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Classical Hugs Summer Academy in Tallinn, Estonia ~ June 25 - July 3, 2023


Application deadline is June 1, 2023.


Classical Hugs International Music Festival explores cross-cultural and musical connections between Estonia and countries of Western Europe, Asia, and America.

The festival presents masterclasses in violin, viola, cello, and piano by world-class Professors from Estonia, the United States, Ukraine, Switzerland, Austria, England, Germany, Malta, and South Korea and a concert tour in 4 Estonian cities: Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu, and Narva.

Cultural Message and Mission

A hug is a simple expression of human warmth. A Classical Hug is an expression of an affectionate feeling through music.

The festival's mission is to demonstrate how music can bring love and peace worldwide. 


Classical Hugs masterclasses, rehearsals, and chamber music practice will be held at different facilities in Tallinn, Estonia, including Pink Building, Tallinn Philharmony, and Tallinn History Museum. Classical Hugs (Music Festival) in Tartu is held in partnership with Tartu Chamber Music Festival. The Festival's Artistic Director is Michael Bulychev-Okser (USA).


Festival concerts will take place in 4 Estonian cities of Tartu, Tallinn, Narva, and Pärnu. Students will be offered performance opportunities in several prestigious halls, including The Vanemuise Theater (June 30, Tartu city), House of Blackheads (Tallinn, June 29 and July 1), Geneva Keskus (Narva, July 1), and Kuninga Tänava Põhikool in Pärnu (July 3). Students can perform solo repertoire (strings performing with piano accompanist), as part of a preformed chamber group, or as part of the Klassika Kütkes Orchestra. Selected students will also receive an opportunity to perform a solo with the festival orchestra.


The concerts of the Classical Hugs Music Festival will present 3 orchestras, 4 conductors, and internationally acclaimed soloists across five continents: from Mexico to Australia. Festival orchestras include the Narva Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Maestro Anatoli Schura), the Euro-Korean Soloist Ensemble (led by Maestro Yound Dae Yoo), and Klassika Kütkes International Orchestra under the baton of Estonian conductor Lilyan Kaiv and the internationally acclaimed Spanish conductor, Marc Moncusi.

Klassika Kütkes International Orchestra

Klassika Kütkes International Orchestra was formed in 2022. The orchestra features musicians from Estonian oldest orchestra (established 1908), Vanemuine Symphony, and top virtuoso musicians from 15 countries, selected by video auditions from across the globe. String students will also receive Orchestra Mastery training with Carmine Lauri, Co-Leader of the London Symphony Orchestra. 



Masterclasses are open to the following instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano. The Orchestra Mastery program is open to ALL orchestral instruments and includes orchestra audition simulation, an orchestra mastery course with Carmine Lauri (London Symphony Orchestra), and rehearsals and concerts as part of the orchestra under the direction Maestro Marc Moncusi (Spain). 

Selected students can sign up to perform solo with Klassika Kütkes Chamber Orchestra, led by Lilyan Kaiv, and to receive multi-camera recordings of their performance - this opportunity is open during the festival and throughout the year.  

Classical Hugs Music Festival in Tartu accepts students of all ages and nationalities. 


Masterclasses: periods of study and costs

1 week: June 25-July 1 - 3 masterclasses + 1 student concert + 1 orchestra concert - 500 €

10 days: June 25-July 3 - 4 masterclasses + 3 concerts in Tartu, Tallinn, and Pärnu - 700 €

Masterclasses program includes:

- Orchestral Mastery Course with Carmine Lauri, Co-Leader - London Symphony Orchestra.

- Participation in Klassika Kütkes Chamber Orchestra, led by Maestro Marc Moncusi (Spain) (all instruments).

- Chamber Music with members of Tartu Chamber Music Festival.

- Observation of all masterclasses and concerts by festival professors and guest artists.

- High Definition Recording of all festival events and selected masterclasses.

- Sightseeing in Tartu, Tallinn, and Pärnu

- Solo with Klassika Kütkes Chamber Orchestra (recorded) - additional cost -see Solo with Orchestra Program below

Orchestra/Chamber Music program - June 25 - July 3

Cost: 300 €

The program is open to all orchestral instruments, except piano:

Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon,

French Horn, Trumpets, Trombone, English Horn, Timpani, Harp.

Program includes:

- 4 orchestral rehearsals as part of the Klassika Kütkes Chamber Orchestra.

- Participation in 3 orchestral concerts in Tartu (June 30), Tallinn (July 1), and Pärnu (July 3).

1 Orchestra Audition simulation with Excerpts prepared - detailed feedback and coaching will be offered by the adjudication panel. Excerpts: 1 technical selection, 1 lyrical selection, 1 work for sightreading. 

- Orchestral Mastery Course with Carmine Lauri, Co-Leader of the London Symphony Orchestra.

- Chamber Music with members of Tartu Chamber Music Festival.

- Sightseeing of Tartu, Tallinn, and Pärnu.

Performance with Orchestra Program

Open to all instruments.


€599 - 1st movement

€699 - Concert piece (e.g., Ravel's Tzigane)

€799 - 2nd & 3rd movement 

€1,099 - Full Concerto.

Program includes:

- Performance of a concerto with Klassika Kütkes Chamber Orchestra.

- 1 Orchestral rehearsal + 1 Dress Rehearsal with orchestra

- 1 Session with the conductor - Maestro Anatoli Schura.

- 1 Lesson on a concerto with a Professor of your choice.

- Multi-angle professional video + audio recording of your performance.


* Additional instruments may add to the cost of a concerto performance. 


Scholarships: Limited number of stipends is offered to those who apply early: on or before March 15, 2023.

Scholarships will be provided based on the applicants' video/audio recordings and personal financial needs. 


Chamber Music. 

