iNathan Hughes, oboe; Catherine Chen, bassoon; Marina Piccinini, flute; Miles Mykkanen, tenor; Trevor Nuckøls, horn; Olivier Patey, clarinet. Photo by Pete Checchia.

Participant Quotes

Below is a small sample of excerpts from letters, sent without solicitation, by recent participants—exceptional young musicians in early stages of their professional careers—illustrating Marlboro’s impact on new generations of musical leaders.

First of all, I want to tell you that my second Marlboro summer was very intense and challenging (somehow much more so than last summer). I really drew in an enormous amount of inspiration from all kinds of music, people and situations, and I am doing my best to carry that incredible Marlboro spirit into my day-to-day life and career. Thank you for making everything possible, as always!

It’s now been a week since the end of the festival and the Choral Fantasy and I wanted to write to share my thoughts about this truly amazing summer. I hardly know where to start as I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from so many amazing musicians. I also value the family atmosphere and the beautiful rural surroundings of Marlboro. I feel it is the combination of so many inspiring musicians and people coming together for seven weeks of playing, rehearsing, talking, eating, and living together in nature that makes Marlboro so unique.

I think I’m just starting to feel comfortable in the real life after this incredible summer. It was so hard to get back! Marlboro had been for me an unbelievable experience, I realized how much it changed me, I learned a lot and I met a lot of special people that I’m still missing so much. I was really looking for a place like that, with such a strong energy and intensity. As I told Mitsuko and Richard, it was a kind of paradise for a musician!

How can I express in just a short thank-you note my gratitude for everything Marlboro has given me over the past four years? The program, participants, seniors, and staff have all inspired me to pursue excellence not only as a musician but as a person. From my very first performance as a star-struck young musician performing alongside Richard, Sam Rhodes, Augustin, and Amir Eldan to my most recent appearance as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oroblram, these wonderful experiences will stay with me for the rest of my life. For that, I am eternally grateful.

My time at Marlboro has been a truly life-changing experience. Marlboro has filled me with countless memories, bar by bar, in musical exploration…I’m grateful to have the spirit of Marlboro as a guiding star. Sincere thanks.

I just wanted to thank you for a fantastic summer experience at Marlboro this year. It’s such a special place and I feel so blessed to now be a part of the Marlboro community.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the best summer of my life. I am so honored to have been able to experience the extraordinary place that I’ve dreamed of attending for as long as I can remember. Musically, it surpassed even my wildest expectations, but even more, I feel like I am now a part of the most wonderful people in the world. And I assure you I am not being hyperbolic – Marlboro really had that much of an impact on me!

Not only was the level of musicians far higher than any I had previously been exposed to, but what I encountered was one of the most familial, supportive and non-competitive atmospheres I have ever been in.

Aside from the inspirational playing to be experienced at Marlboro, being part of the community provides the wonderful opportunity of spending time with such thoughtful artists. I had wonderful conversations, which among other things, inspired, reassured and motivated me. I felt such a tremendous amount of warmth, support and kindness. I will always feel incredibly fortunate for this unique experience and privilege.

These musical and human experiences are molding all of us into the musicians we are today. And in every city I go to, there is the special bond with the Marlboro family member who lives there. Thank you for making this possible: for young artists to come and learn from the most inspiring chamber musicians.

The familial sense at Marlboro sets it apart from other festivals. Being a part of the Marlboro family gave me real confidence in myself as a musician and an individual. As I have time to reflect, I realize more and more what incredible developments I made as a musician. These developments were a direct consequence of the hours spent trying to find a cooperative expression with others and the efforts I made to learn all I could from my colleagues.

Marlboro is truly a magical place. I love how the people gathered there came from such different backgrounds, yet share the same consuming passion, the desire to give your whole for an interpretation. I had heard many stories of people’s lives being changed through this place. Now I see why. It was like a dream to immerse yourself in this great music – with no time limit, getting to know great musicians and great human beings.

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