Philadelphia International Music Festival Reviews & Testimonials

 Recent PIMF Festival Reviews:

2020 Reviews:

“My twelve year-old daughter participated in two PIMF Online programs, both the summer Symphony Orchestra program and the Solo Performance program over the (2020/2021) winter holiday. The joyful, inclusive, and welcoming community PIMF offered has sustained her interest in music. The program offers the perfect combination of community and individual learning opportunities and I cannot imagine a more caring and supportive environment for young musicians. Thank you so much to the remarkable leadership of this program whose mission is needed in our world now more than ever, and whose ability to pivot inspires us all to become not just better musicians but also better people.” – Michelle B.

“I participated in the online music intensive week over my December winter break, and am incredibly glad I did so. I had daily studio performance classes and lessons with Ernie Tovar, fourth horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as many other lectures and classes. I learned and grew so much in the span of one week and was pushed to practice smarter and make new connections. I really felt that I deepened my musicianship skills. The PIMF staff is great and everyone is really sweet. I highly recommend!” – Lauren K.

“My daughter absolutely loved her ‘virtual’ experience with the Philadelphia International Music Festival this summer. Everyone there went above and beyond to make sure the students had a positive and fun learning environment. The level of instruction was top notch! And even though it was virtual, they still managed to make my daughter feel connected, almost as if she were participating physically in person. She felt totally included in the group. Her skills as a young inspiringly violinist improved immensely. She learned how to practice more efficiently, play and work with a pianist, and perform. She loved the masterclasses at night where she either got to watch other young amazing musicians perform or watch some members of the Philadelphia Orchestra perform. Another favorite was being able to meet the students pets during one of the morning meetings! We are most definitely looking forward to more experiences with PIMF, virtual or in person!” ~ Kimberly H.

“All I can say is, ‘WOW!’ My son, who plays the trumpet, participated in last summer’s orchestra camp and performance camp (the summer of covid) and I was incredibly impressed with how PIMF shifted gears to provide valuable and impactful virtual programming. My son was in front of his computer for 10 hours a day, and it was never a chore. The staff did an amazing job of engaging with the students and offering them opportunities to match if they were in person. I think it was a life-changing summer for my son. Thank you PIMF for your commitment and complete professionalism!” – Toby S.

“PIMF is a great camp for aspiring musicians. I went there for several years and got much better each year. The instructors, who are from the Philadelphia Orchestra, are all great. I would highly recommend it to serious musicians who would like to improve.” – Andrew A.

“Even in its online format, I benefited so much” from this program and think it would be rewarding for all young musicians!” – Christina V.

“I really enjoyed my time at PIMF this year! I attended the Piano Studies Program, and I feel that my playing improved a lot over the course of just one week. I worked with incredible teachers who taught me how to practice effectively. The other students there were extremely knowledgeable, and I could tell that they really had a passion for music. Even though the camp was online this year, the structure and schedule remained very organized. I also liked how there were many interesting music electives, so that not all of the emphasis was placed on practicing. Overall, this camp was wonderful, and I would definitely recommend it to aspiring musicians!” ~ Rena W.

“My time with the Philadelphia International Music Festival in the June 2020 session provided me valuable lessons on cello performance, multiple musical perspectives, and confidence in my own abilities as a young cellist. I will say with absolute certainty that the Solo Performance Preparation Program changed the course of what will hopefully become a lifelong music career for the better! Even in a virtual setting, I hold the instructors and faculty in high regard for their hard work, consideration, and passion for music. I strongly recommend PIMF to any aspiring musician as well as any student just seeking an enjoyable and awe-inspiring experience.” ~ Celia S.

Our daughter participated in this summer’s session and we were so impressed with the comprehensive program PIMF was able to do via Zoom due to the Coronavirus. The instructors were top-notch and caring and the level of student performance was exceptional. ~ Sarah B.

