Advanced Chamber Music Institute At The Conservatory

Advanced Chamber Music Institute

Advanced Chamber Music Institute At The Conservatory

Intermediate & Advanced Music Programs

Advanced Chamber Music Institute students study and receive weekly coaching from the world-class musicians of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. This unique program provides an intensive chamber ensemble experience for the most promising young high school artists in the state.


Student Playing the Cello

What You Can Expect

Advanced Chamber Music Institute Program

Students who are accepted into the Advanced Chamber Music Institute will be placed into a small ensemble (string quartet, piano trio, etc.) and receive:

  • Two full recitals a year at the Conservatory, plus multiple performance opportunities in the community and at MSO events
  • Special ticket offers to MSO concerts and local chamber music concerts
  • Weekly coaching and guided rehearsal time with a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • Weekly masterclasses and performance seminars with MSO guest artists and other special guests

girl playing cello


Open To The Community By Audition

The Advanced Chamber Music Institute is an intensive program for high school musicians to rehearse and perform in small ensembles coached by musicians from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Admittance into the program is by audition.


  • Eligibility | Auditions are open to woodwind, brass, percussion, strings, and piano students currently in grades 8-11 (high school students in 2021-22).
  • Evaluation | Auditions will be judged on the following elements of musical performance: precision, expression, tone, technique, interpretation, and technical difficulty. All judges’ decisions are final.
  • Audition Material | Students will be expected to prepare all of the requirements as listed in the appropriate category.



Advanced Chamber Music Institute Audition Requirements



  • Sonata-allegro movement from a classical sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert

  • Romantic solo work

  • Sight-reading



  • One movement of a Bach sonata, partita, or suite
  • Complete first movement of any standard concerto

  • Sight-reading

Woodwinds & Brass

  • Two contrasting movements from a standard concerto, sonata, or other solo work, OR two contrasting works by different composers

  • Sight-reading



  • One movement of a work by Bach on keyboard percussion (4 mallets)
  • One contemporary work on keyboard percussion OR multiple percussion setup

  • Sight-reading

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Advanced Chamber Music Faculty

Meet Our Teachers


Susan Babini



  • Graduate Diploma | The Juilliard School
  • Bachelor of Chamber Music | San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • Master of Chamber Music | San Francisco Conservatory of Music


  • Holds the Dorothea C. Mayer Principal Cello Chair with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • Has appeared as Guest Principal Cello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
  • Performed solos with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Century Chamber Orchestra, and the Princeton Symphony.
  • Gave the East Coast premiere with Symphony in C of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Colored Field for Cello and Orchestra.
  • Performed as cellist with the Cavani String Quartet on the Detroit Chamber Music Society series and at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
  • While in Milwaukee she has performed on the Frankly Music series and with the Philomusica String Quartet.
  • Participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, and the Yellow Barn Music Festival

Beth Breslin



  • Master of Music | Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Bachelor of Music | Oberlin Conservatory


  • Member of the viola section in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • Member of the viola section in the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.
  • Was a member of the San Antonio Symphony, and is currently a substitute with the Saint Louis Symphony and Houston Symphony.
  • Performs with the 414 Quartet and the Prospect Quartet.
  • Performer at festivals such as the Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, Kneisel Hall, and The Round Top Festival Institute.
  • Has also performed as a soloist with the Cleveland Institute of Music, National Repertory Orchestra and the New World Symphony.
  • Primary teachers include Robert Vernon (Cleveland) and Peter Slowik (Oberlin).

Stefanie Jacob


  • Bachelor of Arts in Music, Magna cum laude – Harvard University
  • Master of Music, with highest distinction in Piano Performance – Indiana University


  • Joined the WCM Piano faculty in 1987.
  • Focuses on the areas of educating an array of students and chamber music.
  • Received the Milwaukee Civic Music Association’s award for Excellence in Studio Teaching.
  • Enjoys being an active musician in the Prometheus Trio, and participating in the Washington Island Music Festival.
  • Made her solo debut with the Boston Pops at age 17, and her Carnegie Hall debut in 1984.
  • Twice awarded Second Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and received Indiana University’s Leo Weiner Prize for Chamber Music.
  • Has soloed with both the Milwaukee Symphony and the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra.
  • Recorded for the Arundax, CRI, Fleur de Son, Equilibrium, and the Wisconsin Conservatory labels.
  • Received WCM’s “Teacher of the Year” honor in 2017.

Margot Schwartz

Violin & Viola


  • Yale School of Music
  • Northwestern University School of Music


  • A member of the First Violin section in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • Summer performances include the First Violin sections of both the Bellingham (WA) and Peninsula (WI) Music Festivals
  • As a chamber musician, she has performed at New York’s Bargemusic, and for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, and can be heard on numerous series in the Milwaukee area, including Frankly Music and Present Music.
  • Soloist with the Milwaukee, Berkeley, and Oakland East Bay Symphonies
  • Performs as a member of the Arcas String Quartet and the violin/viola duo Bowing Rogue.

Ilana Setapen



  • University of Southern California and at the Colburn Conservatory
  • Master of Music | The Juilliard School


  • Currently the Associate Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • Has had solo performances with the Milwaukee Symphony, Festival City Symphony, the Boca Raton Symphonia, and the Amarillo Symphony, among others.
  • Frequent guest on the Frankly Music Series and the Rembrandt Chamber Players of Chicago.
  • Collaborated with such distinguished artists as Ron Leonard, Lynn Harrell, Toby Appel, Cynthia Phelps, Joseph Kalichstein, Robert DeMaine, Paul Coletti, the Fine Arts Quartet, Stefan Hersh, David Geber, and Joan Tower.
  • Summer guest appearances include at the Olympic Music Festival on Bainbridge Island, the Luzerne Music Center summer festival in Lake Luzerne, New York.
  • Performs as the violin/viola duo Bowing Rogue with her colleague Margot Schwartz.
  • Solo and chamber music performances have brought her abroad to China, France, Brazil, Holland, England, Monaco, and Italy.