The California Institute of Music was established in 1990 by internationally renowned teachers and violinists Michael and Irina Tseitlin, and the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Since then this private music institute has become a leading presence in California known for training consistently high level string players who have become successful, highly individual and creative professional musicians. Their alumni have held section, principal, and concertmaster positions at major US, European and Asian orchestras such as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, the London Philharmonia, the San Diego Symphony, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic and Miami Symphony. CIM Alumni have also won top prizes at 21 international violin competitions, including the Tchaikovsky, Paganini, Queen Elisabeth, Indianapolis, Montreal, Primrose, ARD Munich, Fischoff and Menuhin competitions.
The California International Music Festival at the Music Academy Neuwied-Engers is a two-week course for advanced violin, viola, cello and piano distinguishing itself from other well-known programs by putting its participants in the artistic spotlight and providing performing opportunities in public concerts in beautiful and historic venues throughout the region of Rhineland.
Concerts are popular and well attended and often covered by the local and national press. Many of the festival’s former participants, who now have successful careers, cite the festival as the program that gave them the invaluable experience they needed to enter the professional realm.
All participants have access to world-renowned guest artists and teachers, and receive private lessons, master classes, chamber ensemble coaching and participate in the Festival Chamber Orchestra. Students applying individually (pre-existing groups may apply as an ensemble) will be placed in chamber groups by the auditioning faculty on the basis of student repertoire preference and their audition tapes.
All students will have a chance to perform the chamber and solo repertoire that they have prepared during the course. Due to the intensity of the festival, students are required to arrive prepared with all technical, score study, and research work prepared in advance for their repertoire.
Students receive encouragement and support to take advantage of every performing opportunity, and audition for a faculty panel before performing in public concerts and master classes.
At the end of the course, each student will have had a true taste of the lifestyle and demand of a touring, professional musician.