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Cello Festival


Ascent International CelloFestival is an opportunity for outstanding cellists age 14-30 to study and perform in an intensive setting. Ascent goes beyond the practice room to develop the musician as a whole. The festival takes place on the campus of the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.  The festival is limited to 32 serious cellists.


June 19- June 25, 2023

University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music

Participants Receive:

  • 90 minutes of private lessons
  • Technique Classes
  • 4 hours of scheduled solo practice time each day
  • Master Class opportunities
  • Solo performances
  • Cello Choir performances
  • Outreach Performances
  • Orchestral Excerpt Training
  • Collaborative Pianists for lessons and performances

Sample Daily Schedule:

  • 8am-12pm– Practicing/private lessons
  • 1-3:30pm– Cello Choir, Tech Classes
  • 4-5:30pm– Master classes and other workshops
  • 7:30pm– Concerts

Enrichment Seminars:

  • PracticeMind with Hans Jensen
  • Audition Preparation
  • Career Development
  • Musician Health
  • Cello Choir Performance w/ award winning Galvin Cello Quartet

Tuition and Housing:

On-campus Tuition: $1100 Includes room and board provided in air-conditioned dorm on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

Off-campus Tuition: $700

Ascent Music is committed to providing the opportunity for all admitted students to attend the festival, regardless of background or financial need. Awards are determined on the basis of need and merit. Admitted applicants will receive scholarship details shortly after their acceptance email. Resident Assistant positions are available, further information requested upon completion of application.

COVID-19 Protocols: We will be following the COVID protocols set in place for visitors at the time of the festival by the University of Cincinnati, for the latest info check here

Application and Audition:

Applications for 2023 are now open! Apply Today 

Priority Application

  • Deadline: February 1st
  • Admissions decisions for priority applicants will be sent by March 1st
  • After February 1st, applications accepted on a rolling basis


Apply Today

Cello Festival Faculty

Alan Rafferty

Cello Festival

Alan Rafferty is rapidly gaining recognition as a preeminent cellist and master teacher.  In demand as a clinician around the world, Mr. Rafferty has presented Master Classes at numerous schools

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Richard Aaron, Technique & Master Classes

Cello Festival

Richard L. Aaron presently serves as professor of cello at the University of Michigan, The Juilliard School and The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings. Previously he taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory.

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Rosemary Elliott

Cello Festival

Rosemary Elliott, Assistant Professor of Cello at the Eastman School of Music, has an active performing schedule as both an orchestral and chamber musician.

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Avi Friedlander

Cello Festival

Well known as a rising cello pedagogue, Avi Friedlander teaches a variety of methods from classical to jazz and rock.

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Hans Jørgen Jensen, Technique & Master Classes

Cello Festival

Hans Jørgen Jensen is professor of cello at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.

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Galvin Cello Quartet

Cello Festival

The Galvin Cello Quartet explores the limitless range of a cello ensemble by bringing together new works from diverse cultural backgrounds while seeking to establish the cello quartet as a core part of the classical music world.

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Sarah Kim

Cello Festival

Dr. Sarah Kim, leads a vibrant and diverse career as performer, educator, and arts administrator. She is an acclaimed instructor who was named the 2016 Ohio String Teachers Association Studio Teacher of the Year and recipient a 2015 Cincinnati Arts Association Overture Educator Award.

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