“I enjoyed every part of PIMF’s Solo Performance Preparation camp, but the highlight was the chance to participate in a Master Class.  I am so grateful that the PIMF staff were able to offer this experience virtually. I hope to attend the camp in person next summer.” ~ Kristina K.


“My daughter attended virtual version of the camp this Winter and she had the best 6 days. She loved elective classes (history of religious music and conducting) and the lessons by great faculties helped her so much to grow as musician. Thank you!” – Shiho T.

 “Very well organized and they offer a variety of top-tier experiences.” – Andrew G.

“I wish it had been in person, of course, but I really liked the instructors. I felt like I learned a lot. I came out as a much better flute player than when I started, and I had fun. I would recommend this camp to anyone and I hope I can attend in person this summer.” – Cian H.

2019 Reviews:

“I have been to PIMF for two years now and it’s an incredible place to be. I’m always so inspired even months after I’ve attended and I continue to enjoy uncovering the new things that I can learn there. Can’t wait for next year!” ~ Megan Hope

“The 2019 PIMF season will be my 3rd year at this camp and I absolutely love it!! Working with the members of The Philadelphia Orchestra has made me learn and grow so much and being able to work with other musicians my age is so much fun! I am so excited for this upcoming year and many years of PIMF!!!!” ~ Kate Addison

“This was our son’s first year attending PIMF as an incoming 11th grade violinist. His main goals were to improve upon his playing, practice habits, and sight reading.

The quality of the programming and instruction was excellent. This camp enabled him to meet all of his goals while simultaneously having exceptional master classes that, providing him access to world-class Philadelphia Orchestra members and other renowned musical talents.

Our son was much better prepared to provide overall musical leadership in his school and youth orchestras along with mentoring and teaching younger players. Additionally, PIMF has provided opportunities for him to enhance his skills that are required by various competitive orchestra programs. It gave him the confidence that is required for entering into higher levels of musicality, such as performing solos, assuming section leader roles, and preparing for outside orchestras.

Our son’s favorite aspect of the PIMF program was the evening performances/faculty recitals. We loved hearing him excited about the recitals and the international friendships that he had made.” ~ David S.

“Our son loves PIMF and improves his level of play and repertoire for percussion. He loves the experience and time with friends in the dorms. He is going into his fourth summer in 2019. Thank you PIMF!” ~ Jeff Day

“Our children love this camp so much.  This is their 4th season, and I’m sure we will be back next year.  What they learned this year was just amazing. The atmosphere is not only professional, it’s fun!  They come home inspired by all they see and set new goals for their playing.  The staff are always so courteous and helpful.  The Philadelphia Orchestra teachers are always the best.  Thank you for all your hard work.” ~ Jean Szczepkowski

Past PIMF Festival Reviews:

“My daughter had the opportunity to attend this piano program for 2017. Since she was only 7 years old and not knowing what to expect I only signed her up for one week and chaperoned her around the facility. This program was amazing. I was truly blown away by the level of talent that I witnessed. Not only the students, the faculty and teachers were incredible. My daughter was the youngest in the piano program. Everyone else was in their teens. They treated her with so much kindness and respect that it ignited something in her. I witnessed her become even more motivated to improve and perform. Her piano teachers Mr. Sung and Miss Wang were outstanding. They too embraced her for her talent, not her age, and really sharpened her skills in only one week. My daughter is already making plans to go back next year for two weeks. If you have a musically gifted child who seriously wants to improve their craft, meet children like themselves and get instruction by incredibly talented teachers, I highly recommend PIMF.” ~ Jeannette LoBasso

“The amount of good this program did for me and others is priceless. Nothing is more inspiring than being surrounded by dedicated and highly skilled musicians. Happy 20 year anniversary and let’s hope for many more!” ~ Jake M. (Richmond, VA)

“Best camp I’ve ever been to. Amazing staff and I was able to make friends for a lifetime!” ~ Victoria L. (Virginia)

It’s a fantastic camp. Not just great. Can’t wait to come back.” ~ Gale S.

