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Young Artists Program

The Northern Lights Young Artists Program provides participating students with a unique opportunity to study with internationally known performing artists, to collaborate with other participants in chamber groups and ensembles and to sit side-by side with members of the Minnesota Orchestra and the Duluth Symphony.

Young artists of collegiate level will be accepted by audition and recommendation to join the company; a limited number of motivated pre-college musicians will be accepted based upon audition and recommendation from current teachers.

Participants are placed to form piano trios, quartets and quintets. Existing string quartets are also encouraged to apply as a group. Repertoire assignments will be made in advance to enable the ensembles to make best use of their rehearsal time.

Experienced and exceptional staff accompanists are provided, all winners of numerous national and international competitions, including the MTNA National Steinway Competition.


String players accepted into the Young Artists Program will be taught and coached by an international roster of performing faculty. 

Past faculty members have included famed violinist Mikhail Kopelman and celebrated cellist Yosif Feigelson, as well as noted violin pedagogue Igor Petrushevski from the Richard Wagner Konservatorium in Vienna. Local artists have included  violinist Celine Leathead and Jorja Fleezanis of the Minnesota Orchestra, violist Matthew Williams and cellist Sally Dorer from the Minnesota Opera Orchestra.

In addition to chamber and orchestral performance opportunities, string players will also participate in public master classes offered throughout the festival.


Pianists participating in the Young Artists Program will receive lessons and coachings from a roster of outstanding performing artists. Over the course of the past 15 years faculty members have included renowned pedagogues Alan Chow, Douglas Humphreys and Thomas Schumacker of the Eastman School, Peter Mack of Cornish College of the Arts,  Veda Zuponcic Professor of Piano at Rowan University, Peter Wirth, Larissa Dedova and Mikahil Volchok professors at the University of Maryland College Park, and Mitsuko Ichimura.

In addition to solo performance opportunities, they will also team up with string players to learn, rehearse and perform chamber music during the festival. Weekly master classes, open to the public, will also be offered.

Alan Chow Masterclass with Belinda Chen of Peabody Conservatory.
World famous violinist Mikhail Kopelman gives a private lesson.

Famed cellist Yosi Feigelson leads a chamber music coaching.

NLMF Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Gavriel Heine of the Mariinsky Theater.