Chamber Music Institute

July 1 – 21, 2018

For advanced college string players and pianists

Icicle Creek Center for the Arts’ Chamber Music Institute provides a unique educational experience for accomplished young artists. This is an intensive three-week long program of chamber music study emphasizing individual musical development while working closely with internationally acclaimed faculty artists. All accepted students will engage in private lessons, masterclasses, rehearsals and performances of chamber music with their peers and artist faculty.

The Institute is open to advanced college string players and pianists.
All applicants must complete and submit the following:

  • Online Registration
  • A non-refundable application fee of $60.
  • A letter of recommendation (waived for the Institute alumni) uploaded within registration
  • A high quality recording that demonstrates your best playing. There are options to upload your recording files or provide online links (such as within registration. Please ensure that tracks are clearly labeled with with your name, instrument and repertoire.
  • Audition CD Requirements for String Players:
    • Please include two contrasting solo works, one being from the Baroque or Classical period. Complete scoring is required (i.e., with pianist for sonatas and concertos). Additional recordings of ensemble works are welcome to supplement the above-mentioned requirements.
  • Audition CD Requirements for Pianists:
    • Please include at least two contrasting solo works, one being from the Baroque or Classical period AND a chamber music work (individual movements are acceptable).
  • The deadline for receipt of all applications and supporting materials is March 1, 2018.
  • Late applications will be accepted through March 15 accompanied by a non-refundable fee of $75.
  • You will be notified of your acceptance by April 9, 2018. If you are accepted to the program, a deposit of $200 will be required to confirm your place in the Institute
  • Tuition is $1,500 and total cost of room and board is $1,200 for the three-week session.
  • There is a non-refundable application fee of $60. If you are accepted into the program, your application fee will be credited toward your tuition.

Scholarships are available and will be awarded based on merit and need. In order to be considered for additional financial aid, applicants must fill out the scholarship portion of the application form.

8:30 – Breakfast
9:00-10:00 – Chamber Orchestra
10:30-12:30 – Ensemble rehearsal or coaching
1:00 – Lunch
2:00-3:00 – Personal time
3:30-5:30 – Ensemble rehearsal or coaching
6:30 – Dinner
8:00-9:30 – Masterclasses, concerts, sight-reading, or free time

  • $60 non-refundable deposit (application fee). If you cancel more than 30 days before the session start date, then you will receive all money paid except the $60
  • 8 to 30 days before start of session, 50% refund
  • 7 days before start of session, no refund


Oksana Ezhokina 300 x 345

Russian-born pianist Oksana Ezhokina appears frequently as guest recitalist and chamber musician on concert series across the United States and abroad. She has soloed with the Seattle Symphony, Tacoma Symphony and UW Symphony Orchestra, among others. Two of her long-term collaborations are with pianist Christina Dahl and Volta Piano Trio, whose recordings for the Con Brio label received accolades in international music magazines, such as The Strad, Gramophone and American Record Guide. A sought-after teacher, Ezhokina is Chair of Piano Studies and Assistant Professor of Music at Pacific Lutheran University.

Praised by Opera News for her “potent presence” and hailed by Cincinnati Post as “regal in bearing, with vocal endowments to match,” lyric mezzo-soprano Soon Cho has performed recitals, concerts and operas across North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Cho has sung under the batons of world-renowned conductors such as Alan Gilbert, Kristjan Järvi, Paavo Järvi, Erich Kunzel, Julius Rudel and David Zinman. She has soloed with Cincinnati Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, Emanon Ensemble in Belgium, and Seattle Bach Choir, among others. Cho serves as Assistant Professor of Voice at Pacific Lutheran University and as Voice Instructor at the Cornish-American Song Institute in Oxford and Falmouth, United Kingdom.

Applauded for her virtuosity in the standard repertoire, violinist Elisabeth Perry is an avid proponent of contemporary music, a committed chamber musician, and a dedicated pedagogue. She shared the stage with Yehudi Menuhin at Royal Albert Hall at age 14. A winner of New York’s Concert Artists Guild Competition, the list of her other awards includes the Greater London Arts Award and the ISM Award. She served as concertmaster of the Deutsche Kammerakademie and First Concertmaster of the Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic with numerous recordings to her credit.

(Jennifer Caine, violin; Sally Singer-Tuttle, cello; Oksana Ezhokina, piano)

Hailed by Gramophone magazine for its “warmly considered playing” and “shadings of exquisite sheen and vibrancy,” the Volta Piano Trio (formerly the Icicle Creek Piano Trio), has established itself as one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier chamber ensembles. The members of the Volta Piano Trio originate from the United States, United Kingdom, and Russia. Together or as individuals, they have performed in venues such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alice Tully Hall, the Phillips Collection, and the Royal Albert Hall.