“PIMF was a remarkable experience that has brought to my world of experiences the high standard of technical training merged into a fantastic atmosphere of friendship and respect.” ~ Davi (Brazil)

“PIMF provides an incredibly diverse and inclusive musical community to its campers. Whether your child is just learning how to play his/her instrument, is a casual (if reluctant) practicer, or a Juilliard-bound wunderkind, there is a “place” for him or her here. (I was, myself, somewhere between the second and third options.) No matter what the musician’s level, she will feel at once self-affirmed and encouraged in her interest in classical music–after all, it’s not such a “cool thing” during the school year. But she will also feel inspired to take the “next step” (whatever that might be) in her playing, galvanized by the passion of her peers (who will be at higher and lower levels than her) and her teachers (i.e. masters of the craft). Finally, with the dizzying array of personally crafted plans offered, she will feel liberated to express the full extent of her creativity (she can even sing opera, for heaven’s sake!). PIMF is what you make it, but what a thing it can be! #happyalum” ~ Robert D. (Bryn Mawr, PA)

Thank you very much for the attention PIMF paid to the international students and their families. We are happy that we had a unique opportunity to participate in PIMF and to come back in our country richer for the pricelss experience.  Mila is more than happy after the amazing week we spent with so many friendly people, lessons with world class professors and new friendships we made.  PIMF was definitely the biggest experience we have ever had in Mila’s musical life so far.  We deeply believe that it’s going to be the start of her further professional upgrade! ~ Naumovski Family (Macedonia)

“I got much better after my first experience at  PIMF.  I have enjoyed PIMF a lot and it was probably the best experiences in my whole life! I loved going to concerts at the end of the day to hear other students perform and attending  master classes with my friends. It was great having so many people around me that enjoyed the same thing as me. After the first day I had so many new friends, and that is one of my favorite parts of camp. I have loved camp since the very first minute I entered Bryn Mawr. I am looking forward to going back next year.” ~ Anne Lopez Barrero (Spain)

“I attended the best master classes with Kimberly Fisher, Principal Second Violin of The Philadelphia Orchestra, whom I admire very much. I enjoyed so very much the evening concerts in Thomas Great Hall, a magical place, where I also performed with other students at the end of the festival. Being in PIMF with so many friends that like music like me, has been one of the best experiences that I hope to repeat every summer.” ~ Eider López Barrero (Spain)

“Because of attending PIMF my playing ability has increased greatly.  My teacher, Kim Fisher is terrific and she has taught me many important things through the years. The PIMF staff are very nice and they are willing to help you with anything you need.  I love the long musical days and I especially enjoy sight-reading symphonies at 11:00 PM!  PIMF gives you the opportunity to meet people from all over the word that will be friends with you forever.” ~ Kellen Mikesell (Pennsylvania)

“Thank you so much for giving Giovanni and Carolina a wonderful experience at PIMF.  They have both loved it, and think all of their teachers are so kind.  They will both be back next year for 2 weeks! Thank you so much for your care and kindness to create such a wonderful camp!” ~ Alice C. (London, England)

“PIMF was a great experience. I made friends; friends I STILL talk to almost daily and I made really good connections through the camp. Before this camp I knew I wanted to pursue music as a career but after it, I realized exactly what I wanted to do. That was all thanks to this camp. I stayed in the Radnor dorms and the Camp Counselors were absolutely great and the campers even more so. For me, this camp is something I will always remember. Sandy and her family are great and they are so sweet. The activities we were able to participate in were a great experience. The music theory class could have been a little bit better for beginners, but otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing. We got see the Philadelphia Orchestra preform FireBird and I can honestly say, that was amazing. Overall it was a great experience and I’d recommend this program especially if music is something you want to pursue.” ~ Nicole M.

