International Chamber Music Academy of Ochsenhausen

Summer Music

Chamber Music Academy of Ochsenhausen

The International Chamber Music Academy in Ochsenhausen is an annual training and performance festival for highly gifted musicians from UNCSA and throughout the world, created in partnership with the Landesakademie in Ochsenhausen, Germany. For two weeks each July, the academy takes place in an idyllic former convent among the historic castles, medieval villages and scenic mountains of Southern Germany. Academy faculty consist of internationally recognized artists and professors who teach individual lessons, coach ensembles and perform alongside students.

The 2024 Academy will run from July 7 - July 15, 2024. The total cost for students is 710€, which includes tuition, admittance to all concerts and events, and room and board. We will accept students of violin, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, horn and piano. For more information about the Chamber Music Academy, please email Maria Serkin at

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The mission of the academy and this partnership is to offer a transformational experience for students and to bring artists from Europe and America together to instigate change in the world of music, while drawing on and respecting its great traditions. The work of the academy will culminate with student and faculty concerts, public workshops, and master classes in Ochsenhausen, as well as in various concert venues throughout Southern Germany.

UNCSA students and faculty at the 2022 International Chamber Music Academy of Southern GermanyUNCSA students and faculty at the 2022 International Chamber Music Academy of Southern GermanyUNCSA students and faculty at the 2022 International Chamber Music Academy of Southern GermanyUNCSA students and faculty at the 2022 International Chamber Music Academy of Southern GermanyThe LandesakademieThe LandesakademieThe LandesakademieThe LandesakademieThe LandesakademieThe LandesakademieThe Landesakademie

Program Faculty

Ida Bieler, violin

Ida Bieler

Described by Fanfare Magazine as “a specialist in everything, from Bach to new-music premieres…” violinist Ida Bieler is renowned as a musician of extraordinary scope. A winner of prestigious competitions on three continents, she has enjoyed an exceptional solo, collaborative and recording career worldwide, and is one of the most sought-after teachers of her generation.

Bieler has performed the canon of major violin concertos with over forty orchestras on four continents, including the premiere of Penderecki’s second violin concerto under the direction of the composer.  Her groundbreaking achievement as the first American woman appointed concertmaster of a major European orchestra, the “Gürzenich Orchestra” of Cologne, led to a major ensemble career in Germany’s legendary Melos String Quartet and the acclaimed Xyrion Piano Trio. Over the course of a celebrated performing career spanning more than thirty years she has also produced an impressive catalogue of solo and chamber recordings with such labels as Naxos, MDG, Harmonia Mundi Musique, Coviello and Genuin. Awards and prizes have included the Cannes “Classical” award, the Echo “Klassik”, Fono Forum’s “Stern des Monats”, and Strad’s “Chamber Music Selection.”

Ida Bieler has performed and been a frequent guest artist in major international festivals, including the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Beethovenfest Bonn, the Music Academy of the West, and the Ravinia and Marlboro festivals.  One of today’s preeminent pedagogues, Bieler has held full professorships in Germany, England, Austria, and the US, and leads annual masterclasses worldwide. Bieler’s outstanding students are international prize laureates, thriving chamber musicians, and winners of positions in major orchestras. Since 2013 she has been Artist-Teacher of Violin at UNCSA, and is a new faculty member of NYU’s Steinhardt School of Music and Performing Arts.

Konrad Elser, piano

Konrad ElserBorn in Schwäbisch Gmünd, pianist Konrad Elser studied at the Musikhochschule in Stuttgart with Professors Paul Buck, Andrzej Jasinski and Oleg Maisenberg, who gave him his assistantship while he was still a student. Elser was a student of Martha Argerich in Geneva and attended master classes with Lew Vlasenko, Jörg Demus and Nikita Magaloff, among others.

Elser has received prizes and awards at numerous competitions. In 1982 he was awarded the bronze medal at the International Music Competition in Geneva. In 1984 he was a prizewinner at the German Music Competition in Bonn, in 1985 he won first prize at the Concours International de Piano in Epinal, and in 1987 and 1989 prizes followed at the Busoni Competition in Bozen and at the International Schubert Competition in Dortmund.

