Students perform in Cagnes sur Mer

Students perform in Cagnes sur Mer

La Bolline, Valdeblore

La Bolline, Valdeblore

Student in St. Cezare

Student in St. Cezare

Student Concert at Valdeblore

Student Concert at Valdeblore

Dormitory in Valdeblore

Dormitory in Valdeblore

Students in Nice on Excursion

Students in Nice on Excursion

Students perform in Cagnes sur Mer

Students perform in Cagnes sur Mer

Students in La Bolline

Students in La Bolline

COVID 19  Info

To ensure everyone's safety, and in order to cooperate with sanitary protocol of France, all participants (including faculty and administrative staff) will  need to show proof of full vaccination prior to their arrival in France.  In case of cancellation, all fees will be re-imbursed.

Clarinet - Flute - Violin - Viola - Cello - Piano 
Chamber music - Composition


The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival session in Valdeblore, now in its 8th season, is designed as a two-week intensive course where young professionals and highly advanced students can immerse themselves in their practicing without distraction, surrounded by the untold beauty of the French Alps.  In addition to private instruction, the session offers chamber music and multiple performance opportunities throughout the Côte d'Azur.


Private Instruction:


Each instrumental student will have four, one-hour, individual lessons with the professor of their choice.  


*For Cello Students - we are pleased to provide complimentary instrument rentals for an internationally recognized string shop in Nice.

Chamber Music Coaching:


Students will be assigned to at least one chamber music ensemble, which will meet and rehearse daily.  Each ensemble, will receive four, one-hour coachings from the Zodiac Trio and the attending faculty.  



Each student is guaranteed to give at least one solo performance, and to participate in a chamber music performance. The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival is engaged by various venues on the Côte D'Azur, which provide students with opportunities to perform throughout the region. All performances are video and audio recorded, and are made available to the students at the end of the session, free of charge.

Specialized Classes  

Clinics and Seminars:


In addition to clinics and studio labs organized by the attending faculty, the Zodiac Music Academy & Festival will present educational clinics, open to all students. Some previous topics have included:


"Finding Your Place in the Music Industry: Entrepreneurship and beyond..." 


"The Art of Practicing"


"The Arts of the Orchestra Audition" 


"Beyond sight-reading" 



In addition to outside concerts presenting the Festival's students and faculty, the Festival will organize an excursion to the Cap of Nice, allowing for the exploration of Old Nice, Nice Castle, Promenade des Anglais, and of course, the beach! 

There will also be a free day to allow students to enjoy the fantastic surroundings of the region, including hiking, mountain tobogganing and zip lining through the mountains, amongst other activities!

It still remains one of the best decisions I ever made to come to Zodiac last summer, and I can't even begin to thank each of you enough for everything you do to make the festival such an inspiring, encouraging, supportive, and fun place for all of us. It's an experience that continues to have an impact on me throughout the year, and I'm incredibly grateful to know you all. 

Natasha Loomis, flute
Rutgers University, DMA

The people make the place, and this place is breathtaking to begin with. Thank you to everyone who helped to fill these two weeks with beauty, support, love, laughter, inspiration, and spectacular music

Katharine Burns, cello
Lamont School of Music, University of Denver 
'MM 2016

Mozart Kegelstatt Trio

Mozart Kegelstatt Trio

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Working with living composers, commissioning new works and performing contemporary music is an integral part of a successful musical career.  The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival selects five young composers each year to participate in its composition program. This composition course will not only provide private instruction, composition seminars and performance opportunities, but more importantly allow both composers and instrumentalists to collaborate on their own terms, explore, and influence the direction of music together.


The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival composition course is lead by award-winning composer Andrew List – a long-time collaborator of the Zodiac Trio.


Each composer will be paired with an assigned chamber ensemble from the festival roster and commissioned to write an eight-minute work, which will be premiered at one of the festival’s public concerts. Ample rehearsal time will be given for each composer’s work. It is our goal that these composer/performer collaborations will create lasting friendships that will continue beyond the festival.


All participants will meet for a daily composition seminar, where a variety of pertinent topics important to composers and seminal musical works will be discussed. In addition, each composer will receive three one-hour private lessons with Mr. List and have daily access to a working studio and piano.


Additionally, all composition students are welcome to participate in all the seminars and clinics offered by the Festival during the session, and are invited to join chamber ensembles (instrumental proficiency permitting), to allow for a larger scope of musical experience.


Chamber Music Ensemble Collaboration

Each composer will collaborate with a chamber music ensemble, as they work together to prepare the commissioned work for a performance during one of the Festival's concerts.

Daily Composition Seminars

Composition students will meet with Mr. List every morning as a group to discuss a myriad of topics and review works in progress.

Thee One-Hour Lessons

Each student will receive private instruction in the form of three one-hour lessons

Performance of Commissioned Work

Participating composer will be commissioned to write an 8-minute work, which will be performed at the end of the Festival.

Composer/Performance Seminars with the Zodiac Trio and the Attending Faculty

Throughout its career, the Zodiac Trio has commissioned dozens pieces, working with composers such as Andrew List, Nicolas Bacri and Richard Danielpour, and have instigated numerous call-for-score projects.  As part of the educational aspect of the trio's career, the ensemble often works with student composer at various universities across the United States and Canada, presenting clinics and seminars that addresses the performer-composer relationship. During their visit, the Zodiac Trio will discuss these collaborations in detail with the participating composers in an informal and personal setting.

Additionally, the composer seminar will be visited regularly by the attending faculty in order to discuss their instruments in detail, and relate their experiences working with composers.

Come be inspired by the incredible beauty of the region and the musicianship of your peers...
Watch the video below from composer Michael Grebla (2018) about his Zodiac Festival experience...
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I just wanted to let you know again what an incredible experience I had at the festival. I feel like I gained so much perspective about what it means to be a musician and I met so many amazing people.

