The Advanced Chamber Music Program is intended for senior students who wish to embrace additional challenge and enjoy an extra weekend in the company of like-minded young musicians. The SVI ACM program complements and includes the regular Suzuki Valhalla Institute curriculum, but begins two days earlier with an intensive weekend of chamber orchestra and string quartet coaching.

Two dynamic husband-wife duos (violinist-violist Mark Luchkow and cellist Cyrena Huang, violist Theresa Plotnick and violinist Jeff Plotnick) provide leadership throughout the weekend, assisted by other coaches as needed. The immersion in an intensive rehearsal schedule, the social opportunities and the synergy of committed young music-makers all work together to create an energetic and welcoming environment. From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon ACM students work and play hard in a supportive and non-competitive atmosphere. They perform as a chamber orchestra at the Sunday afternoon Play-In as a welcome for the regular institute attendees. They are also able to get a head-start on their small chamber group repertoire for performance later in the week.

During the regular institute week they continue to be coached in their small chamber group, with the remainder of their days including the standard SVI program of master classes, group classes and string orchestra. We look upon our ACM students as inspiring leaders and models for younger players; their intensive weekend is followed by a busy week of being fully integrated in the exciting goings-on of the regular institute.

Enrolment is limited; students must apply for acceptance and a teacher recommendation is required for first-time applicants. The program is designed for students with previous chamber music experience, advanced playing level (minimum Book 7 for violinists, Book 5 for cellists and violists) as well as maturity, motivation and capacity for self-direction. We recognize that sometimes students who are geographically isolated may look to the ACM as a way to address a lack of ensemble opportunities at home. In such cases lack of previous chamber music experience will not disqualify an otherwise-qualified applicant. Acceptance is dependent upon these factors as well as upon balance of instrumentation which varies from year to year. Violists and cellists are particularly encouraged to apply, as are violinists who are able and willing to play (and read!) competently on viola.

Students applying for the Advanced Chamber Music program should do so as early as possible to facilitate early decisions on acceptance. The final deadline for the completion of the application process, including the submission of any required Teacher Recommendation forms, is March 31st. You will be contacted as soon as it is possible for the SVI Director to make a decision concerning your acceptance. Note that occasionally decisions take several weeks as they are contingent on balancing instrumentation in chamber groups; we aim to make all decisions by April 5th. Students not accepted into the ACM are assured a place in the regular SVI program.

For a taste of the level of challenge available in the ACM, watch this video from a past year: