Milwaukee Strings Festival for Young Artists

milwaukee strings festival

February 1–2, 2019

Location: Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts

The Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is pleased to announce the third annual unforgettable music experience for exceptionally talented high school musicians. This year’s Milwaukee Strings Festival for Young Artists will bring the finest young strings player from Wisconsin and surrounding states to the UWM campus for a weekend of rehearsals and master classes with acclaimed UW-Milwaukee String Faculty members. The finale concert will be under the direction of Dr. Jun Kim, Director of Orchestral Activities.

Invitations to participate in the Milwaukee Strings Festival will be extended to students ages 15–20 who complete a successful audition. Accepted students will receive a scholarship to cover all instructional fees for the weekend. The only cost to participants will be a nominal fee for meals (if you need an accommodation, it is at the participants discretion).

Festival Highlights

  • Master classes with UWM String faculty artists, and working with the director of orchestral activities
  • All accepted students receive a scholarship to cover instructional fees (nominal fees apply for meals)
  • Final Concert in the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts
  • Auditions in-person or digitally [No audition/application fees]

The entire faculty of the UW-Milwaukee Department of Music shares in the excitement of this festival and looks forward to meeting and working with talented students. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

Auditions (digital or in-person)

Digital Video Submission (Deadline Dec 22)

Please include a link to your audition video on the registration form below.

In-Person (Deadline Dec 3)

If you would prefer to audition in-person please select this option on the registration form below. Auditions will be held in the Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, December 8 from 10am–2pm.


  • A 3-5 minute solo piece, demonstrating a student’s level of playing
  • Three Octave Scale – One Major & One Minor

Apply Now!


The registration fee of $50 includes dinner on Friday and Saturday.

Tentative Schedule

Upon arrival, go directly to south parking lot, and enter through the south doors. Take the elevator or stairs to the second floor and store your luggage and instrument in Room 250. Additional information will be available at that time. Please note that this is a drop-off area only as the parking lot is restricted to staff-only vehicles. Short-term parking is available across the street in the Student Union garage, 2400 E. Kenwood Blvd.

Friday, February 1

Arrive and Check in at the Lobby (2nd Floor)

Lunch on your own

Helene Zelazo Center for the Performing Arts
1:00pm–1:30pm Welcome Meeting Bader Hall
1:30–3:15pm Rehearsal #1 Bader Hall
3:15–3:30pm Break
3:30–5:30pm Rehearsal #2 Bader Hall
5:30–7:00pm Dinner Sandburg Dining Hall
7:00–8:30pm Rehearsal #3 Bader Hall
Saturday, February 2
8:30–9:50am Rehearsal #4 Bader Hall
10:00–11:50am Sectional /Masterclass with Guest String Faculty Members
12:00–1:00pm Lunch on your own UWM Student Union
1:00–2:30pm Masterclass with Guest String Faculty Members
2:45–4:45pm Rehearsal #5 with UWM Symphony Orchestra Room 280
5:00–6:15pm Dinner Sandburg Dining Hall
6:15–6:45pm Final Dress Rehearsal Bader Hall
7:00pm Finale Concert Bader Hall

Festival Faculty Members

Festival Director, Dr. Jun Kim, Conductor

Jun Kim


DMA, University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music
Artist Diploma, University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music
MM, Indiana University
BM, Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University


The prize winner of 2013 Orquesta de Cordoba Conducting Competition in Spain, 2012 Black Sea Conducting Competition in Romania, and the winner of 2015 American Prize in Opera Conducting,  Jun Kim has conducted extensively in North America and Europe.

Jun Kim has appeared with orchestras such as the State Symphony Orchestra of Russia, the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra in Russia, Moravian Philharmonic in Czech Republic, Timisoara Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of the National Opera and Ballet in Constanta, Brasov Philharmonic, Pitesti Philharmonic, and Bacau Philharmonic in Romania, Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, Radom Chamber Orchestra in Poland, Orquesta de Cordoba, and Symphony Orchestra of Elche in Spain, Berlin Sinfonietta in Germany, Mahler Philharmonic in Austria, Coro Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Canada, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Duluth Symphony Orchestra and Richmond Symphony Orchestra in U.S.A.

In 2018, as a Beethoven conducting prize recipient from European Music Academy, Jun Kim guest conducted three concerts with North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in two different cities in Czech Republic.  Jun Kim also won the first prize at Malta International Conducting Competition in Malta, and will be returning to guest conduct the orchestra. He was also the winner at L’academie Lyrique in Vendome, France, and will be guest conducting the North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at Smetana Hall in the heart of city in Prague. He was selected as a Discovery Series Conductor at the Oregon Bach Festival under Maestro Helmuth Rilling and was personally selected by Maestro Kurt Masur for the Kurt Masur conducting seminar in New York. He was a scholarship recipient at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors as well.  Recently, Jun Kim has been selected to participate at St. Magnus Festival in U.K to work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He was also chosen to work with Cincinnati Symphony and the May festival Chorus, and also with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with Marin Alsop.

Jun Kim has worked under the Maestros such as Dumitru Goia, Jorma Panula, Martyn Brabbins, Kenneth Kiesler, Xian Zhang, Colin Metters, Gustav Meier and Markand Thakar.  The some of the notable artists he has collaborated include pianist Mikhail Petukhov (Winner of Queen Elizabeth competition), Seong-Jin Cho (Gold Medalist, Chopin Competition), Yeol-eum Son (Silver Madalist, Van Cliburn and Tchaikovsky Competitions), Hyesun Paik (Laureate of Tchaikovsky Competition), Violinist Rachel Barton Pine, Sungsic Yang, Mitica Feraru, Clara-Jumi Kang (Gold medalist, Indianapolis Competition), Cellist Amit Peled, Clarinetist, Alexander Fiterstein (Gold Medalist, Nielsen Competition), Soprano Donna Brown, Baritone Markus Eiche (Vienna State Opera), among many others.

Active as a violinist and an avid chamber musician, Jun Kim has played recitals and concerts and he has been invited to give violin masterclasses and performances at the universities in US and Korea and served as juries for many competitions. He has won prizes and awards including the Starling Competition, the CCM Concerto Competition, CIBC Canada National Music Competition, Vancouver Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, Tuesday Musical Competition of Akron and he was a recipient of the Aspen Music Festival Fellowship, British Columbia Cultural Scholarship, Bowdoin Festival fellowship, among others. He has studied violin with Won-Bin Yim, Miriam Fried, and Victor Danchenko, and played in violin masterclasses of Cho-liang Lin, Pamela Frank, Federico Agostini, Sergiu Schwartz.  He has studied chamber music with the members of the Juilliard Quartet, Cleveland Quartet, La Salle Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, and the Peabody Trio.

In addition to his position at UW-Milwaukee, Jun Kim is the co-founder and artistic director/conductor of the Washington Chamber Orchestra in D.C.

Director, Orchestral Activities

Associate Professor, Conducting

Violin: Dr. Bernard Zinck

Bernard Zinck


Premier Prix Violon and Musique de Chambre, Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris
PhD, Musical Arts, Temple University
MM & BM, Music Violin Performance, The Juilliard School


Bernard Zinck, concert violinist and recording artist, is currently Associate Professor of violin and chamber music and Director of the Sorkin Chamber Music Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2011, he created the Lakeside Chamber Music Workshop held each summer in the Chicago area. He is in demand as a coach and teacher, having served on the faculty of the Köhln Summer Institute in Montepulciano, the International Lyric Academy of Rome and the Tuscia Operafestival (Italy), the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, and Holly Trinity Summer Music camp in Haiti. He is regularly invited to conduct master classes and residencies in universities and conservatories throughout the world.

Zinck began violin studies at the age of six at the National Regional Conservatory in his hometown of Tours, France. At the age of fifteen, he entered the Paris Conservatory and was awarded three years later first prizes in violin and chamber music; his mentors were Gérard Poulet, Geneviève Joy-Dutilleux, Tibor Varga, and Maya Glezarova. Admitted to the Juilliard School of Music as a Fulbright scholar in 1987, he finished his BM and MM degrees with Joseph Fuchs after only four years of study. In 2006, he earned a DMA from Temple University in Philadelphia with a thesis on the eighteenth-century French violinist Chevalier de Saint-George, a remarkable figure of the French Enlightenment whose compositions he has researched, lectured on and performed. He was invited to participate in Montreal's Black History Month in 2010, where he performed works by Saint-George.

Bernard Zinck's concert career began when he won the 1992 Yehudi Menuhin Trust Award in Paris. His scintillating recordings of Szymanowski's Complete Works for Violin and Piano, Live From France and Uncommon Voices have won him a reputation as an expert interpreter of impressionist and contemporary music. He has a close affinity with the works of the European nationalist composers of the early twentieth century, but is equally committed to a repertoire ranging from Corelli to Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson. His talent and interpretive insight have made him a sought-after soloist and he has performed extensively in concerts and recitals in Europe, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, South Korea and Japan. Recent venues include the Théâtre du Châtelet and Athénée Théâtre Louis Jouvet in Paris, the Théâtre Impérial in Compiègne, Les Flâneries de Reims, Radio-France Montpellier and Rencontres Musicales de Calenzana (France); Brighton Arts (U.K.); Salzburg Mozarteum (Austria); Liszt Academy in Budapest (Hungary); Szymanowski Festival in Zakopane (Poland); Basilica San Clemente in Rome and Orsanmichele Church in Florence (Italy); Oscar Peterson Hall at Montreal Concordia University (Canada), the National Gallery and the Phillips Collection in Washington DC; the Bowdoin International Music Festival; and the Santa Fe Concert Association. He has appeared as guest soloist with many orchestras, including the New Mexico Symphony, the Princeton Chamber Players, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Chihuahua, the Porto Alegre, Unisinos, Caxias and Camargo Guarnieri Symphony Orchestras in Brazil, the Hungarian National Philharmonic, the Bohemia Symphony, the Radio-Television Orchestra of Romania, the New Opera Di Roma Orchestra and the Orchestre National de la Garde Républicaine in Paris. Bernard Zinck has appeared in numerous concert series in Chicago: Dame Myra Hess at the Cultural Center, Rush Hour at St. James Cathedral, St. James Cathedral Concerts, Cube, The Alliance Française, and was featured with members of the Chicago Chamber Musicians on WFMT “Live from Studio One”. In 2008, his performance at the Rush Hour concerts was featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

Bernard Zinck's artistry has been praised in terms such as "impeccable accuracy of pitch" and "formidable technique". The Strad Magazine noted his "round and opulent tone” and his "vibrato bringing moments of sheer ecstasy”, while Fanfare Magazine was impressed by the "singing, sensuous, sumptuous, shimmering” quality of his playing, which the French Figaro summed up in the expression "violon solaire”.

Since 2002, Bernard Zinck plays a Giovanni Battista Rogeri violin, dated 1690 – a purchase made possible with the support of the Bass family.

Associate Professor, Violin

Viola: Professor Claudia Lasareff-Mironoff

Claudia Lasareff-Mironoff


MM, Northwestern University
BM, University of Denver


Violist Claudia Lasareff-Mironoff graduated from the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Music degree and earned a Master of Music and a Certificate in Performance from Northwestern University. She then became the principal violist of the Cape Town Symphony in South Africa. Ms. Lasareff-Mironoff has performed chamber music with members of the Chicago Symphony, members of the Lyric Opera, the Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Pacifica String Quartet, Roger Chase, Stephen Burns, Mathias Tacke, Ilya Kaler, Victor Yampolsky, William Wolfram, PINOTAGE, members of Eighth Blackbird, CUBE and the Orion Ensemble.  She has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Grant Park Symphony, Music of the Baroque, The Chicago Philharmonic, Ars Viva and has been the principal violist of the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Colorado Music Festival, Chicago Opera Theater, and the Joffrey Ballet. In 2005 she was the violist in Fulcrum Point's debut performance at the Ravinia Festival. During the 2007 season she performed with the Santa Fe Opera.

A champion of new music she has premiered and performed works by many composers. Her discography includes chamber works recorded for Albany Records and Innova Recordings.  She has performed regularly on WFMT since 1994 including a Dame Myra Hess Recital in 1998. Since 2002 she has been the principal violist of Fulcrum Point New Music Project. Guest artist recitals and master classes include appearances at Northwestern University, Bowling Green University, Cal State Sacramento, Wheaton College, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, San Francisco State University and the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. She was the guest artist for the viola master class at the 2011 Stulberg International String Competition.

She coached chamber music for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2004-2006 and 2009-2014. She has developed, coordinated, coached for and enriched chamber music programs at the university level as the Coordinator of String Chamber Music at Northwestern University (2000-04), the Coordinator of Chamber Music at Wheaton College (2004-10), and as the Director of the Chamber Music at North Park University (2011-16).

In 2016 she taught the Viola Orchestra Repertoire Course at DePaul University and led viola sectionals for the DePaul University Chamber and Symphony orchestras. In the spring of 2016 she performed on the Chicago Symphony’s Music Now Series, Milwaukee’s Present Music and in the Chamber Music Milwaukee series at the UWM. She will join the Peninsula Music Festival for a week of performances this summer. Currently she is the Adjunct Professor of Viola at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Adjunct Professor, Viola

Chamber Music Coach

Cello: Dr. Stefan Kartman

Stefan Kartman


DMA The Mason Gross School of the Arts - Rutgers
MM and Artist Diploma The Juilliard School of Music
BM Northwestern University School of Music


Stefan Kartman currently serves as Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee where he teaches cello and chairs the string area. Dr. Kartman also serves on the faculty of The String Academy of Wisconsin, the state’s premier pre-college string training program.

As a recording artist, he has recorded the Complete Works of Beethoven for Cello and Piano, publishing an edition of the Beethoven complete works as well. As a pedaogue, he is currently publishing a teaching method entitled An Artist’s Guide to Cello Technique.

In addition to solo performance, Dr. Kartman has performed to critical acclaim as cellist of Trio Antigo, the Kneisel Trio and the Florestan Duo, giving performances and masterclasses in conservatories of music and institutions of higher education worldwide including the Cleveland Institute of Music, the China Conservatory of Music and the Xiamen Conservatory of Music, and the D’Albaco Conservatory of Music, among many others.

An avid chamber music enthusiast, Dr. Kartman has served on the faculties of the Vianden Chamber Music Festival in Luxembourgh, the Madeline Island Chamber Music Camp, the Garth Newel Chamber Music Festival, the Alfred University Summer Chamber Music Institute, the MidAmerica Chamber Music Festival, the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and was artistic director of the Milwaukee Chamber Music Festival. During his formal training as a chamber musician, he studied with members of the Guarneri and Juilliard String Quartets and the Beaux Arts Trio.

Dr. Kartman has been teaching assistant to Harvey Shapiro and Zara Nelsova of the Juilliard School and proudly acknowledges the pedagogical heritage of his teachers Shapiro, Nelsova, Bernard Greenhouse.

Recent Work

Area Heads, Strings

Director, Sorkin Institute of Chamber Music

Professor, Cello & String Pedagogy

Chamber Music Coach

Double Bass: Professor John Babbitt

John Babbitt


MM, Performance in Double Bass, UW-Milwaukee
BA, History, UW-Madison


John Babbitt graduated from the University of WI Milwaukee in 1985 with a Masters Degree in Performance on Double Bass. Since then he has worked throughout the Midwest having performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, the Florentine Opera, Skylight Opera Theatre, the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and Present Music. He has toured Holland and Italy with the Wisconsin Wind Orchestra serving as the group's bassisit for over 20 years.  He spent 10 years in the orchestra that accompanied touring Broadwy shows in Milwaukee and has been Principal Bass of the Rockford Sympnony Orchestra, the Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra and the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Babbitt has also worked extensively in the jazz and pop fields performing with among others ,Chuck Hedges, Jack Grassel, Roger Brotherhood, Stas Venglevski, the Chris Mariani Band and the Chris Hanson Band.

He has also been active as an educator. He has been on the faculty of the University of WI Stevens Point, Concordia University and Carroll University. He taught at the Onaway Island Summer String Camp and the University of Oshkosh Summer String Camp. He was a faculty member of the Latino Arts String Program for 10 years. In 2018 he was invited to be a presenter at the Chicago Bass Fest. He continues to teach for the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra's Progressions program and is currently on the facuty of the University of WI Milwaukee.

Adjunct Professor of Music Performance, Double Bass