“PIMF is the reason I decided to become a professional violinist. I began attending at the early age of 10. The teachers and faculty at this festival are some of the best musicians in the world and the training one can receive at the festival is, in my opinion, unbeatable. I’ve studied with various violinists from the Philadelphia Orchestra throughout my years attending the festival, have performed in solo performance hours, chamber music performances, won multiple competitions, and have met lifelong friends. As a result of the competitions at PIMF, I performed for my very first time with a professional orchestra and soloed on stage with a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra. These experiences truly changed my life. This camp, in huge part, prepared me for my 4 years of undergraduate study at The Juilliard School and for my professional life thus far and I am forever thankful!” ~ Madison D. (New Jersey)


“PIMF gave me the opportunity to experience chamber music, something I had never done before and now love! When I signed up to play chamber music for the first time this past summer, I never imagined I would be so lucky as to play in a trio with college students and young professionals in the Music House program.” ~ Caleb Borick (South Carolina)

“At school I often get bullied because I like music and performing, but at PIMF I feel like I’m at home. Everyone loves music as much as I do and everyone encourages each other to be their best. My favorite thing is being able to take lessons with the musicians – people who play in the Philadelphia Orchestra. I also like being able to take classes and learn about other aspects of music like conducting and composition. Even though I’m one of the youngest people in the classes, the teachers let me participate 100%.” ~ Aidan Peterson (Pennsylvania)

“I was quite happy to have been able to have such wonderful living conditions! Both my dorm room and the food were very satisfying.  I especially enjoyed the variety of food that was available at the cafeteria. I was also thrilled that my room was very spacious and habitable, as this was not the case at a camp I had attended previously.  In fact, this summer music camp turned out to be much better than the last one I attended, at least for me. It was truly a very positive experience that I will never forget, and I would definitely recommend other students to PIMF.” ~ David Brill (Florida)

“One of the most positive aspects that I noticed at PIMF was the non-competitive environment. Everyone supported and encouraged each other at performances. This created not only a welcoming opportunity for the first-time performer, but also a great chance to try new things and take risks for the experienced performer.” ~ Geana Snart

“We wanted to write to express our great appreciation for all your hard work and dedication to the 2015 Philadelphia International Music Festival.  We were so impressed by all that you have accomplished on behalf of young musicians.  It is truly a labor of love on your part!  We greatly enjoyed the opportunity to participate; the Symphony Program (Mr. Gigliotti!) and the Private Lessons were highlights, as were all the evening performances…” ~ Richard O. (California)

“Your camp is just outstanding and we feel extremely privileged to be a part of the PIMF family!“ ~ Tracy from Chicago

“Thank you for creating such a wonderful and unique environment for these kids to flourish, both personally and musically. “ ~ Leah

“At [PIMF], Mateja learned that she should could truly practice 3 hours a day. And the experience as Ruby concertmistress inspired her to go on to become concertmistress of her high school orchestra. Then the winter camp…opened her eyes to the Frost School of Music. Through her lessons with Glenn Basham she made a connection that put her on track to be accepted as a violin performance major at Frost. We are so glad that we found [PIMF]… “ ~ Kalajian Family

“Our son had another wonderful experience at [PIMF] this year, especially since he was in the Chamber program!”~ Goldblum Family

“I had to take a minute and thank you so very much for the truly outstanding experience you provided for my children…this summer. Meredith and Greg both returned home with tales of hard work and inspiring challenges that enabled them to become better, more committed players. Merry was thrilled with her chance to perform duets with the outstanding young violinist at the chamber concert. Greg has been practicing his violin more than ever since he returned a week ago. He has also shared with me how inspiring and energizing camp was for him this year. I appreciate your personal touches, and I know that my children feel very connected to all of the outstanding professional musicians who touched their lives this summer, and in summers past.”~ Mrs. G

“Thank you for so warmly greeting my wife and daughter yesterday.  The wonderfulness of the program is present in the atmosphere of the room, and the extra care the crew has taken to receive my daughter.  We hope this the beginning of a relationship for Shuny!” ~ Chris

“Ms. Marcucci, I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for making it possible for me and my sisters to go to the Philadelphia International Music Festival.  I was super thrilled to learn of my selection for the Larry Fisher Scholarship…” ~ Ella M.

