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In partnership with Close Encounters With Music and hosted by the Catskill Mountain Foundation, August 10-20

For the sixth year, an international group of violinists, violists, cellists and pianists will converge for intensive instrumental study and chamber music coaching with distinguished faculty in Hunter, NY. Surrounded by the majesty, beauty and poetry of the Western Catskill Mountains and the Hudson Valley region of New York state, the High Peaks Residency has evolved into a training program designed to imbue players with new ideas and approaches, inspiration, and tools for technical advancement. There is a robust schedule of private and instrumental lessons, coachings and master classes, led by eminent faculty members. Students prepare pre-selected chamber music works, with numerous opportunities to play in public performances. For recreation, you can take a guided hike in the mountains, see the sites cherished by the 19th century painters, and then attend a discussion about how all of this relates to the music of the time!

The Catskill Mountain Foundation has developed outstanding facilities and resources for the arts in this mountain setting. Participants are housed in a cluster of in-town residences, share three meals a day prepared by a Culinary Institute graduate chef, and have access to rehearsal and practice rooms on the campus and at a nearby school. The 2015 faculty includes world-renowned violinists Renée Jolles and Peter Zazofsky; violist Pierre Henri Xuereb; pianists Michael Chertock and Mikael Darmainie; and cellists Thomas Landschoot, Sae Rom Kwon and artistic director Yehuda Hanani. Festival artists have also included pianists James Tocco and Vassily Primakov; violinists Shmuel Ashkenasi and Ara Gregorian; as well as guitarist Eliot Fisk. “Music with Altitude” is the leitmotif weaving through the festival spirit and activities—cross-cultural events that provide a natural high on music, nature and the arts for students, faculty and audiences.

The intimate scale but highest level of presentations and participants give us all a chance to explore the wonders of music anew!

Application | Instructor Bios


DEADLINE: Application due date March 6, 2015
Apply Now
Students Comment on Their High Peaks Experience:
"I was amazed at how inviting High Peaks was. There was no sense of competitiveness. All the students were there to just enjoy performing music together and to learn from the amazing teachers like Mr. Hanani and Mr. Milenkovich and from each other. I made amazing friends in the one week I was there whom I'm 100% positive I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life."
--Carolyn Van De Velde, violinist
"Spending over a week learning from top musicians is an incredible experience. To do that in an environment where students help each other grow as well is extraordinary and to have all of this take place in the beauty of the Catskills is breathtaking!"
--Christian Schrock, cellist



"We are thrilled to again welcome Yehuda Hanani and the talented young artists who come from around the world to study with him and with his faculty colleagues as part of the Catskills High Peaks Festival. We have a full calendar of concerts, literary lectures, films, and master classes and look forward to welcoming you to all of these events."

Pam Weisberg
Director of Performing Arts
Catskill Mountain Foundation

For more information,
Pamela Dreyfus Smith
at 800-843-0778

“As an educational institution, our mission is to infuse students over a relatively short period with love and enthusiasm for their chosen vocation and with an appreciation of past traditions and a spirit of adventure and discovery.”

Yehuda Hanani, Artistic Director
Catskill High Peaks Festival
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Catskill High Peaks Festival   PO Box 34  Great Barrington, MA  01230 
Toll-free 800-843-0778 / email:

Donations are made through Close Encounters With Music a non-profit organization.  
Your contributions are tax exempt to the amount permitted by law.

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