Rochester. In 2010, Anna was awarded the Emerging Artist Scholarship by the Stamford Center for the Arts in Connecticut. In the summer of 2012, she toured as concertmistress of the Norwalk Youth Symphony in Spain and continued as the orchestra’s concertmistress until 2014. Anna won first place in the Stamford Youth Symphony concerto competition in 2014, and debuted the Sibelius violin Concerto with the orchestra. In 2013 and 2014, Anna’s quartet was invited to attend the Skidmore Music Festival. For six summers, her quartet also participated in the Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians. Anna has participated in master classes with Peter Oundjian, The Bentano Quartet, The Jerusalem Quartet, The Ying Quartet, The American Quartet, The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and the Lumina Quartet. Anna has also been part of the Intensive and Honors Chamber Music program at the Eastman School.

Feiyang LiFEIYANG LI, piano
Feiyang Li was born in Xuchang, China in 1995. She began studying the piano with a local teacher at the age of seven and graduated from local No.1 High School. Li was accepted to the Ameri-China International Elite Class where she studied with renowned pianist Chu-fang Huang from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, she entered Roosevelt University and is now a senior under the tutorship of Professor Adam Neiman. In 2012, Li joined the summer music festival at East Tennessee State University. The next year, she went to the Texas Christian University Summer Music Festival as an observer and held a recital at the St. Andrews Summer Festival. Upon her return to St. Andrews in 2016, she won second prize in both the Concerto Competition and Solo Competition. Additionally, in 2016, Li joined the Ameri-China summer festival in Wuhan, China, and participated in master classes with Dr. Chih-long Hu from ETSU and Matti Raekallio from the Juilliard School.

florrie marshallFLORRIE MARSHALL, viola
A native of Newport News, Virginia, violist Florrie Marshall has been a scholarship recipient for a number of chamber music festivals. Most recently, for 2016 and 2017, at the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival Winter Workshop as well as the Heifetz Institute’s Ashkenasi/Kirshbaum Seminar where she performed alongside Ilya Kaler, Ralph Kirshbaum, and Mark Jakobs. Florrie graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance and a Certificate of Advanced Performance Studies. While at ECU she studied with violinists Hye-Jin Kim and Ara Gregorian, and by her senior year, Marshall was appointed concertmaster of the ECU Symphony Orchestra, sitting first chair. She is currently a candidate for the Master of Music program at Yale University where she studies with renowned pedagogue Ettore Causa.

jinna parkJINNA PARK, cello
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Jinna Park is a Korean-American cellist who currently resides in the Los Angeles area. Having originally begun with the violin, Miss Park began her studies with the cello at the age of 12. She studied under Seung-Hee Sylvia Kang, a prodigy of the late David Soyer (Guarneri String Quartet). She has won prizes as a top ascending artist of the greater Los Angeles area, including the CAL American String Teachers Association Competition Los Angeles, as well as multiple first place prizes in the SYMF Competition (Open Division) over the years. Also an avid chamber musician, Miss Park has been mentored by members of many renowned ensembles such as the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland, Tokyo, Cavani, and American String Quartets, and more. Miss Park briefly studied at the Manhattan School of Music until the passing of David Soyer led her to transfer and earn her Bachelor of Music degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her major teachers include Richard Weiss, Stephen Geber, and Marion Feldman. Miss Park currently teaches a private studio in the Los Angeles area and performs as a solo recitalist.

Hsing-Ping WangHSING-PING WANG, violin
Raised in a family of classical musicians, Mia, as she is commonly known, has been playing the violin since the age of six. Currently a senior studying violin, at National Taiwan Normal University with Chinn-Horng Nanette Chen, she recently received an offer to study a Master in Music at Northwestern University. From 2005-2012, Mia was a member of the Taichung Youth Symphony Orchestra winning several competitions such as the Taiwan Asia Cup Music Competition in 2007 and the Taiwan Cultural Cup Competition in 2009. In 2012, Mia joined the Taichung Symphony Orchestra and participated in an exchange program in Lycee Saint-Vincent, Rennes, France with Madam Luquin. Upon her return to Taiwan, she joined the National Taiwan Normal University Symphony. In 2014 and 2015, Mia participated in music festivals in Cremona, Italy and Yilan, Taiwan, and in 2015 played Concerto with the Taichung Symphony Orchestra. She is very thankful to professors and masters such as cellist Giovanni Gnocchi, violist Anna Serova, violinist Roman Simovic, and violinist Andrés Cárdenes who she believes not only improved her technique, but also inspired her spirit for playing.

Jung-Yeon YimJUNG-YEON YIM, piano
Pianist Jung-Yeon Yim is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at the University of Maryland, College Park as a student of Bradford Gowen,and is also employed as an instructor of secondary piano class. She was a national winner at the 2016 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Young Artist Piano Competition. Other competition award highlights include first prize at the Torrance Symphony Competition, fourth prize at the New York International Competition, and first prize at the Korea Times Music Competition, among others. Ms. Yim has performed with the Torrance Symphony, Southwestern Music Festival Orchestra and The Colburn Orchestra. She has participated in several summer festivals including the Banff Music Festival, the Orford Music Festival, Internationaler Klaviersommer Bad Bertrich, and the Vianden Music Festival. She has performed in master classes with Leon Flesither, Robert Levin, Yong-Hi Moon, and Menahem Pressler. Ms. Yim received her bachelor’s degree from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music studying with John Perry, and her master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Dr. Daniel Shapiro.


More Information

The primary focus of the Young Artists Program is to intensively study and perform chamber music at a high level, and to benefit from the outstanding musical guidance that the illustrious artist faculty offers on a daily basis. During the course of the six-week program, students can expect to study several chamber masterworks, with ensemble sizes ranging from duos to octets in a range of repertoire spanning the centuries, from baroque to contemporary. Groups will be selected to perform on the weekly MMF Young Artists concert series.

On August 3, 2017, Young Artists will participate in one orchestral concert, performing Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony and the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, with Ignat Solzhenitsyn conducting and Alexander Kobrin as piano soloist. To allow focused attention on the orchestral experience, there will be no chamber music coaching sessions between July 31 and August 4; chamber music coaching will resume on August 5.

Young Artists will also have the opportunity to perform in public masterclasses and take private lessons with many of the distinguished faculty members. In addition, they will benefit from forum discussions addressing principles of entrepreneurship and career development that will assist them in forging successful paths as professional musicians.


Each MMF Young Artist receives a scholarship that provides full tuition, free accommodations, and a modest weekly stipend. Students are responsible for their own meals.

Scholarships are made possible by the generous contributions of individual sponsors and endowments, and all of the Young Artists will have opportunities to interact socially with their patrons during their stay in Manchester.

Please call MMF at 802-362-1956 to learn more about how you can support these amazing young performers.

2017 Faculty Artists

Michael Brown
Adam Neiman
Vassily Primakov

Andrés Cárdenes
Ara Gregorian
Stefan Milenkovich
Emily Daggett Smith
Axel Strauss
MingHuan Xu

Che-Yen Chen
Ara Gregorian
Dimitri Murrath

Ani Aznavoorian
Yehuda Hanani
David Requiro
Bion Tsang
Meta Weiss

Bridget Kibbey


Applications for Summer 2017 are now closed.

Manchester Music Festival is pleased to partner with the online application app acceptd.