Kevin Kim, composer

The Juilliard School

'BM 2017

Zodiac Trio premieres TRIO by Su Jin Kang

Zodiac Trio premieres TRIO by Su Jin Kang

Play Video

The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival welcomes applications from serious pre-formed ensembles that wish to spend two weeks of intense, concentrated study under the auspice of the Zodiac Trio, as well as other faculty members. Accepted pre-formed ensembles serve as ensemble-in-residence and benefit from daily chamber music coachings, reserved rehearsal time, multiple performance opportunities, opportunities for photo sessions, video recording, audio recording and career counseling. 


The program is open to Duos, Trios, Quartets and Quintets of any combination of instruments. While there is no specification on the length of the ensembles history, we do require media samples of the group performing. In general, the program is designed for ensembles that are dedicated to pursuing a performing career. 


Upon acceptance, the ensemble will discuss its goals with Artistic Director, in order to provide a program tailored to the group's needs. Generally, each ensemble benefits from:

  1. A minimum of 3 (three) hours scheduled rehearsal time

  2. Daily one-hour coaching with members of the Zodiac Trio and other faculty

  3. A minimum of 3 (three) performances by the resident ensemble at public performance during the Festival. All performances professionally recorded for future use

  4. Private scheduled lunch with the Zodiac Trio to discuss career growth and development

  5. Participation in all other Academy & Festival activities

  6. *Private instruction in the form of 4 (four) one-hour lessons (Optional for violin, viola, cello, clarinet, flute and piano)


The all-inclusive fee that covers tuition, lodging and board (3 meals/day) is $ 2,000 USD per person.  *Participants wanting to take private lessons may choose to do so for an additional fee of $500 USD. 


To be considered, please contact us at

Francis Kefford, viola
O/Modernt Ensemble
Sarah Plum, 
Music Institute of
Ariel Barnes, cello
Nürnberger Symphoniker
Principal Solo Cello
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andrew list pic new.jpg
Kris Chapman
New Music Conductor &
Program Director
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View from Dorm Room

View from Dorm Room

The Lycée

The Lycée





Dormitory Room

Dormitory Room

Enjoying a coffee

Enjoying a coffee

Meal time outside

Meal time outside






The students will be provided with dormitory-style lodging, in a new, state of the aft lycée, equipped with a basketball court, a soccer court and other facilities, while still being in the heart of a medieval village.  Each room offer an en-suite shower and bathroom, as well as stunning views of the mountains.


Three meals are provided daily.  The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival works with a local restaurant that will provide breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving local French specialties (various dietary restrictions are taken into account). 


Ample practice facilities are available for individual practice throughout the day. 




To say that the Zodiac Music Academy & Festival's headquarters is Valdeblore is slightly misleading.  In fact, Valdeblore is a collection of mountain villages, and the Festival makes its home in a charming little village called La Bolline.


Watch the video to the right to get a glimpse of the historic mountain village. Nestled high in the French alps, yet still part of the legendary Côte d'Azur region of the South of France, it provides the perfect setting for inspiration and personal growth as an artist.

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La Bolline is a typical medieval French town nestled deep in the French Alps.  Possessing all the charm that one can expect from a sleepy historic mountain village, it boasts a church built over a millennia ago, and is adorned with centuries-old architecture, narrow cobblestone streets and water fountains.  Surrounded by picturesque mountains, the town has a stream running through it, and offers what seems to be an infinite number of places to reflect and enjoy the surrounding beauty.


La Bolline also offers a variety of recreational activities including an outdoor swimming pool, hiking trails featuring untold beauty, and of course the town itself.  For the more adventurous, there is horseback riding, mountain climbing and even a zip line through the mountains.


Audition Requirements

Each applicant must submit an audio sample in order to be considered for acceptance. 


The sample must consist of at least two separate works of any style,  showcasing the applicant's technical ability and musical expression, and must not exceed 30 minutes.  You must submit these electronically via our online application below.

Composition Students

Composition Students ONLY: Prospective students should submit a minimum of two PDF scores of works of their choosing via the online application, along with links to a recording (this could be audio or video. MIDI is acceptable).

Age Eligibility


Health Insurance

Accepted applicants must submit proof of health insurance, signifying coverage while in France (to be submitted after receiving acceptance confirmation. Additionally, all accepted applicants need to show proof of full vaccination in order to participate. 

Tuition and Fees

The all-inclusive fee is $2,550 USD, which includes:


  • Tuition 

  • Dorm-style accommodations

  • Board (three meals per day)

  • Transportation from and to the Nice International Airport

  • Excursion to Nice

  • All Festival activities (seminars, masterclasses, etc.)

Work Study Financial Aid

Some limited amount of financial aid is available.  Please note the following:


  • Scholarships carry mandatory work-study.  Students receiving financial aid will fill such positions as audio/video recording, social media management, concert management, reception managers, page-turning, etc.


If you are interested in work study, please indicate so on your application.  In order to be considered for financial aid (which carries mandatory work study), an applicant must submit a letter detailing the circumstances on which your demand is made, and any experience you may have with the positions listed above.  

Application Deadline

Final application deadline is April 1, 2022 (notification April 7th)

Payment Schedule

The complete payment altered payment schedule is as follows:

May 1st, 2022 - First 50% of the tuition is due

June 1st, 2022- Second 50% payment is due

Interest-free extended payment plans are also available for those who would find them beneficial

Other Information:


  • The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival reserves the right to re-assign students to another professor, should the professor of their choice become unavailable.


  • Although the Zodiac Music Academy & Festival will strive to provide supervision of its students to the best of its ability, it is not responsible for the supervision of minors.