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The Festival


Cincinnati Young Artists is Now ASCENT MUSIC.

We’ve expanded our artistry, our music, and our reach.

Ascent International Chamber Music Festival is an opportunity for outstanding string players and pianists age 14-30 to study solo and chamber music repertoire 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 70 serious Rising Artists.


June 26- July 16, 2022

University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music

Participants Receive:

  • 90 minutes of private lessons each week
  • Weekly technique and studio class with festival teacher
  • 4 hours of scheduled solo practice time each day
  • Two chamber coaching per week with festival faculty
  • Solo and Chamber Masterclasses
  • Solo performances
  • Outreach Performances
  • Orchestral Excerpt Training
  • Collaborative Pianists for lessons and performances

Daily Schedule:

  • 8am-12pm– Practicing/private lessons
  • 1-3:30pm– Chamber music rehearsals and coaching
  • 4-5:30pm– Master classes and other workshops
  • 7:30pm– Concerts


Enrichment Seminars:

  • Intonation Workshop by ViolinMind author Grigory Kalinovsky
  • Alexander Technique
  • Mindful Practicing
  • Audition Preparation
  • Career Development
  • Musician Health


Tuition and Housing:

On-campus Tuition: $3400 Includes room and board provided in air-conditioned single dorm on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

Off-campus Tuition: $2100 Includes daily lunch in the University of Cincinnati dining hall.

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:

Application for this program will open in mid-December using GetAcceptd.

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

Pre-formed ensembles are invited to apply and will receive priority in the admission process. All members must complete individual applications and list the other members of their ensemble in the application.

Applications for 2022 have closed, please check back for 2023 dates in fall of 2022

Faculty - Select

Felicity James


Violinist Felicity James served as Associate Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra from 2018-2022, and has previously served as concertmaster of the Verbier Festival Orchestra, the Colburn Orchestra, and the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra.

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YooJin Jang


Applauded by The Strad for her “fiery virtuosity” and “consummate performances,” violinist YooJin Jang is a winner of the 2017 Concert Artists Guild Competition and First Prize winner of the 2016 Sendai International Music Competition.

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Timothy Lees


Timothy Lees, violinist, enjoys an exciting and eclectic career as Concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Since his arrival in Cincinnati as Concertmaster in 1998, Mr. Lees has also been appointed as an esteemed member of the violin faculty of the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music

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Stefani Matsuo


Praised by the Washington Post for her “temperament and clear musical purpose” and “great technical maturity,” Stefani Matsuo has emerged as one of today’s great talents. She was appointed by Maestro Louis Langrée as Concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in September 2019. 

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Rictor Noren


Rictor Noren teaches violin, viola, chamber music, string fundamentals, and string pedagogy at the Boston Conservatory. He also teaches at New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, the Prelude Music Academy, and the New World Symphony.

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Won-Bin Yim


Won-Bin Yim has served as concert master of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and Reno Philharmonic, and he was first violinist of the Fairmount String Quartet and violinist of the Argenta Trio. Yim is an associate professor of violin at CCM where he received the Glover Award for the Excellence in Teaching, and during the summer, he teaches at the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in Vermont and at the Aria International Summer Academy in Massachusetts.

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Grigory Kalinovsky


Hailed by critics as a “superior poet” (Vancouver Sun) and praised for his “heart and indomitable will” (Gramophone), Grigory Kalinovsky has performed at some of the world’s major venues, from all three stages of Carnegie Hall in New York to Musikhalle Grosser Saal in Hamburg.

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Cho-Liang Lin, Master Classes


Cho-Liang Lin was born in Taiwan. A neighbor’s violin studies convinced this 5-year old boy to do the same. At the age twelve, he moved to Sydney to further his studies with Robert Pikler, a student of Jenő Hubay. After playing for Itzhak Perlman in a master class, the 13-year old boy decided that he must study with Mr. Perlman’s teacher, Dorothy DeLay.

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Sibbi Bernhardsson (on leave 2022)

Chamber MusicViolin

Icelandic violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson joined the Oberlin Conservatory faculty in 2017 after performing for the previous 17 years with the Pacifica Quartet, with which he won a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance, Musical America Ensemble of the Year honors, and the Avery Fisher Career Grant.

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Judith Ingolfsson


Violinist Judith Ingolfsson is recognized for her intense, commanding performances, uncompromising musical maturity, and charismatic performance style. Based in Berlin and Baltimore and enjoying a global career, she performs regularly as soloist, chamber musician and in recital as the Duo Ingolfsson-Stoupel, founded in 2006.

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