Workshop in Practice and Performance for Strings

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Course Information
Terms offered: 
Language of instruction: 

Major or minor in string instruments. Completion of IES Abroad Milan Music Placement Application, which includes statement of student’s goals with home school advisor’s signature.  If home school does not approve course for credit, students may audit by permission of the conductor.


Milano Classica, a renowned chamber orchestra, is welcoming IES Abroad Milan students to participate in their concert season at the beautiful Palazzina Liberty Hall in the Largo Marinai d’Italia Park.  The chamber orchestra workshop is designed to offer undergraduate string performers the opportunity to enhance their orchestral practice of early Baroque and classical repertoire (including relevant chamber music literature, where applicable), increase performance skills, and introduce them to performance practice with original instruments. 

Milano Classica "Orchestra da Camera" was founded in 1993 by members of the former Orchestra dell'Angelicum with performances of the great masterpieces from the Baroque and Classical era.  The orchestra also performs a great number of previously unknown compositions, as well as works from the 19th century through the contemporary.  Since its formation, the orchestra has performed twice weekly during its regular concert season from January to June at the Palazzina Liberty in Milan. Many world famous artists have performed with or conducted the Milano Classica with several prominent Italian composers writing specifically for Milano Classica.  With performances worldwide, Milano Classica has participated in important concert series including those of the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minnesota, Vassar College in the state of New York, the Oratorio del Gonfalone in Rome and the Villa Pignatelli in Naples. The orchestra's recordings - with the labels Bottega Discantica, Vermeer Classics, Tactus and Dynamic - have been favorably received by international critics and several have won special recognition. Gianluca Capuano has been artistic director since January 2009.

Attendance policy: 

Regular class attendance is mandatory. Students are expected to attend classes each day, including course-related excursions.

IES Abroad Milano allows a maximum of TWO excused absences per semester. Each further absence will automatically result in a penalty of two points off (2/100) on the final grade. SEVEN absences per course (including 2 excused absences) will result in a failing grade for that course. Furthermore, an absence on the date of scheduled tests, presentations or quizzes does not entitle you to recover/reschedule such tests. Failure to attend your midterm and/or final exam will result in an F grade on that paper/exam.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the workshop, students are able to:

  • Gain valuable experience in the planning, preparation and performance of a chamber orchestra;
  • Enhance musical abilities from practicing and performing with professional musicians;
  • Develop the musical and social skills necessary for successful performance of chamber music; and
  • Gain a familiarity with original instruments. 
Method of presentation: 

Individual instruction; Group rehearsals; Lectures and discussion on production scores. 

Required work and form of assessment: 

Regular attendance (20%)
Verification of assigned practice, reading and analysis (30%)
Review of live performances (20%)

Participation in a minimum of one public concert(s) during the semester (30%)


The Orchestra Workshop includes:

  • 12 hours of individual instrumental tutoring with the First Parts of the orchestra;
  • Up to 54 hours participation in rehearsals of at least 3 productions per semester. This usually translates to 3 + 3 hours of rehearsal per day, Thursday through Saturday.
  • The most proficient students are eligible to perform in the Sunday matinee concerts as well. Their names are also included in the Program Notes list of the orchestra members.
  • All participants in the workshop perform in public at least once a semester independently from the selections for the matinee concerts.
  • Historical-analytical lessons held by the Conductor. These lessons focus on lectures and discussion about the scores of each production plus a general overview on the history of Performance Practice, treatises, best practices and recent studies in this field;
  • The use of original instruments depending on availability and discretion of the Milano Classica Board.