11:56:59 AM 8/6/12  Avalon String Quartet: © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2012

(Blaise Magniere and Marie Wang, violin; Anthony Devroye, viola; Cheng-Hou Lee, cello)

Described by the Chicago Tribune as “an ensemble that invites you-ears, mind, and spirit- into its music”, the Avalon String Quartet has established itself as one of the country’s leading chamber music ensembles. They have performed in many major venues including Alice Tully Hall, 92nd St Y, Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall in New York; the Library of Congress in Washington DC; Wigmore Hall in London; and Herculessaal in Munich. The Avalon is quartet-in-residence at the Northern Illinois University School of Music.

Christina Dahl 300 x 345

Pianist Christina Dahl has established a reputation as one of the leading teachers of her generation. She has recently given masterclasses at New England Conservatory, Royal College of Music Stockholm and the Steinhardt series at NYU. Christina can be heard on the Bridge, Albany and Tzadik labels and has twice been a cultural ambassador for the US State Department. She has played at the Gilmore International Piano Festival, Aspen, the Banff Centre, the Steans Institute at Ravinia, and Tanglewood. She has been on faculty at Stony Brook University for nearly twenty years.

Pianist Emely Phelps enjoys a multifaceted career as a chamber musician, soloist, and teacher. As a soloist, Emely has performed throughout the United States and Canada, and has appeared in concerti with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic. From 2008-2016, Emely was the pianist of Trio Cleonice, with whom she performed in more than 15 states, toured Europe, and won second prize at the Schoenfeld International String Competition. Emely holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Juilliard, where she was a student of Julian Martin and is currently a DMA Candidate at Stony Brook University, where she studies with Christina Dahl. Emely has previously spent four summers at Yellow Barn and at Kneisel Hall. She is thrilled to be teaching at the Yellow Barn Young Artists Program for the third time this summer.

Melia Watras

Hailed by Gramophone as “an artist of commanding and poetic personality,” violist/composer Melia Watras has distinguished herself as one of her instrument’s leading voices. She has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and Alice Tully Hall, while achieving acclaim as an established recording artist. Watras is violist of the Seattle-based ensemble, Frequency, a member of Open End, and is co-founder and violist of the renowned Corigliano Quartet.  Watras serves as Professor of Viola and chair of Strings at the University of Washington.

Violist Richard Wolfe pursued violin studies with Aaron Shapinsky, Dorothy Delay, and Walter Levin. A former member of the Israel Chamber Orchestra, in 1982 he settled in the Netherlands, and four years later became principal violist of the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. He was a founding member of ‘Music in Context’ in Houston and is a member of Ensemble ‘Explorations’ in Belgium. Richard Wolfe is on viola faculty of the Utrecht Conservatory, Amsterdam Conservatory, and teaches and performs each summer at the L’Ecole Americain for Music and Fine Arts in Fontainebleau, France.

Elisa Barston 300x350

Praised for her “glowing sound” and “technical aplomb” (The Strad), violinist Elisa Barston has served as the Associate Concertmaster of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra for nine seasons, and was a first violin section member of the Cleveland Orchestra. She is currently a violinist in the critically acclaimed Corigliano Quartet, and also is the Principal Second Violinist of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist, Ms. Barston has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, with the major symphony orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, Saint Louis, Seattle, and Taipei, among numerous others.

Sammy Lesnick is a clarinetist living in New York City, devoted to the performance of chamber music and contemporary music. A recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music, his teachers include Kenneth Grant, Jon Manasse, Sean Osborn, and Kim Fay. Sammy was the winner of Eastman’s 2013 clarinet concerto competition. Sammy’s passion for new music has led to performances with ensembles such as Alarm Will Sound in St. Louis and Ensemble Signal in New York City, at festivals in Italy, France, Spain, and Greece, and in such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Ace Theater in Los Angeles.

First Prize winner of the 2008 Naumburg International Violoncello Competition, David Requiro has emerged as one of today’s finest American cellists. Mr. Requiro has made concerto appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, and several orchestras from California and has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. Mr. Requiro is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. He previously served as Artist-in-Residence at the University of Puget Sound as well as Guest Lecturer at the University of Michigan.

Meta Weiss made her international debut at the age of seven in Holland, and has established herself as one of the leading cellists of her generation. Her performances have taken her to venues worldwide, including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Boston Symphony Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, and Melbourne Recital Centre. Top prize-winner in numerous competitions, she has been hailed as “magnetic” (ArtsJournal) and “luminous” (Sydney Arts Guide). A graduate of Rice University and The Juilliard School, she is Senior Lecturer in Cello and Head of Chamber Music at The Queensland Conservatorium.