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"The Adam summer school is always the highlight of my year. It’s an experience like no other - the social dynamic and musical opportunities are so special. Every time I am hugely inspired and it is the foundation of how I approach my studies throughout the rest of the year."

- Adam Summer School Student

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11th - 19th February 2023 | An unrivalled opportunity to learn from the very best

The annual Adam Summer School is presented by the New Zealand String Quartet and held in Nelson each February. It is generously sponsored by the Adam Foundation, and provides the opportunity for up to 30 talented young string players and pianists to commit themselves to eight days of intense chamber music-making under the guidance of the New Zealand String Quartet and guest pianist-in-residence, Rae de Lisle.

In the idyllic setting of Nelson in summer, students will:

  • Benefit from world class coaching from New Zealand’s best chamber musicians

  • Be inspired by an intense period of music-making

  • Work with the best of their peers from throughout New Zealand

  • Participate in daily masterclasses

  • Perform a major chamber music work following their week of in-depth study

The course is fully residential with hostel accommodation and all main meals provided.

Participants have one two-hour group coaching session each day. Opportunities for individual instrument tuition from the tutors have also been built into the daily schedule.

Two Finale Concerts take place at the conclusion of the school featuring each group's performance. These Finale Concerts are open to friends, whānau and the public.

COVID-19 and the Adam Summer School

The implications of Covid-19 continue to be a consideration for the Adam Summer School. The health and safety of everyone attending the Adam Summer School remains our priority and we will ensure the spaces and activities of the school comply with restrictions necessary, including but not limited to public gatherings and social distancing.  



Applications for 2023 open at 9am on Friday 23rd October 2022!

The deadline to apply is Friday 14th October 2022.

Students attending should be tertiary level and above; however, consideration will be given to all interested applicants. Individual students accepted for the Summer School will be placed in groups following the auditions. Consideration will be given to pre-formed groups and each applicant in the ensemble must submit an individual application.

As inclusion in the Adam Summer School will be determined by audition recording, care should be taken to prepare audition recordings to a very high standard. To ensure the selection process is fair and transparent, tutors will listen to recordings 'blind'. 

Audition Requirements:

  • Provide a YouTube or Vimeo link to a 15-minute or more AUDIO RECORDING ONLY. Students who submit a recording with video may not be considered for acceptance.

  • ​Audition recording submissions must feature two contrasting styles to demonstrate highest technical and musical level and be from within the last 6 months. 

  • String players may submit either unaccompanied repertoire or works with piano.

  • Pianists must submit solo repertoire.



A limited number of scholarships for financial assistance with course fees are available to those students demonstrating financial hardship. Please apply to with a brief outline of your circumstances before the application deadline, 14 October 2022. Late scholarship applications may not be accepted. 

Adam Summer School scholarships are made available through the generosity of individual supporters to the Adam Summer School Scholarship Fund.

Application Process Key Dates:

  • Applications open - 23 September 2022

  • Applications close - 14 October 2022

  • Notification of acceptance, waitlist, or decline - 4 November 2022

Well, what are you waiting for?!


Being transported to another space in my mind had to be one of the most educational, eye-opening, inspirational and surprising moments of my life.

Finale Concert Audience Member


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