Each summer, Manchester Music Festival awards scholarships to a diverse group of gifted young musicians who come from around the world to study and perform chamber music under the tutelage of outstanding, accomplished professionals. This year’s class includes students from Cuba, Canada, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Portugal, as well as various parts of the U.S.
It’s a highly selective process. This year, just sixteen exceptionally talented artists were selected from a pool of over 100 applicants. They include students from such prestigious conservatories as Yale School of Music, The Juilliard School, the Peabody Institute, and the Royal College of Music in London. Among them are winners of international chamber music competitions and members of national orchestras, and many have already played in top concert halls all over the globe.
Most of the students are in the process of pursuing undergraduate or advanced degrees during the school year and use tuition-free summer programs like MMF’s to prepare for life as professional musicians. “The classical music world is very competitive,” Neiman said. "Our program provides a rich experience for anyone who earns the right to be here through their own greatness. It’s their chance to work up-close with top artists and perform for live audiences.”
Artistic Director Adam Neiman calls MMF’s program a classical music training ground. “These young artists want real world training in chamber music,” he said. “They want to understand the rehearsal process, how to interact musically with other individuals, how to take criticism, and how to apply all of that into building great performances. That’s why they come to the Manchester Music Festival. It helps them acquire the skills needed for a major career as a chamber musician or a soloist.”
Neiman set out this year to assemble an extraordinary roster of faculty guest artists who are poised to impart their years of knowledge and experience to the students in an intimate and intensive learning environment. After a welcoming barbecue, the young artists will plunge into large-scale chamber music pieces and work with the star coaches to refine their interpretation of challenging works by composers such as Brahms, Dvořák, Mozart, and Mendelssohn.
All the many hours of practice are in preparation for this summer’s Sunday afternoon Young Artists Concerts at the Manchester Community Library. The opening concert will take place on July 14 at 4 p.m. “These are young people who are on the brink of their professional careers,” Neiman said. “The library performances allow them to showcase their astounding talent in full chamber music concerts.”
The public is also welcome to view the teaching process in person at MMF’s free masterclass events on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Manchester Community Library where guests can learn just how chamber music is made, and made even better, as the young artists perform a piece of music and then receive constructive critiques from the pros.
Videos of past student performances and behind-the-scenes looks at masterclasses, as well as more information on the Young Artists Program are all on our website. Tickets to the Sunday Young Artist Concerts July 14 – August 4 are $10 and available online at www.mmfvt.org or by calling 802-362-1956.