His concert activities as a soloist and chamber music partner have taken Elser across Europe, South America, China and Japan. For many years he gave concerts with the 'Melos Quartet', with well-known artists such as David Geringas, Ida Bieler, Thomas Brandis, the tenor James Wagner, the Lotus Quartet, the Cuarteto Casals and the Trio di clarone with Sabine Meyer.

After teaching at the University of Music in Stuttgart and the University for Church Music in Esslingen, Elser accepted a call to the University of Music in Lübeck in 1992, where he trains young pianists as a professor for piano and chamber music.

Matthias Buchholz, viola

Matthias Buchholz

Matthias Buchholz was born in Hamburg in 1957 and began his music studies there. Further studies took him to Cincinnati, Detmold and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. His teachers include Hirofumi Fukai, Bruno Giuranna, Michael Tree and Karen Tuttle. He received further important musical instruction through his work with Felix Galimir, Alexander Schneider and the LaSalle Quartet. Since 1976 he has performed - first as violist in the Brahms Quartet Hamburg, then in the Ridge Quartet New York - in the important European metropolises, the USA and Canada, South America and Asia.

He was a prize-winner at the German Music Competition in Bonn in 1978, the Coleman Competition in Los Angeles in 1981, and the Budapest International Music Competition in 1984. From 1986, Matthias Buchholz was first solo violist in the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra until 1990, when he was appointed professor of viola at the Cologne Musikhochschule. Since then he has conducted master classes in Taiwan, Japan and Korea, USA and in many European countries. He has been invited repeatedly to the festivals in Avignon, Berlin, Marlboro, Hitzacker, Lyon, Schleswig-Holstein and others, where his chamber music partners have included artists such as Salvatore Accardo, Norbert Brainin, Rainer Kussmaul, Joseph Silverstein, Benny Goodman, Anner Bylsma, Frans Helmerson and members of the Guarneri Quartet. As a guest, he has performed with the Auryn, Fine Arts, Petersen, and Vermeer Quartets, as well as the Trio Fontenay. World premieres and German premieres of works by composers Hans Zender, Heinz Holliger, Per Nörgard, Peteris Vasks and Detlev Müller-Siemens document his tireless commitment to contemporary viola music.

Since 1991 he has been a member of the Linos Ensemble, with which he has since performed in countless concerts in Europe and Southeast Asia. His CD's with works by Haydn, Schubert, Bruckner, Dvorak, Mahler, Prokofiev, Janacek and many other composers make the ensemble's joy in the intensive exploration of music audible.

In 2003, a new adventure began with the founding of the Heine Quartet: together with Ida Bieler, Ulrich Gröner and Christoph Richter, four quartet-experienced and -tested musicians founded the new Heine Quartet. Invitations to Zurich, London, Düsseldorf (Schumannfest 2006), Würzburg (Mozartfest), Stuttgart, Essen, Wiesloch, Ravensburg as well as to the Rheingau Festival 2006 followed the successful founding concert in Ochsenhausen in 2004. The first CD with quartets by Johannes Brahms (A minor op.51/2) and Leos Janacek (Intimate Letters) will be released in spring 2006 on the GENUIN label/Leipzig.

Miclen LaiPang, violin

Michlen LaiPang

Violinist Miclen LaiPang is quickly establishing himself as one of the most exciting and versatile artists of his generation and has earned global recognition as a soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster. The New York Times acclaimed Miclen as “a force to be reckoned with…” while German newspaper Die Welt said he is “a musician of daring virtuosity with gripping access and noble elegance.”

Miclen has performed with numerous orchestras and have had solo recitals in halls such as the Carnegie Hall, Vienna Musikverein, Salzburg Dom, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Elbphlharmonie in Hamburg, Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Berlin Philharmonie, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Victoria Hall in Singapore, St. Martin in the Fields, and many more. Miclen started his first violin lesson at the age of three, inspired by the work of his brother, a violinist in the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. By the age of 9, he went on to win numerous competitions, including the grand-prize of the Merit Award Competition, the ASTA Competition, MTNA, and Redlands Bowl Young Artist Competition.

