DaPonte String Quartet Institute

WHEN: June 17-25, 2023 (final concert on Saturday, June 24, departure Sunday morning)

WHAT: This is a nine-day residency for pre-formed, conservatory-level string quartets wishing to study advanced string quartet technique and interpretation. Located at the beautiful Medomak Retreat, on Medomak Lake in Washington, Maine, tuition and board are free upon acceptance. Applications due April 15, 2023. For more detailed information and application procedure, read below.

Reactions from previous participants:

— “This workshop was life-changing. It has renewed my passion for chamber music and
confirmed how important chamber music is for the rest of my musical endeavors.”
— “ Food was amazing location was beautiful. Quiet and distraction free.”
— “ Our group has grown tremendously thanks to all of you, and what we’ve learned this week
will stick with us for the rest of our careers.”
— “I learned that there isn’t a right answer, but rather different answers, one of which must be
agreed upon.”
— “ Excellent instruction with a wide variety of input at the highest level.”
— “I learned how to work together, live in a community of like-minded people, and be at peace
with nature.”

For further questions, contact Ferdinand Liva: dino@dapontequartet.org


Thank you for your interest in the DaPonte String Quartet Institute!

2023 marks the second year of our Institute (begun in 2019, but interrupted by covid. This is a nine-day residency for pre-formed, conservatory-level string quartets wishing to study the finer points of string quartet technique and interpretation.  The dates are June 17-June 25 (departure Sunday morning).

The Institute will provide full scholarships to all accepted students, including tuition, room, board, and ground transportation. The 2023 Institute will be held at the beautiful Medomak  Retreat Center; a quiet, rural setting not far from bustling midcoast Maine.This program is open to pre-formed string quartets, to a maximum of five ensembles. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Artistic Excellence

The DaPonte String Quartet has been a fixture of the performing arts scene in Maine and beyond, for the past thirty years. They undertake a schedule of over fifty performances annually, in addition to educational, outreach and mentorship programs. The DSQ is widely known as a world-class chamber music ensemble, frequentlyreceiving rave reviews, and numerous awards from arts and media organizations.

Stunning Setting

The 250 acre Medomak Retreat Center of mid-coast Maine is a sanctuary for peopleand nature alike. Medomak offers a respite from the day to day, rushed-life routine most people endure, in surroundings that allow for learning, community, and recreation. Students are encouraged to develop a personal relationship with Medomak. Hike thetrails, pick sweet blueberries, or explore the quiet lake by canoe, kayak or sailboat. Her cooling waters are a joy to swim in, paddle through, or simply observe from the docks with a good book. Internet is accessible throughout the Center, cell coverage is good, and emergency services are readily available if needed. Medomak is rural but not remote!

We know that tantalizing your taste buds is as important as stimulating your mind so students will enjoy meals with ingredients from Medomack’s own dairy cows, organic gardens and local farms. Medomak Retreat Center’s impressive green statement can be found here.

Full Scholarship

Students who are accepted to the Institute will receive a full ride! Tuition, housing, food, and recreation are all provided at no cost to the student. In addition, we will provide ground transportation to and from the Portland airport on arrival/departure days and field trip transportation. Transportation from other area airports can be arranged.


The Institute demo, lecture, and coaching sessions begin with score and historical analysis, progressing to visions of a composer’s intention, further focusing on technical questions of intonation, ensemble, balance, phrasing, articulation and color. Students are led and mentored to develop positive and productive communication skills and strategies. The Institute also includes a Faculty Concert and participation in a Student Concert. These well-publicized events will provide opportunities for students to interact with media, local music enthusiasts, and supporters of the Institute and its sponsorship organization, the DaPonte String Quartet Foundation.

A field trip to nearby Rockland will offer students a chance to visit shops, galleries, and museums. Rockland was recently named by the Smithsonian as one of the 20 Best Small Towns to visit in 2017 and was also named one of the “Coolest small towns in America” In addition, Rockland was named to the National Historic Trust’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations. With its authentic working waterfront, historic movie theatre, its many and varied arts galleries, its superb dining experience which includes two restaurants that recently won James Beard awards, Rockland is truly a must visit experience. With 2 splendid museums and 20+ exceptional galleries it is obvious why Rockland is the Art Capital of Maine!

Application (due April 15):

Please email a letter of interest to dino@dapontequartet.org.  This email must include:

  1. The name of your quartet
  2. The name and age and hometown of each member of your quartet, along with a  list of recent teachers/coaches, schools attended and any degrees received
  3. A link to a video taped excerpt of your ensemble performing a classical work of your choosing. 
  4. Indicate one person as the contact for the group, and please provide a telephone number along with your email address.

Participants will be notified of their acceptance by May 1.

More reactions from past participants:
— “ We must understand that the piece is a living thing and we must bring that to life. There is a
deep history that is noted in each piece.”
— “I had a wonderful time. All of the coaches were critical and supportive and it really helped me
and my group to grow.”
— “Not only helpful for Chamber playing, but also for a group dynamic and solo playing.”
— “Thank you, thank you so much for being so kind and available, for changing my string Quartet
life, and my musical life.”