Zephyr International
Chamber Music Course & Festival


locationCourmayeur Italy

Artistic Directors Mack McCray & Jodi Levitz

Administrative Director Meikui Matsushima

We are sorry to announce that Zephyr 2020 has been canceled due to the Novel Coronavirus. We will be announcing Zephyr 2021 as soon as possible. Please check back here for updates.

Courmayeur, Italy

The small and lovely city of Courmayeur, one of Europe's premiere skiing and alpinist destinations, is located in a spectacular setting at the foot of the majestic Mont Blanc. This region, the Valle d'Aosta of Italy, is noted for its breath-taking scenery, its castles, churches and rich history dating back to the Roman Empire. Courmayeur is 137 miles/220 km from Milano, easily accessible by bus, train or car.

Our Program

The Zephyr International Chamber Music Course and Festival features a daily regimen of coaching, rehearsals and master classes for strings and piano, and will present fifteen concerts throughout the region during the twenty-day session. Students, faculty and non-participants will be housed in a 3-star hotel where two meals will be served daily, and in addition to the intense musical activities there will be time for recreation, social events and excursions (included in the tuition fee) to Mont Blanc, Cogne, and Piccolo San Bernardo. Auditions are required (no exceptions). A maximum of only 25 of the highest quality students will be accepted for the festival. Repertoire will be assigned and prepared in advance of the actual session. All students will participate in the ensembles and performances.

Meet the Faculty
Mack McCray & Jodi Levitz • Artistic Directors
Meikui Matsushima • Administrative Director
Board of Artistic Advisors: John Adams, Emanuel Ax, Jorja Fleezanis, Bonnie Hampton, Klaus Hellwig, Garrick Ohlsson, Michael Steinberg (in memoriam), The St. Petersburg String Quartet


BETTINA MUSSUMELI / VIOLIN • Violin soloist, pedagogue, and clinician Bettina Mussumeli enjoys a storied and varied career as a concert artist on the great stages of the world. While completing her artist diploma at the Juilliard School, in addition to being selected as a finalist at the New York Philharmonic violin auditions, she was offered the position of co-concertmaster and violin soloist of the Italian chamber orchestra “I Solisti  Veneti”, a world famous chamber orchestra which performed over 200 concerts yearly around the world. With this orchestra, she toured for nine years as featured soloist, and recorded numerous discs, including seminal recordings of the Pergolesi violin concerto and Vivaldi “L’estero Armonico”, still frequently heard on classical radio stations today. A gifted performer on original instruments, she also recorded works by Salomone Rossi, Alessandro Scarlatti and Arcangelo Corelli with noted harpsichordist and scholar Emanuela Marcante. • Ms. Mussumeli returned to the United States in 2001 to join the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as professor of violin and chamber music. Her students at SFCM include winners and finalists of numerous competitions, including the Menuhin, Paganini and Stradivarius competitions, as well as outstanding professional violinists working throughout the United States, Europe, and South America. While in San Francisco, Bettina was first violinist of the Ives Quartet for 10  years, with whom she recorded a benchmark collection of the Quincy Porter quartets for the Naxos label, as well as commissioning over 10 new string quartets and performing throughout the United  States. • Commuting between her homes in Miami and Northern Italy, she is currently serving on the faculty of the Frost School of Music and the Zephyr Chamber Music Festival, and she maintains a varied concert calendar as both soloist and chamber musician.

JODI LEVITZ / VIOLA • Jodi Levitz, Professor of Viola at the Frost School of Music and Artistic Coordinator of Stamps Ensembles at the University of Miami, boasts an international reputation as a consummate artist and a passionate advocate of exploring new musical possibilities for the viola. She brings that energy and experience to the classroom, having spent twelve years as principal viola and soloist with the critically acclaimed Italian chamber group I Solisti Veneti, a position she attained while still a student at The Juilliard School of Music. • Professor Levitz's career has been built on stellar accomplishments. She has performed as soloist throughout Europe, South America, North America and Asia, and has recorded her music for such distinguished record labels as Concerto, Dynamic, Naxos and Erato. A highly regarded educator and pedagogue, she was on the faculties of the Ars Musica Academy at Imola and Progetto Orchestra, and she presently serves as co-artistic director of the Zephyr International Chamber Music Festival in Courmayeur, Italy. As Professor of Viola and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she served as both Chair of Strings and Chair of Chamber Music. An avid chamber musician and violist of the Ives Quartet from 2007-2015, she has collaborated with Menahem Pressler, Peter Frankl, Gil Kalish, Robert Mann, Norman Fisher, Joel Krosnick, Geoff Nuttall, amongst many others. • A 2011 recipient of the Sarlo Family Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching, Professor Levitz has helped her students achieve a number of notable accomplishments. As a result of her guidance and encouragement, her students have claimed first prize awards from the Walter W. Naumburg and Fischoff chamber music competitions, while others have been recruited for positions in major orchestras and teaching institutions both here and abroad. In addition, her influence has motivated many of her students to become music activists throughout the world. • Professor Levitz herself was awarded first prize in the D'Angelo and Hudson Valley competitions, among many others. She entered The Juilliard School Pre-College Division at age 12, and holds a BM. and MM. from Juilliard. In addition to her principal teachers, Margaret Pardee, Paul Doctor, William Lincer and Dorothy DeLay, she studied chamber music with members of the Juilliard Quartet, Felix Galimir, and Josef Gingold. • Personal Website: www.jodilevitz.com

