Welcome to the Astona Summer Music Academy for highly-gifted, young string players.

July 20 - August 4, 2024 at SONNENBERG in Baar, near Zug, Switzerland

We are happy to announce that Astona 2024 is fully booked. 34 students (violin, viola and cello) from 21 countries have been accepted.

Astona is a two-weeks international Summer Music Academy, accompanying many students on their path to a musical career and providing them 15 days with a free and protected space in which to work and grow and enjoy.


Founder (1988) and Musical Director

Nancy Chumachenco


Students and applicants

Click the next pages for all information


Final closing date for applications

ended in March 15, 2024



Astona? Absolutely! 


Astonishing, Amazing Astona!


Astonishing: that we are as strong as ever after 35 years!


Amazing: that two weeks at Astona can produce such profound experiences, changes and so much fun.


Authentic: Relaxed personal contact daily between teachers and students.  No agendas other than inspiring and supporting our students.


Aspects of Astona: A free, protected, clearly-defined and caring environment.  The highest of standards. Attitudes and expectations based on years of experience, knowledge, experiment and courage. 


Aspire to Astona! 

"Time flies and it is already moving towards Christmas. In the cold weather here in London, I remember the rainy days in Baar, but also the most beautiful sunshine, which was more in the playing and the company than in the actual sun above us. The Gala concert was a roaring success, and in many ways confirms, even sanctifies, your tireless contribution to Astona, which is not only your brainchild, but also your contribution to the world of music. Time will show how important you were (and still are) – for many young musicians would not be what they are without you!


Violin professor Detlef Hahn to Founder and Musical Director Nancy Chumachenco in November 2023  

Astona International - a video portrait (2019)

“30 years of Astona”: Report in the main News edition of Swiss National Television , July 21, 2018

 I started playing the cello after I heard a boy play and fell in love with the sound. My teacher was Nancy Chumachenco. Right from the start, she demanded a lot, but she didn't just support talented students for 30 or 60 minutes a week, but much more. There was chamber music and every year she organised a summer course with students from other countries. Meeting young people from South Africa, Finland or the USA was totally exciting for a twelve-year-old. We formed a network of friends that we could fall back on when we got older. Not many people were lucky enough to be guided by someone like Nancy Chumachenco from the moment they picked up an instrument.

Christian Poltéra, born 1977, participant 1988 – 1993,  Renowned international soloist and chamber musician, professor at the Lucerne University of Music

At the age of 15-17, I was lucky enough to play the piano three times with Astona.  I can say that these were the most important years of my musical development.

Philipp Jordan born 1974, participant
1980 - 1982, Musical director of the Vienna State Opera



I just wanted to say a huge thank you for Astona. I had the best time and learnt so much. This course has really positively impacted me by playing and I left feeling so inspired and excited to keep improving. Everyone was so wonderful and the staff were so incredible.

Viola student (female 23), from Australia  participant in 2023 

I am so infinitely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in Astona and very thankful for all the effort that you and your team put into making Astona online possible and so successful I had a really great time and learned so much more than I expected. I believe Astona has had a big impact on me as a musician. 
Cellist (female, 16), from Iceland, participant in 2021 (Astona Online)