Festival Dates


July 27 – August 7
age groups 6-12
weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

age groups 13-19 (chamber music intensive)
weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Southampton Cultural Center, 25 Pond Lane Southampton NY 11968


Each day from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. we will work with all of the students on different aspects of music making, such as orchestra, chamber music, masterclassimprovisation, and composition. At the end of each week, all the hard work will culminate in a spectacular concert. Each year, we have a  special final concert at the end of the two weeks. At our String Soirée, Southampton Strings Festival students will perform alongside BiSS Quartet (boho international strings soloists). We will serve hors d’ oeuvres, raffle tickets, and of course an evening filled with music. 

Orchestra – All students will play together in one of the two orchestras. We will teach all the skills necessary to play in an orchestra. We do not have fixed seating in our orchestra, so students will be rotating and learn to sit in different positions throughout the orchestra.

Chamber Music – We will form chamber music groups of 2-6 students per group (duos, trios, quartets, quintets, and sextets). The members of BiSS Quartet will give one-on-one coaching, and through core repertoire emphasize the importance of efficient rehearsal techniques. The quartet starts each week with an open rehearsal to show our students how to work in rehearsal without the help of teacher or coach. We place great emphasis on developing good practice habits, in order to maximize the potential of each and every young musician.
The second half of the day is dedicated to the 13-19 age groups, where we will work more intensively on the basic skills developed in the morning sessions.
*If you have a pre-formed group that works together during the year, we encourage you to sign up as a chamber ensemble!

Masterclass – Each student performs in masterclass at least once during the week. After the student performs, the other students give both complimentary and critical feedback, thus developing critical listening skills, and public speaking skills. After the initial round of peer feedback, our coaches will work in-depth with the young performers on stage.

Improvisation – We pride ourselves on our unique improvisation class. By learning the basics of improvisation (inspired by jazz and folk music) we guide your children to discover their own musical voice in a series of fun and engaging creativity exercises. Our experience with these exercises have shown that they have a huge beneficial impact on the skills necessary to excel at playing classical music. And we all have a lot of fun doing it!

Composition – The composition program focuses on reinforcing fundamental principles of music (timbre, tessitura, tempo, dynamic, articulation, structural form) through the hands-on process of creating a new piece. Pre-composed musical fragments are presented to the ensemble, played through, and discussed critically. Students vote on which fragments will comprise the new piece, then collectively string them together, auditioning the excerpts high and low, loud and soft, short and long, arco and pizzicato, etc. A rough sketch is formulated, which the students rehearse and continue to discuss, contributing new ideas and inspirations as the week goes on. The composition program culminates in a “premiere” of the co-composed work for friends and family as part of the finale concert.