ROSS HARBAUGH / CELLO • Ross Harbaugh is Professor of Cello at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, and cellist of the Bergonzi String Quartet. His distinguished teachers include Janos Starker, Peter Howard and Leonard Rose in the United States and Andre Navarra at the Paris Conservatory, as well as chamber music study with the Juilliard Quartet. • As a founding member of the New World Quartet he won the Naumburg Prize, a Prix du Disque, and recorded 20 records and CD’s for Vox, MCI Classic and IMP Masters, CRI, Centaur, Fleur de Son, and Musical Heritage labels. He was also instrumental in establishing the Blodgett Concert Series at Harvard. • Harbaugh has appeared in concerts at the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, and Wigmore Hall in London, and has concertized with such artists as Leonard Rose, Bill Preucil, Richard Goode, Jeffrey Kahane, Raphael Hillyer, Joel Krosnick, Jerome Rose, Gil Kalish, and the Guarneri Quartet. • He has soloed with the Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati and Toledo Symphonies, among many others, and appears nationally in recital each year. His teaching experience includes stints at Harvard University, University of Michigan, and Interlochen, with master classes at Yale and Brown Universities. • Mr. Harbaugh presents workshops in ensemble communication, and gives cello workshops throughout the country at such venues as the 7th American Cello Congress in Tempe and the ASTA National Conventions. He has authored numerous articles for American String Teacher, The Strad, and is Editor of the American String Teacher’s Chamber Music Forum. He has served as a judge for the Fischoff Chamber music Competition, Stulberg Competition, and Fulbright Awards for Graduate Study Abroad. • He has performed and taught at Cabrillo, Interlochen, the Margess Institute in Switzerland, the Castleman Quartet Program, Green Lake Chamber Music Festival, ORFEO Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy, and Cellos At Belle Serre in France.

MACK MCCRAY / PIANO • A graduate of Juilliard School, Mack McCray won the Silver Medal in the International Georges Enescu Competition, first prize in the San Francisco Symphony and Charleston Symphony Young Artists competitions and numerous other prizes all in one season: 1969-1970. He has been invited guest artist at important festivals throughout the world, including Paris, Seville, Monte Carlo, Bucharest and Hong Kong . He has performed under such conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Edo de Waart, Josef Krips, Leon Fleisher and Arthur Fiedler. McCray has performed with the Japan Philharmonic in Suntory Hall, Tokyo, at the Carmel Bach Festival, Manhattan's Trinity Church Series, and at the International Piano Festival in Shanghai. Most recently he has performed at Lee University’s 2015 Piano Festival in Tennessee, and was soloist and chair of the jury at the 2015 Piano Festival in Xiamen, China.

MEIKUI MATSUSHIMA / PIANO • Meikui Matsushima graduated from the Toho Music College in Tokyo, Japan where she studied piano with Eiko Tanaka. She continued her musical studies with Beatrice Beauregard at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Currently she is a member of the piano faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory's Preparatory Division, and taught at the International Chamber Music Course and Festival in Positano, Italy from 1998-2001. She served two terms as the president of the San Francisco Chapter of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers, and was Program Director of the 1999 San Francisco International Summer Music Festival.

Visiting Guest Artists-in-Residence:

DAVIDE BOTTO, DOUBLE-BASS • Davide Botto is Principal double-bass of the Orchestra Teatro Regio, Turin, Italy, and Professor of double-bass at the city’s State Conservatory. As a soloist he has performed the most important pieces of the Italian double-bass composers such as Bottesini and Rota in Italy and abroad. • In 2008 he received the "Carlo Capriata Prize", awarded annually to a distinguished Italian double-bass player for his career. • In 2011 he recorded Rota’s Divertimento Concertante for the British label Chandos with the conductor Gianandrea Noseda and the Filarmonica ‘900 del Teatro Regio di Torino, receiving worldwide appreciation. He has also recorded for Chandos a cd of music of Bottesini, including his last unrecorded piece for double bass (Capriccio a due Contrabassi). Botta's latest recording is Carlo Rossaro's Fantasia per Contrabasso e Pianoforte for the Italian label Tactus. • He has held classes at the home of NHK Orchestra in Tokyo, at the University of Athens, Georgia USA, at the Birmingham Conservatory, UK, at the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music in New York and in several Italian conservatories. He is the author of The Way of Double-bass, an educational text about the learning process of the double-bass.

Associate Instructors:

THEODORE BUCHHOLZ, CELLO • Theodore Buchholz is the cello professor and head of strings at the University of Arizona. Described by newspaper critics as a “virtuosic cellist” with a “warm beautiful sound,” he recently performed in prominent venues from New York’s Lincoln Center to international halls in Italy and Tokyo, and in important venues across the United States. He toured the recently commissioned concerto The High Songs by Carter Pann, and Brahms’s Double Concerto and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with orchestras across the U.S. Buchholz is the cellist of the Deco Piano Trio which holds a residency at the White Lakes Chamber Music Festival. • Buchholz’s upcoming album, Afterglow, will feature Henry Hadley’s complete works for cello and piano, and will be released by Centaur Records. His recording of the Hans Winterberg Cello Sonata was released under the Toccata label in 2018, and his recording with True Concord won a 2016 Grammy Award. He performs on an outstanding cello made in 1877 by French luthier Charles Mennégand. • As a nationally recognized researcher, Dr. Buchholz served as the Cello Forum Editor for the award-winning journal American String Teacher. During the summers he performs and teaches at the Killington Music Festival. Dr. Buchholz studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Manhattan School of Music.

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