On Tuesday May 11 at 4pm MST to Wednesday May 12 at 12noon MST we are performing scheduled maintenance on our student and application system .

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Master Classes for Strings & Winds

Performing Arts - Music

Program archived

Program Information

Jessica Pickersgill

Jessica Pickersgill performs in a viola masterclass in Rolston Recital Hall.


Banff Centre’s master classes offer artistic inspiration and development in a supportive and collaborative setting where life-long friendships are made. This program focuses on discovery and excellence with world-renowned faculty. Musicians take part in master classes, seminars, performances, and chamber music collaborations. Participants interact with all faculty, regardless of instrument, and will be encouraged to mix and collaborate with other classes to maximize their learning and development. Participants have access to collaborative pianists and are encouraged to collaborate in chamber music, new music and special projects.

What does the program offer?

Banff Centre’s summer music programs offer musicians a unique learning experience through intensive sessions and dozens of performance opportunities with other international participants and renowned program faculty.

Who should apply?

This program is designed for emerging musicians looking for a period of focused time to refine their repertoire with a world-class faculty. Participants will also be assigned to a variety of chamber music, new music, or chamber orchestra projects with leading artists.

Audition Tour

We will be holding live auditions in Boston, Calgary, Cleveland, Montreal, New York, and Toronto. Live auditions are not mandatory, if you are unable to make a date please upload your recordings. Audition slots fill up quickly; do not wait until the last minute to apply! Please note:

  • Each audition will be 10 minutes maximum. Be prepared to perform three contrasting works. Orchestral excerpts are not acceptable.
  • Live auditions are run and videotaped by Banff Centre music programming representative(s) and sent to the adjudicators for review.
  • Piano accompaniment is encouraged but not obligatory and must be arranged by the applicant at their own expense. 
  • A resume must be submitted in person at the audition. 
  • Warm up time in the warm up room is limited to 10 minutes. Also, please do not expect to have access to a room more than 30 minutes prior to the audition.

Audition locations

New York
DiMenna Center
Thursday, January 21
Friday, January 22 (limited availability)

Royal Conservatory of Music
Sunday, January 24

Conservatoire de musique de Montréal
Tuesday, January 26

Mount Royal Conservatory
Saturday, January 30

New England Conservatory
Friday, February 5

Cleveland Institute of Music
Monday, February 8


Participants are scheduled in lessons and masterclasses Monday through Saturday with their respective instrumental faculty.  Violin and Cello participants rotate through their instrument’s faculty, seeing each artist at least once in a lesson and/or master class, with an average of 1-2 lessons and 1 master class per week.  All other instruments see their Faculty in 2-3 lessons and 1-2 master classes per week.

Each participant is assigned to a collaborative pianist to be used for master classes and performances.  If time allows, pianists may also attend lessons.

The program also includes assigned chamber music.  Chamber repertoire and assignments  are chosen by the Artistic Director and faculty.

Daily activities consist of private lessons, masterclasses, chamber rehearsals and performances on Banff Centre stages and in the community. Performances are curated in collaboration with the Artistic Director and Faculty. 

Participants have access to practice facilities via weekly signup sheets, with a maximum of three hours of practice space per day.


What's Included

Shared RoomRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes a shared bedroom on the Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.

Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.

Regular Meal PlanRead MoreClose

Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay.

The Regular Flex meal plan includes $29 credit per day, equivalent to lunch and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.

Studio SpaceRead MoreClose

Practice in our studios and huts.

Recording OpportunitiesRead MoreClose

Demo recordings: Upon availability, you’ll have the option to record up to 30 minutes of music at a reduced rate as part of your program. These recordings are intended to be used for auditions or personal promotion, not for commercial purposes.

Showcase your workRead MoreClose

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work in one of our performance venues or in the community.

Gym MembershipRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes free access to the swimming pool, climbing gym and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

Paul D. Fleck Library and ArchivesRead MoreClose

Access a wide range of publications, books, music and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open 6 days a week.

Box Office DiscountsRead MoreClose

Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.

Participant ResourcesRead MoreClose

Enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program fee (shared room)*
$2 392.10

*Financial Aid up to 33% is available for this program.  If you would like to be considered, please complete the Financial Aid section when uploading your supporting materials to SlideRoom.

Application fee


Help fund your experience at Banff Centre. View a compiled list of national and international opportunities here.

How to Apply

It is important to be aware of all steps included in submitting your application.
Learn more.

Financial assistance

Be sure to complete the Financial Aid section to be eligible for financial assistance.


A one-page resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, and other relevant experience. Indicate years or periods involved and organizations or relevant persons with whom you have studied.


A recommendation from a private teacher or a musician of importance that you have worked with in the last 12 months.


3 recent recordings demonstrating contrasting styles up to 15 minutes in length. The choice and difficulty of repertoire will be considered and should reflect your strengths. 

  • String applicants (violin, viola, cello) are required to submit video recordings only. Audio recordings will not be accepted.
  • Wind applicants (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn) can submit either video or audio recordings, or a combination of both.

Or a live audition. You will be able to indicate your audition city in the upload tool.
 Once submitted you will be contacted with a time and date based on

Personal statement

A statement of what you would like to achieve over the course of the program.

If you have attended Banff Centre's Master Classes for Strings & Winds program more than three times, please explain how you think you would benefit from another residency.


Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. In addition to artistic merit, consideration will be given to the likelihood that the artist's work will benefit from the program.

We'll let you know the outcome of your adjudication as soon as the process is complete, approximately 10 weeks after the application deadline.


All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of the Banff Centre.

Contact the Registrar

For questions on preparing your application, please contact the Office of the Registrar:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)