Since then, Miclen has performed in over 50 countries and has won multiple awards, including the Stradivarius International Violin Competition, Schoenfeld International String Competition, Grand Prize of the American Fine Arts National Competition, and the Bruno-Frey-Musikpreis. Just in 2021, Miclen has won First Prize at the American Virtuoso International Music Competition, Grand Prize at the Vancouver International Music Competition, First Prize and Judge’s Best Performance Award at the Vienna Virtuoso Music Competition, Grand Prize at the Primuz International Strings Competition, Grand Prize and 2 Special Prizes at Nouvelles Étoiles Music Competition, First Prize at the Swiss International Online Music Competition and First Prize in the CD Category, First Prize at the 3rd Pro Violin International Competition, First Prize and Special Prize at the International Moscow Music Competition, First Prize at the King’s Peak International Competition, First Prize at the American Music Talent Competition, and a laureate of the Odin International Music Competition, Medici International Music Competition, 6th Rising Star Grand Prix, and the North International Competition. He has also appeared as a violin soloist on worldwide television networks, such as NBC, ESPN, 3ABN, LLBN, and the Hope Channel.

As an avid chamber and orchestral musician, he has participated in festivals including the IMS Prussia Cove Open Chamber Music, Rome Chamber Music Festival, iPalpiti, Tanglewood, New York String Orchestra Seminar, Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, Lyricafest, and the Castleman Quartet Program. Other festivals he has appeared in include Verbier, Ghent, Aspen, Rheingau, Spectrum New Music Festival, Salzburg, Port City Music Festival, Montecito International Music Festival, and Boston Music Institute Masterclasses. He is currently the artistic director of the Miesbach Kammermusikfestival and teaches chamber music at the International Chamber Music Academy of Southern Germany at the Landesakademie Ochsenhausen. With a wide range of standard violin repertoire, he is also an advocate for the music of contemporary composers.

He has performed and premiered pieces by Steve Reich, John Harbison, György Ligeti, Luciano Berio, Lansing McLoskey, Augusta Read Thomas, Christopher Theofanidis, and Thomas Sleeper. In addition to his classical career, Miclen has also enjoyed collaborations with artists such as Shelly Berg, James Newton Howard, Bruce Hornsby, Andy Farber, and Arturo Sandoval. In 2018, Miclen became one of the violinists for the Echo Klassik nominated LGT Young Soloists; described by Fanfare as “one of the finest youth orchestras in Europe”. Miclen has recorded two CD’s with them, with the first one in 2019 under SONY MUSIC and the most recent one featuring him on the Kreutzer Sonata arranged for violin and chamber orchestra on NAXOS.

In April 2020, Miclen won the Woordfees Festival Award for “Best Classical Instrumental Performance” when he gave the African premiere of the Kreutzer Sonata in Stellenbosch. In 2021, Miclen won a three year scholarship from Villa Musica Rheinland-Pfalz where he is working with leading musicians from around the world. He is also a member of the highly acclaimed O/Modernt Chamber Orchestra. Besides music performance, Miclen has a deep-rooted affection for musical outreach and entrepreneurship. In 2012, he founded the Southeast Asia Music Festival in Bukidnon, Philippines which was catered to bringing world-class music and musicians into a remote area of the world. The mission was to give the highest quality instruction and to inspire a greater appreciation of music in the talented musicians of the area as well as fostering musical growth and advancement. He has also worked carefully with El Sistema inspired programs in the United States on developing and advising efficient ways to bring music into undervalued society.

