Center Stage Strings kicks off fifth year


Center Stage Strings, one of North America’s premier classical music camps, returns to the Santa Teresita Youth Conference Center in Three Rivers with a stellar lineup of world-class faculty members and a growing tribe of enthusiastic students. There will be 30 of them this year, and they will arrive from all over the United States with their violins, violas, and cellos strapped to their backs and ready to play.

Now in its fifth year, Center Stage Strings occupies a small but increasingly prestigious niche in the music world. Unlike many music camps, which emphasize large ensemble and orchestral playing, instruction here focuses on virtuoso solo performance and small chamber groups. This focus places high demands on faculty and even higher demands on students. Before being admitted to the camp, students undergo a rigorous examination and audition process, and the truth is you have to be really, really good to be accepted.

Camp this year will run for three weeks — from Sunday, June 29, to Sunday, July 20.

Once the camp begins, students receive several personal, one-on-one lessons per week, then practice for five or six hours every day, many of them taking up daytime residence in one of 15 soundproof “PractiCubes” that were designed and built in Three Rivers specifically for this purpose.

A good deal of every student’s time is spent preparing for public concerts and master classes, which are also open to the public. This year, there are six free student concerts: three Sunday afternoon matinees and three Brown Bag Lunch concerts on Fridays. 

In addition to student concerts, Center Stage Strings will present five professional faculty concerts. Some of the performers include award-winning violinist Danielle Belen, Naumberg Prize-winning cellist David Requiro, and one of the music world’s foremost violinists, internationally acclaimed Stefan Jackiw, who will be joined by the well-loved and extraordinarily talented pianist Jennie Jung.

The musical programs cover the gamut from Haydn and Mozart in the Classical Era, Mendelssohn in the Romantic, Impressionist Claude Debussy, the defiant Russians Shostakovich and Prokofiev, all the way to the modernist Withold Lutoslawski.

All evening concerts will be held in the comfort of the air-conditioned Main Chapel at St. Anthony Retreat, with free performances in the casual Main Hall at the Youth Center, also air-conditioned.

Be sure to attend the opening night Faculty Concert on Tuesday, July 1 (see the Kaweah Kalendar and ad on page 12 in this issue).  There will be a special treat following the concert.

For more information and a complete listing of concerts, visit the website at

Tickets for the evening concerts are $12 and are available online, at Chump’s DVDs, and at the door. There will be a total of five evening concerts during the camp, and there is a $10 discount if the tickets to all of them are purchased in advance.

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