The International Cello Institute (ICI) is a unique, three-week summer program that provides a structured curriculum of lessons, masterclasses and workshops for advanced cellists. During the institute students work alongside featured cello instructors and performers. Each summer we feature different artists and teachers from around the world. ICI is held on the beautiful campus of St. Olaf College, situated in the charming town of Northfield, Minnesota. ICI provides a nurturing environment for cellists to grow in technical knowledge, musical skill, and passion. In addition to in-depth study and multiple performance opportunities on campus and in the greater Northfield community, students get priority seating at our faculty artists concert series (CELLOici) which takes place in Minneapolis and draws a full audience from the greater Twin Cities.
We encourage advanced cellists of all ages to apply to our program. ICI invites a mix of talented high school, undergraduate, and graduate students. Occasional exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for young students who are playing advanced repertoire. This intensive three-week session gives students the opportunity to gain performance experience and focus closely on major repertoire for the cello.
Repertoire should include a a minimum of one movement of a standard sonata, a movement of a concerto, an etude, and several movements of unaccompanied Bach. Before each of our faculty artist recitals, we choose an outstanding student to perform as an opener on that concert. Because of this, we ask interested students come to ICI with a short concert or encore piece prepared. We encourage students to bring additional repertoire outside of our requirements.
Learning how to practice properly is an important part of our curriculum. Lessons and masterclasses, recital performance opportunities, technique classes, orchestral excerpts, cello chamber music, and workshops are all designed to enhance musicianship and technique.
ICI offers the unique opportunity to interact and bond with your peers in a close and cooperative all-cello environment. Our program provides you with time and space to specifically focus on improving your technique and performing skills. We invite the worlds best cellists and pedagogues to our institute and hold our students to a high standard.
Private Lessons: Each student will have two lessons per week and study with a variety of faculty members. Students not in a lesson spend time practicing or rehearsing and coaching with one of our pianists.
Master Classes: Students will perform in and observe a variety of public master classes given by ICI faculty and artists throughout the camp. Students are expected to present performance-ready pieces in the master class setting.
Chamber Music: Collaborative ensemble playing is an important part of chamber music, especially when it comes to putting together a sonata with your pianist for a performance. We offer coachings and lessons in rehearsal settings with your pianist along with masterclasses given by various teachers and guest artists. We encourage students to sight read cello chamber music and provide coaching for those who wish to perform a short piece in a student recital.
Student Recital Series: Students perform solo and chamber works in weekly student recitals. Performances are open to the public and presented on Thursday evenings in Urness Recital Hall on St. Olaf College. Our two “Grande Finale” concerts on the last two days of the institute showcase our students’ hard work.
CELLOici Artist Recital Series: Every summer we feature fabulous guest cellists to perform on our CELLOici Series. This is a chance for students, visiting parents, and local cello enthusiasts to hear outstanding cello performances. CELLOici recitals are held in the Art Museum of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in downtown Minneapolis. The church has a warm and engaging atmosphere and we regularly receive large audiences. We choose an outstanding student from the camp to perform as a prelude to each concert to show our audiences the amazing work being done at ICI.