“I attended for a week last year. I grew as a person and as a cellist. I was so excited and motivated. I was so impressed with the other students as well as the teachers. I would love to come back next year.” ~ Ryan H.

“Juliette had an absolutely wonderful time at [PIMF]. She is glowing, spent the day on “Skype” with her new violin friends yesterday, and already signed herself up for next year on your clip-board at check-out! She is utterly hooked and we are utterly delighted. Thank you so much for such an exceptional experience. Her conductor played a huge part in her happiness with the camp, and I could see why, after hearing the concert. He was phenomenal as a musician and as a person. Bryn Mawr’s accommodations are obviously an added asset to [PIMF]. Wow!”“~ Family from State College, PA

“Michael had a wonderful time at [PIMF] and is already talking about next summer.”~ Christina T.

“My daughter Emily attended the camp this past summer and has not stopped talking about it yet.”~ Family from Philadelphia area

“Thanks for all your effort in putting on [PIMF] this year. Claire had a wonderful time, made many friends, and is looking forward to next year…”~ Family from Springfield, OR

“Adam and I cannot thank everyone at the Philadelphia International Music Festival enough for the perfect experience we had this summer. Adam learned so much! He feels like a real musician now. All of the campers, parents, and staff were so kind and generous to us. A special thank you to the grown-ups with the 10 and under group. Adam is writing a cello concerto named, ‘Concerto for Cello and Front Loading Washing Machine.’ He is dedicating it to all of you. You will be able to hear it next year at camp. Keep in touch! Thank you again for everything!” ~ Rosanne and Adam Walden

“Charlotte loved her experience at PIMF. I know she would give her ‘eye teeth’ to be there at the reunion.” ~ Diane from Colorado

“Just want to thank you very much for giving us a very generous scholarship for (my son) to participate in this wonderful camp. In such a short time, I already see a tremendous difference in Chanlan. Chanlan is showing improvement in holding the bow and the violin and didn’t complain when comes to practicing time. Chanlan sees himself as a violinist and for the first time he enjoys practicing some of the pieces from his orchestra. As for the Sunday’s practice marathon, Chanlan pledge to practice three hrs and actually achieved his goal. As for myself, I had gained so much valuable information from Valissa Wilwerth and Mei Chen Liao during his private lessons. I am also surprised to hear that Chanlan is already planning what to do for the next year camp. I just couldn’t thank you enough for creating such a wonderful and inspiring program for these hardworking young musicians.” ~ Catherine

“Our daughter had a wonderful two weeks! Thank you!” ~ Nancy

“I just wanted to say that my daughter is still bubbling over with excitement and enthusiasm about this recent camp. She cannot say enough about the fun and great learning that occurred over the past two weeks. She will definitely be back next year and wants to participate in the many optional performance opportunities. As for Kim Fisher: I thought you were of course so talented, but also warm, friendly, and most of all approachable for the kids. Corinne came home from her lesson today and immediately incorporated your practice tips. You covered so many relevant topics that it gave my daughter a lot to think about, especially since her goal is to study music performance in college. Maybe next year her younger sister will attend too. Thanks again.” ~ Maria from New Jersey

“Please share this email with Sandy Marcucci and Kim Fisher that we are SO THRILLED for the experience Derek had at your camp and working with Hal for the past two weeks!” ~ Deborah from Washington

“I attended PIMF in the Summer of 2011. Since then, my practicing has improved and I have accomplished many things this past year (my final year in high school). I have auditioned for the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, PYO’s Bravo Brass ensemble, and the Young People’s Philharmonic of Lehigh Valley in the late Summer of 2011. The results from these auditions have been admission in all of them. I owe all these accomplishments of this past year and what’s more to come in my college years to PIMF for pushing me past my limits of what was 1.5-2 hour practice sessions to very long and productive 3-4 hour sessions along with giving me confidence and motivation as a growing trumpet player.” ~ John C.