Students of all instruments will have the opportunity to perform as part of chamber ensembles with members of the Tartu Chamber Music Festival, headlining Anna Samsonova, and festival professors: Carmine Lauri, Michael Bulychev-Okser, and Indrek Leivategija. Students will be divided into ensemble groups to form Chamber Ensembles, such as Quartets, Quintets, Sextets, or larger groups. Festival participants will receive light coaching from Professors who will be part of performance groups. Examples of chamber music works may include Quintets by Dvorak, Schumann, or Faure; Prokofiev's Variations on a Hebrew Theme (Sextet with Clarinet), an Octet by Schubert or Mndelssohn, or larger works such as Tchaikovsky's Souvenir of Florence or Metamorphosis by R. Strauss. 






Room and Board 

Classical Hugs Music Festival helps with finding various levels of

discount accommodation in Tallinn, for any level of comfort:

 a) hostel; b) apartment with a kitchenette, c) 4-star hotel

- EHE or similar hostel - €20/night (double room)

- Apartment (shared with other students - 2-3 students per apartment) - €35/night

- 4-star Hotel - single room with breakfast at - €55-60/night. 

To request accommodation, please contact us at

Meals (breakfasts, lunches) are available for purchase at Lido Cafe in Tallinn at €15-20 per person.


June 24-25 - Arrival in Tartu, Estonia

June 25 - 28 - masterclasses and orchestra rehearsals - Pink Building and Tallinn Philharmony building

June 28 - 19:00 - Professors' Chamber Music Concert - Pink Building - Main Hall

June 29 - Students' solo with orchestra concert - Mustpeade Hall, Tallinn: Maestro Anatoli Schura

June 30 - Gala Concert at Tartu Vanemuise Concert Hall, Klassika Kütkes Orchestra under the direction of Maestri Marc Moncusi (Spain) & Lylian Kaiv (Estonia) / Soloists: Michael Bulychev-Okser, piano / Miriam Davis, violin

July 1 - Concert at Geneva Hall, Narva City - Narva Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Anatoli Schura, Estonia

Soloists: Soloists: Pavel Vernikov, violin / Svetlana Makarova, violin

​July 1 - Tallinn, Estonia / Orchestra Concert at the House of Blackheads, Tallinn: Maestro Marc Moncusi

Soloists: Michael Bulychev-Okser, piano / Miriam Davis, violin / Euro-Korean Soloist Ensemble, Maestro Young Dae Yoo

Sam Chapkovsky, violin

July 2 - Students' solo and chamber music concert at Tallinn History Museum

July 3 - Solo/Chamber Music/Orchestra concert Kuninga Tänava Põhikool in Pärnu / Maestro Marc Moncusi (Spain)


Orchestral Repertoire

Conducted by Maestro Marc Moncusi (Spain)

Josef Haydn: Cello Concerto in D Major

-Felix Mendelssohn: Double Concerto for Violin, Piano & Orchestra ~ Soloists: Miriam Davis, violin / Michael Bulychev-Okser, piano.

-Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony for Strings # 10

-Alexey Shor: Seascapes, Soloist - Sam Chapkovsky, violin

Conducted by Maestro Lilyan Kaiv (Estonia)

Arvo Pärt: Fratres

Conducted by Maestro Anatoli Schura, Narva Symphony Orchestra (Estonia)

June 29th:

-W.A. Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 4 - 1st movement

-L. von Beethoven: Violin Concerto, 1st movement

-L. von Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2, 1st movement

-G. Rossini: Introduction, Theme, and Variations

-C. Saint-Saens: Rondo-Capriccioso

July 1: 

-Fantasia Odessa

-Fantasia La villa e bella

Soloists: Pavel Vernikov, violin / Svetlana Makarova, violin / Michael Bulychev-Okser, piano.

Music parts will be emailed to all participants by May 1, 2023.

Certificates & Diplomas

All Active students who have participated in the Classical Hugs Orchestral program in Estonia will be granted attendance certificates. Diplomas of Merit or Honor may also be granted.   


How to apply

To apply, click on the Application links below. June 1, 2023 - Final application deadline.



Video Impressions - Festival 2022





Professors and Guest Artists (Click on the photo for personal page)

Document photo - Michael Bulychev-Okser.JPG

Piano, United States

Artistic Director - Classical Hugs and Gershwin Competition


Violin, United Kingdom

Virtuoso violinist

Violin teacher

Festival guest artist

44000050 (6).JPG

Violin, Austria

Konservatorium Wien University

Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne


Violin, Switzerland

Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne

Anatoli Štšura.jpg

Violin, Estonia

Festival Advisor - Tartu

Director - Tartu Chamber Music Festival 

LILYAN KAIV (1)_edited.jpg


Conductor - Tartu-Maarja Chamber Orchestra


South Korea

Conductor and Music Director - Euro-Korean Soloist Ensemble


Violin, Estonia

Festival Advisor - Tartu

Director - Tartu Chamber Music Festival 


Piano, Germany

Franz Liszt University

Dean - Piano Department

Concert Pianist


Cello, Estonia

Principal - Estonia National Orchestra and Bamberg Symphony Orchestra 

Euro-Korean Solist Ensemble(Picture1).jpg

Conductor - Young Dae Yoo

Carmine_Lauri_0296_MynPrint (3)_edited.jpg

Violin, Malta-United Kingdom

Co-Leader - London Symphony Orchestra

Concert violinist


Viola, Germany

Berlin University of the Arts


Piano, United Kingdom
Royal College of Music

Masterclasses: September 1-5 


Conductor, Spain

Guest Professor - National Conservatory of Music of México

Honorary Guest Conductor - Klassika Kütkes Orchestra

How-it-works: About
Solo with Orchestra
Chamber Ensembles
Classical Hugs Orchestra
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