Miclen has had the privilege to work with international artists such as Ivry Gitlis, Janos Starker, Gerhard Schulz, Robert McDuffie, Lawrence Dutton, Jens Peter Maintz, Christoph Richter, Matt Haimowitz, Ross Harbaugh, Irvine Arditti, Jodi Levitz, Csaba Erdélyi, and Peter Serkin, Trio Zadig and many more. His primary mentors include Ida Bieler, Charles Castleman, Ruggiero Ricci, Aaron Rosand, Alice Schoenfeld, and Linda Rose. His previous institutions include the Colburn School, Eastman School of Music, Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, and the Robert Schumann Musikhochschule in Düsseldorf. Currently, Miclen resides between Cologne and Vienna where he keeps a busy schedule as guest concertmaster, teaching, chamber music projects, and solo performances. He was the teaching assistant of renowned violinist Ida Bieler under whom he completed his Konzertexamen degree with highest honors from the Robert Schumann Hochschule. He is currently studying with Boris Kuschnir at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz.

Maria Serkin, horn

Maria Serkin

Dr. Maria Serkin is the Associate Professor of Horn at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Principal Horn of the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle (Durham). She enjoys a multifaceted career as a performer and educator, and has held additional principal horn positions with the Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Atlantic Classical Orchestra, and the Charlottesville Symphony, and was a fellow with the New World Symphony. She previously taught at University of Virginia and the New World School of the Arts (Miami), and has led master classes extending from the Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School to the Big Island of Hawaii.

Dr. Serkin has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Spoleto Festival USA, National Repertory Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. Her New York and Miami recording credits include work with The Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park, Gloria Estefan, and ESPN. Recent performance highlights include extensive work the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, The Verona Quartet, Palm Beach Opera, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, and the North Carolina Brass Band. In 2018, she was honored to premiere Kenneth Frazelle’s "Hearken (Blue Ridge Airs III)" at the 50th International Horn Symposium. In 2023, she premiered "Shelter" by Lawrence Dillon at the 55th International Horn Symposium in Montreal.

Kara I-Ting Chen, collaborative piano

Kara I-Ting Chen

Kara I-Ting Chen was born in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan in 1986. She received her first piano lessons at the age of five and received a sound piano education at the music school in Tainan, Taiwan continuing with concert studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. During her studies with Alexander Jenner, Heinz Medjimorec and Noel Flores, she also received valuable impulses at master classes given by Karl- Heinz Kämmerling and Andrzej Jasinski. 

She has won several national and international competition prizes, including the 1st prize at the Taiwan National Student Competition of Music (1998) and a second prize at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Taipei (1999).

As a pianist and accompanist, she has participated in many master classes and competitions (including the Cello Competition in Liezen, International Competition "Anna Kull") as well as in concerts in Switzerland, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Austria.

Since 2012, I-Ting has been working at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz as a repetiteur at the Institute for String Instruments.

Hillel Zori, cello

Hillel Zori

One of Israel’s eminent musicians, cellist Hillel Zori, who has been hailed by the international press to “have his playing linked directly to the Jewish-romantic tradition,” has distinguished himself as winner of the gold medal at the Canals Competition in Barcelona, a laureate of the Geneva-CIEM, the Whitaker and the Cremona-Premio Stradivari competitions as well as winner of the Dutilleux prize at the Rostropovich competition and the Jackson Award at Tanglewood Music Center. A consecutive awardee of the AICF, he studied with Uzi Wiesel at the Tel Aviv Rubin Academy and later at the New England Conservatory in the US with Bernard Greenhouse. His vast repertoire spans from Bach cello suites to contemporary music including numerous premieres.

Since his 1984 debut with the Israel philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, Zori has been featured as soloist with many orchestras such as the Dusseldorf Symphony, the Jerusalem Symphony, the Bremen Kamerphilharmonie, the Israel Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Israel Camerata and the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra to name a few, performing with prominent conductors such as Mehta, Shalon, Sloane, Paternostro, Brabins, Volkov, Velber, Sheriff and many more.

An avid chamber musician, he has toured the globe extensively as a guest in festivals such as Marlboro, Tanglewood, Solsona, Keshet Eilon, Jerusalem and Dartington festivals collaborating with celebrated artists such as Tabea Zimmermann, Shmuel Ashkenazi, Hagai Shaham, Atar Arad, Pnina Saltzmann, Eugene Drucker and Vadim Gluzmann to name a few. His versatile activities have brought him to major venues such as the Wigmore Hall, the Carnegie Zankel Hall, the Tel Aviv Museum, the Moscow Music Dome and the UN General Assembly Hall in NY performing Bruch Kol Nodrei under the baton of Zubin Mehta for the 2009 International Holocaust Memorial Day.

