Founded in 1971 by concert pianist James Dick, Round Top Festival Institute offers selected talented young artists a 6-week program including Orchestral, Chamber music, and solo repertoires... in the smallest incorporated town in Texas! (pop. 87)
Round Top Festival Institute owns its campus (over 200 acres), its venues (an extraordinary, acoustically peerless 1,000-seat concert hall and a 160-seat chapel), its practice rooms, its accommodations, its food service and other amenities (swimming pool, jogging trails...) The whole project has been specifically envisioned and realized to provide the best environment to implement the program.
The relatively small number of participants (usually 96) whose admission is based on auditions and recommendations and the fact that participants and faculty share the same campus, create a collegial atmosphere through which a constant flow of stimulating exchanges enlightens everyone. Due to the post-COVID pandemic circumstances, the number of students in 2021 is limited to 37 young artists from major schools of music (Ball State University, Baylor University, Berklee College of Music, Boston University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, DePaul University, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, Mannes School of Music, New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, Southern Methodist University, University of Cincinnati, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, University of North Texas, University of Oregon, University of Texas at Austin, Vanderbilt University, Yale University.)
The Texas Festival Orchestra, body of young artists, will perform six programs (Saturdays at 7:30 pm) conducted by Gregory Vajda, Christian Arming, Fabio Mechetti, Michelle Merrill and Carl St. Clair and one program (Tuesday June 22 at 11:00 am) for Young Persons conducted by Emilio Colon. The guest soloists are pianist James Dick, violinists Regis Pasquier and Tomas Cotik, violist Susan Dubois, cellist Jesus Castro-Balbi, and flutist Carol Wincenc. Orchestra rehearsals are open to the public from 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm, Monday thru Friday.
Repertoire includes works by L. van Beethoven, W.A. Mozart, Joseph Haydn, and Mendelssohn.
Chamber music concerts offer a wide variety of ensembles (duos, trios, quartets, sextets, septets, octets, larger ensembles.) Performers are faculty members with the participation of young artists. Works by L. van Beethoven, Aaron Copland, Rebecca Clarke, Sergei Prokofiev, Max Reger, Camille Saint-Saens, Franz Schubert, Richard Strauss,....
Master classes (open to the public) are given on weekdays at 1:30 pm in the serene and beautiful Edythe Bates Old chapel.
We offer also a program (unique in the US!) called Soundpainting presented by its founder Walter Thompson, who is in residence for the two first weeks of the festival. A public performance of the group of young artists who have freely chosen to participate on Friday June 18 at 7:30 pm in the Festival Concert Hall after two weeks of training and rehearsing. [Organizer's description]