Apple Hill is recognized worldwide as a center for the teaching and performance of chamber music at the highest level. Founded in 1971, Apple Hill offers educational and mentoring programs each summer as part of its Summer Chamber Music Workshop consisting of five, 10-day sessions held on its 100-acre campus of farm buildings and cabins in Nelson, NH. 300 students, ages 13 to 85, participate in pre-assigned, small instrumental ensembles coached daily by a renowned teaching faculty of 45 instructors. Apple Hill provides a supportive and inclusive atmosphere of mutual respect and acceptance, regardless of a participant’s skill level or background. Apple Hill’s success and richness of experience derives from its geographically, culturally, and economically diverse spectrum of students and faculty. In 2019, the students and faculty hailed from 31 states and 14 countries: Canada, China, Cyprus, Egypt, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Peru, Syria, Turkey, and the United States.
Apple Hill's programs are guided by its overarching vision of Playing for Peace, developed by Apple Hill in 1988 as a way to enable musicians from areas with a history of political conflict to play chamber music together. Over the span of 30 years, Playing for Peace has built more musical communities throughout the world, bringing together musicians underrepresented in classical music, separated by racial or ethnic discord, or separated by gender, orientation, religion, age, and playing level. Apple Hill’s unique approach to community building and connection is taught through the skills of chamber music—being sensitive and flexible, watching, listening, taking risks, and adjusting within a group. In this context, musicians learn to trust, communicate, and connect with each other in ways that transcend boundaries they may encounter in their home communities. Through partnerships with music education programs throughout the country and the world, Apple Hill ensures access and diversity through a generous tuition assistance program.
The Apple Hill String Quartet serves as Apple Hill’s artistic directors, traveling, teaching, and performing 60 concerts and educational residencies locally and internationally throughout the year to recruit workshop participants and to serve as ambassadors for Apple Hill’s mission of creating community and fostering artistic growth through chamber music.
Apple Hill presents a popular, public Summer Concert Series of ten live chamber music recitals in its Concert Barn, preceded by ListenUp! talks and buffet suppers. Concerts feature the Apple Hill String Quartet, summer session faculty, renowned guest artists, and Apple Hill alumni playing standard repertoire of the classical chamber music canon, newly-commissioned works, premieres, music of other cultures, lesser-known composers, and music of our time.
Apple Hill exists to perform, teach, and create chamber music at the highest standard, broaden the appreciation of chamber music through the development of educational programs, and cultivate connection and understanding among people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, playing levels, and ages through the Playing for Peace program.