Active also as a composer and as conductor, he wrote a virtuoso suite for cello and orchestra on themes from the opera Carmen, a Ladino Medley for strings, a string trio, and “Carmel”- songs and verses for voice and chamber ensemble. His adaptation of Wiesenberg’s “Monodialogue”- Fantasy for viola, (dedicated to Tabea Zimmermann) – was published by Schott Music. As a conductor, he has conducted the Ra’anana Symphonette, the Israel Camerata and the Israel Youth Philharmonic among others. As a recording artist, he was featured on the BBC3, the IBA and the SWR radio stations, and his album for Cello Classics “Inspirals”, cellists –composers’ anthology, was selected by the BBC as a January 2014 “CD of the Week”.

A most sought after pedagogue; among his numerous students are winners of national and international competitions. He has served as juror for international competitions and presented master classes around the world. A regular guest to the Keshet Eilon String Seminar as well as the Jerusalem Music center, Zori serves as professor and head of strings at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University.

Saxton Rose, bassoon

Saxton RoseSaxton Rose is principal bassoonist of the Winston-Salem Symphony and a member of the acclaimed New York-based wind quintet Zéphyros Winds. He was principal bassoonist of the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2008 and has appeared as guest principal bassoonist with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. A frequent concerto soloist, recent engagements include appearances with the National Symphony of Colombia, National Symphony of Panamá, Orquesta Filarmónica de Boca del Río (Mexico), Puerto Rico Symphony, and the West Point Band. Formerly Professor of Bassoon at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, he is now Dean of the School of Music and director of the contemporary music ensemble. Rose graduated with highest honors from the class of Stefano Canuti at the Conservatorio “Agostino Steffani” in Castelfranco-Veneto, Italy and studied with William Winstead at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Paul Sharpe, double bass

Paul SharpePaul Sharpe is the Professor of Double Bass and an assistant dean at UNCSA. He has performed in recital at prestigious music festivals and venues all over the world – including Germany (Villa Musica), Italy (Orfeo), France (Bass2008), Poland (World Bass Festival), Brazil (Bass Encounter), Virginia’s Garth Newel Chamber Institute and Alaska (Anchorage Chamber Music Festival and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival).

As soloist he has performed with the orchestras of Winston-Salem, Boise, Theatro Sao Pedro (Porto Allegre, Brazil), Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Lubbock, Dallas Chamber and Aspen Young Artists. His work as a member of the unique cello-bass duo, Low and Lower has pushed him from the traditional role of a classical double bassist into singing, acting, composing, arranging and more. Sharpe serves as Principal Bass of the Winston-Salem Symphony, is a frequent guest principal and assistant principal bass of Charleston (South Carolina) Symphony and a bassist with Arizona MusicFest.

Stefan Schilling, clarinet

Stefan Schilling

Stefan Schilling began studies at the age of 15 under Professor Hans-Dietrich Klaus in Detmold, Germany. In addition to first prizes in the German youth music competition “Jugend musiziert” and the German Music Academy Competition, he received grants from the Study Foundation of the German People, the Herbert von Karajan Foundation, and the German Music Council.

From 1991 to 1992 he was principal clarinet at the Staatstheater Darmstadt before he took the same position in the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in 1993. An avid chamber musician, he regularly performs with musicians such as Lars Vogt, Mitsuko Uchida, and Leipziger Streichquartett. In addition to his orchestral duties, Schilling is Professor of Clarinet at the University for Music and the Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. His students hold positions in orchestras and universities throughout Europe and abroad.


International Chamber Music Academy of Southern Germany connects students with global peers

Most students look forward to summer break — a time to disconnect from their studies and enjoy a less rigorous schedule. For some School of Music students, however, the highlight of their recent summer was entirely the opposite.

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