String Quartet – Quartetto di Cremona

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1 October 2024 - 4 July 2025
3 September 2024


This is a performance oriented advanced training programme, aimed at ensembles with exceptional artistic skills who are strongly committed to pursuing a professional career with their group. It comprises three training paths:


  • the High Specialization Course, for string quartets and trios with piano ensembles, duration: one year;
  • the Stauffer Performance Diploma, reserved for pre-formed string quartets with previous activity of at least one year, duration: three years;
  • the “Ad Hoc” Quartet Formula, for pre-formed string quartets, of variable duration to be tailored to suit the specific needs of ensembles.


The structure of the lessons, common to all courses, requires that in each monthly session the ensemble work with each member of the Cremona Quartet. This attending mode, while giving groups ample time for in-depth study of the repertoire, also allows for a thorough understanding of the peculiarities of each role the quartet ensemble.

The programme also includes a series of meetings and masterclasses dedicated exclusively to the ensembles enrolled in the three-year and annual programmes, with great artists from the international scene. In particular, the following Guest Professors will be present in the 2024-2025 academic year:

Marc Danel (Danel Quartet), Ori Kam (Jerusalem Quartet) and Günter Pichler.

Furthermore, the academic programme includes a rich programme of concerts and special artistic projects, including the opportunity to participate in the Chamber Music Week, a week of masterclasses and concerts with the extraordinary presence of David Finckel and Wu Han, numerous concert opportunities and international exchanges with prestigious music institutions from all over the world.



Annual High Specialization Course: for String Quartets and String and Piano Trios. The course lasts one year and involves the attendance of 8 sessions of three days each, scheduled monthly between October and July. In addition to lessons with teachers, each group will have the opportunity to join in supplementary activities (masterclasses with guest professors or artistic projects) scheduled during each academic year.


Stauffer Performance Diploma: the course lasts a maximum of three years, which can be reduced to two in agreement with the teachers and the Academic Management. Each year of the course involves attending 10 sessions of three days each, scheduled monthly between October and July. In addition to face-to-face lessons with the teachers, each group must participate in at least two supplementary activities to be chosen between masterclasses and artistic projects. Continued attendance is also subject to passing intermediate and final examinations. The final diploma exam will consist of an artistic project proposed by the graduating ensemble, consisting of a concert lasting approximately one hour, with free repertoire.


Ad Hoc” Quartet Formula, conceived to offer string quartets already engaged in external artistic or training activities the possibility of outlining a flexible advanced training programme tailored to their specific needs. The ensembles that choose this formula will be able to schedule, in agreement with the Course Teachers and the Academic Management, a flexible number of lessons within the course’s monthly sessions.


Age limit: no older than 35 on the application deadline date


Application deadline: 23:59 on 3rd September 2024.

The following documents must be attached to the online application:

  • Copy of a valid identity document
  • Copy of qualification, or self-certification of educational background
  • Curriculum vitae of the ensemble and any repertoire already studied
  • Admission examination programme

Once the registration has been completed by all members, a representative of each ensemble must forward an e-mail to (Subject: String Quartet – Name of ensemble) specifying the preferred attendance mode the ensemble wishes to enrol for.


Administration fees:

In order to finalise the application, a fixed administration fee of €55.00 (required upon submission of the application, after filling in the form) is required for each member of the ensemble.

The fee is non-refundable.


Admission examinations: 16th September 2024, from 10 am.

The examinations will take place exclusively ‘in person’ at the Stauffer Academy, via S. Martino 6, Cremona.

Admission examination programme – String Quartet:

  • Two contrasting movements of a quartet from the classical period (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or other)
  • J. Brahms: Andante moderato (2nd movement) from Quartet op. 51 No. 2
  • Two contrasting movements of a quartet from the historical twentieth century (late 1800s – ca. 1950s)


Programme for trios with piano (annual course):

  • Two contrasting movements of a piano trio from the classical period (Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or other)
  • Slow movement of a piano trio from the Romantic period
  • Two contrasting movements of a piano trio from the historical twentieth century (late 1800s – ca. 1950s)

Teachers may request the performance of the entire programme or part of it.

Candidates will receive the results of the selections by e-mail after the conclusion of the admission examinations.


Tuition fees are entirely supported by the Stauffer Foundation.

Other costs related to travel, board and lodging in Cremona and other personal expenses are borne by the students themselves.


The ensembles who have attended the Annual High Specialization Course may renew the enrolment for a further academic year by forwarding the request through the “Course enrolment ” section (as if it were a new enrolment) and paying the administration fee.

Upon completion of the entrance examinations, the Teachers will decide, at their own discretion, which ensembles can be readmitted for a further year.

Ensembles who submit an application for readmission are exempted from the entrance examination.

Apply to the


Quartetto di Cremona

Accademia Stauffer - String Quartet