Arthur Russell Week

Arthur Russell Week (ARW) will be held July 6-10, 2020 in Southwest Harbor, Maine and in partnership with Camp Beech Cliff.

While acknowledging the current uncertainty, for now, we remain optimistic about this summer! We will be following Maine CDC’s guidelines and be working closely with Camp Beech Cliff to make the best decision possible regarding this year’s program. 

In the case ARW is not able to take place this year all fees and deposits will be refunded.

The latest updates will be posted here on our website. Please contact with any questions.

CHILDREN session:

We are happy to announce that applications to participate in Arthur Russell Week are being accepted now! This year’s summer chamber music camp will take place July 6-10. For the first time, this year we are excited to announce a partnership with Camp Beech Cliff who will be offering ARW as a specialty camp. Students will be transported each day from Camp Beech Cliff to Pemetic School in beautiful Southwest Harbor for all rehearsals and concerts.

Application must be done through Camp Beech Cliff’s website. Click here to apply!

ARW is open to young musicians ages 8-15. Exceptions can be made on an individual basis by the Arthur Russell Faculty. Students will be placed in small groups based on age and level of experience. All instruments are welcome!

Students can choose between a half-day or full-day option. Fees are listed on the Camp Beech Cliff website. Limited scholarship assistance is available.

ADULT session:

After a successful first year in 2019, we are excited to once again be offering our Arthur Russell Week adult program! These sessions take place in the afternoon at Pemetic School under the direction of Noreen Silver.

Tuition per adult: $200
July 6-9: 1:30pm-4:00pm
Pemetic Elementary School in Southwest Harbor, Maine

Interested students may direct questions to Ellsworth Community Music Institute at 207-664-9258 or


Noreen Silver (new) (2)

Director and cellist Noreen Silver was born and grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. Her studies took her to London’s Royal College of Music and to Boston’s New England Conservatory as the recipient of a Rotary International Fellowship. She and pianist husband Phillip Silver form the internationally acclaimed Silver Duo, with two CD recordings on the Toccata Classics label. Noreen’s professional experience includes several years in Seattle’s Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Opera, Boston Opera, London’s BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She is principal cellist of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra and has often appeared as soloist with the orchestra.  Noreen has been on the University of Maine faculty since 1999, where she directs the chamber music program and teaches cello performance


Luke Fatora, violin
Nancy Colter, piano
Additional faculty TBD

A little history…

Arthur Russell Week (ARW), formerly known as Arthur Russell Strings, is the summer festival of ECMI.  Young musicians travel to Southwest Harbor on Mount Desert Island for a week of playing music together, receiving instruction, and performing for eager audiences.

In 1998, Arthur Russell Strings was founded as a way to honor the legacy of an avant garde cellist, composer, singer, and musician with ties to Mount Desert Island, Maine. Arthur’s work spanned the genres of classical, disco, folk and rock. He collaborated with artists like Allen Ginsburg, Talking Heads, and Philip Glass, to name but a few. He died from AIDS in 1992. ARS began as summer festival for young musicians to experience the wonders of musical collaboration in small groups. Our one-week festival is designed to encourage young musicians to experience the joy of musical collaboration, to form deep and lasting friendships, to benefit from professional mentors, and to share the wonder of performance.

Inspired by the impact of ARS, the Board of Directors decided to pursue their vision of making the ARS summer festival part of a larger, year-round commitment: hence the Ellsworth Community Music Institute was born.