Young Performers Program

For Advanced String Players and Pianists,
ages 10-19

July 17–August 8, 2020

Dmitri Atapine and Hyeyeon Park, Co-Directors

Apply by January 1

Music@Menlo’s Young Performers Program provides an incomparable experience for some of the most outstanding young musicians from across the country and abroad. Designed for enthusiastic and dedicated string players and pianists ages ten to nineteen, the program immerses students in a rigorous, nurturing environment, where, through intense exploration of advanced chamber music repertoire, they are transformed into the leaders of tomorrow. Chamber music, with its rich historic tradition and unique challenges, is the perfect art-form to cultivate the skills needed for success. Leadership and teamwork, discipline and creativity, communication and engagement, inventiveness and adaptability: all are addressed in a profoundly engaging way, while offering musical training at the highest level.

Approximately thirty students are accepted into the program each summer. Highlights of the program include:

  • An in-depth exploration of chamber music repertoire with some of the world’s best musicians in an intense and immersive environment
  • Public master classes
  • Multiple student performances all professionally produced and broadcast live
  • Free tickets to all Music@Menlo main stage events
  • Café Conversations and Encounter Lectures with leading artists and musicologists
  • Instrument specific sessions focusing on technique and performance skills
  • Development of public speaking and communication skills
  • Multiple scholarship opportunities
  • Yoga sessions
  • Group activities that promote inclusiveness and friendship, including ping-pong, scavenger hunts, etc.

2020 Schedule:
From Friday, July 17 through Saturday, August 8, students will be expected to participate in the program every day of the week except Sundays. Below is the typical schedule, although times may vary depending on evening concert schedules:

7:30 a.m. — Breakfast*
8:00 a.m. — Depart hotel for Menlo School*
8:45–9:00 a.m. — Roll Call and Announcements

9:00–9:15 a.m. — Warm-up

9:15–10:25 a.m. — Session I – Ensemble Rehearsal or Coaching 

10:25–10:35 a.m. — Break

10:35–11:35 a.m. — Session II – Ensemble Rehearsal or Coaching

11:35–11:45 a.m. — Break

11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. — Master Class or Café Conversation

1:00–2:00 p.m. — Lunch

2:00–3:10 p.m. — Session III – Ensemble Rehearsal or Coaching

3:10–3:20 p.m. — Break

3:20–4:00 p.m. — Interactive Session

4:00–5:00 p.m. — Free time/Individual Practice

5:00 p.m. — Prelude Performance
6:00 p.m. — Dinner*
7:30 p.m. — Encounter lecture or concert

9:30 p.m. — Return to hotel*
11:00 p.m. — Curfew*

* Students residing in festival hotel only (minimum age of 14)

To learn more about the festival’s ticketed events and to view the concert calendar from the 2019 season — which will give applicants and parents an example of what to expect for 2020 — click here.

Apply by January 1

$3,200. Financial aid and scholarships are available and will be awarded on the basis of need and merit. Please see detailed information below. Download a financial aid application here.

Housing for Students Under the Age of 14
Students under the age of fourteen are not eligible for festival-sponsored housing and families must arrange independent accommodations, such as Airbnb.

Housing for Students Age 14 and Above
Housing consideration is made for students ages fourteen to nineteen who reside at least forty miles away from Atherton, California. Space is limited. Accommodations are available at a local hotel approximately five miles from the Menlo School campus. Students are chaperoned by Music@Menlo residential life staff, and transportation is provided between the hotel and the Menlo School campus. Cost per student is $4,000 and includes all meals starting with dinner on July 16 and ending with breakfast on August 8.

Rooms are double occupancy and students are grouped together based on age and gender. Because students are expected to attend almost all evening concerts and lectures over the course of the three-week festival, the schedule is very rigorous and intensive and may not be a good fit for every applicant. Deviations to the evening schedule are agreed upon by majority vote of the student resident group and subject to approval by the Resident Advisors and/or festival staff. Students are expected to yield to the majority wishes of the group when necessary.

The festival does not provide a shuttle making multiple daily trips to and from the hotel. With few exceptions, Resident Advisors bring students to the festival campus in the morning and then bring them back to the hotel at the end of the evening.

Financial Aid and Scholarships
Support in the form of financial aid and scholarships is available by completing a separate financial aid application and submitting it with required documentation by February 15, 2020. Music@Menlo attempts to provide financial support to deserving students as much as possible. In 2019, all students who applied for consideration received an award.


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Mission Possible by Ariane Todes