ready to go past playing prescribed parts?

Join us in Lausanne, Switzerland for masterclasses, group lessons, jam sessions, chamber music coaching, and concerts centered around CREATIVE Improvising String Playing!  Teen, adult, professional, & amateur bowed string players are all welcome.

Unleash Your Full Musical Expression

May 22 - 25, 2025

 Evening concert schedule tba soon. (Click here to see 2022 Edition)

Violinists, Violists, Fiddlers, Cellists, and Teachers: join us in Lausanne, Switzerland for group lessons, jams, chamber music coaching, and special concerts.   

Connect, jam, and learn with creative string players from around Europe. Join group lessons and chamber-music coaching for violin, viola, cello, and fiddle players and teachers.  Teen, adult, professional, and amateurs interested in all styles are welcome.

Why You Don’t Want to Miss It

  • Become creatively self-expressed and develop your original musical voice.
  • Internalize harmony and groove.
  • Become fluent in contemporary styles to jam with musicians outside classical.
  • Get gigs and career opportunities.
  • Teachers: Teach skills relevant to your students’ interests.
  • Gain comfort in improvisation, composition, and arranging.  


I had a fantastic time….. I've been discovering new musical horizons, listening to great lessons on improvisation, having inspiring conversations and music with the participants, listening to excellent concerts. Simply feeling good and in the right place, judgement-free. Many thanks for making this happen and for being caring and supportive.

Ms Elena Califano
Violinist, Teacher



  • Workshops: May. 23, 10am-6pm, May. 24, 10am-6pm, May. 25, 10am-4:30pm with breaks. (Lunch is served at the venue for 10 Swiss Francs per person). 
  • Festival concerts: May. 22, 7-11pm, May. 23, 8-11pm. May. 24, 8-11pm, and May. 25, 5-8pm.
  • Optional Orientation Sessions (Jamming, Dinner, Social Activity) for Workshop Participants May. 22th (3:30 pm – 6:30 pm)


This was a great event for me. Even as an amateur I felt acceptance all around. Playing in small teams was so creative and "democratic". The Q&A session with Baju and Stephan was VERY helpful with the interesting questions and your driven answers.

Some Impressions from Last Year

Jam Session Video

Performance Videos


3 Videos

List of Workshops

Workshops will take place on May 22 – 25, starting at 10:00.  

  • Improvisation, Arranging, and Composition 
  • Amplification, Looping, & Effects 
  • Free Improvisation and Non-Tonal Composition
  • Blues-inspired idioms
  • Groove and Accompaniment techniques
  • Conducted Group Improvisation
  • Modal Approach to Improvisation
  • Internalizing Harmony 
  • Music Business Mastermind Seminar

Performing Groups from 2022:

Performing Groups:

Performances will take place each evening (November 16 – November 19) starting at 20:00 on November 16, 17, and 18, and at 17:00 on November 19.

  • Les Ministrings– (large ensemble: directed by Tina Strinnning and Baiju Bhatt)
  • Falsetas (duo: Marc Crofts, violin and Yardani Torres, violin)
  • Fanny Balestro / Compagnie MUance (duo: Fanny Balestro-Bergeron, cello, performance art, electronics; Félix Bergeron, percussion, electronics)
  • Cécile Delzant (solo: Cécile Delzant, violon)
  • Odayaka (trio: Victor Darmon, violon; Adam Naylor, guitare; Cyril Billot, contrebasse)
  • HOWES / BHATT / BRAUN (trio: Christian Howes, violin; Baiju Bhatt, violin; Stephan Braun, cello)
  • Alba Obert (quartet: Alba Obert, violin; Julien Ménagé, piano; Blaise Hommage, bass; François Christe, drumset)
  • Simon Heggendorn & Michael Zisman (Simon Heggendorn, violin; Michael Zisman, bandoneon)
  • Eva Slongo (quartet: Eva Slongo, violon, singing; Julien Ménagé, piano, Blaise Hommage, bass. François Christe, percussion)

…and nightly Jam Sessions with  Julien Ménagé, piano, Blaise Hommage, bass, and François Christe, drumset and our 2023 workshop participants


Christian Howes music business coach

Christian Howes

Co-host and Teacher

American teacher, performer, and musical entrepreneur. He founded Creative Strings to expand music education to include improvisation, contemporary styles, jazz violin courses and related subjects through online curricula, music retreats, fiddle camps, and school residencies.

Baiju Bhatt

Co-host and Teacher

Swiss-Indian jazz violin virtuoso, acclaimed teacher, and leader of the award-winning jazz-rock quintet Red Sun. He currently lives between Switzerland and Paris, and teaches at the Lausanne Conservatory.

Stephan Braun

Guest Teacher, Cello

Stephan currently resides in Berlin, Germany where he teaches at the “Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler” and the “Jazzinstitute”.  He has played and taught at many cello courses, cello institutes, and festivals including the New Directions Cello Festival, Cello Akademie Rutesheim, North Sea Jazz Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival, and Montreal Jazz Festival and recorded as leader on two CDS- The Raid (2008) and Façon (2012).

Join Us in Lausanne, Switzerland

Venue: All events will be held in a beautiful space here: Théâtre 2.21, Rue de l’Industrie 10, 1005 Lausanne

The space is centrally located and easily accessible. Lausanne has ALL the modern conveniences of a small to medium-sized safe European city.

COVID-19 Safety: Participants will be expected to adhere to all COVID-related directives in force in Switzerland at the time of the festival.  the current national policies are here.

Accommodations: The workshop does not provide lodging. There are many hotels and air bnbs within walking distance.  Email chris@christianhowes.com with any questions about lodging.

Become a More Creative, Versatile String Player

Improvisation, Arranging, and Composition

Gain strategies to play over  progressions and grooves.

Discover how to make your own accompaniment parts.

Improvise in many styles.

Amplification, Looping, & Effects

Technology for teaching, practice, and performance. 

"The Chop" and Extended techniques

Learn modern bowing techniques and more

Swing Phrasing

Learn to incorporate rhythmic structures and language.

Blues-Inspired Idioms

Harmonic and rhythmic tension and release in the context of Blues.


Free Improvisation and Non-Tonal Composition

Compose in small groups using “composition games.”

During this interactive session you will feel empowered to perform/record your own “Free” pieces.

Conducted Group Improvisation

Follow cue cards and a system of hand signals in large group improvisations. 

Participants will also conduct the ensemble!

Catered to classical string players.

Modal Approaches to Improvisation

Learn how to apply a modal approach to your improvisation, arrangements, and compositions. 

Internalizing Harmony on the Violin, Viola, and Cello

Gain the ability to:

  • memorize harmonic relationships on the fingerboard
  • voice-lead arpeggios, scales, & double/ triple stops.
  • Internalize chord progressions 

Music Business Mastermind Seminar

 Attract more projects, gigs, or students.

Nous continuons de voler sur l'élan des beaux jours passés, vraiment! Enseignement, pratique, concerts a volonté, c'était un cocktail magique... Mes notes et lectures au piano au conservatoire hier et aujourd'hui ont reçu une perspective tout à fait nouvelle maintenant. Extrêmement passionnant tout ça...
Ms Veronika Kuijken
Violist, Pianist, Teacher
Juste un petit mot pour te dire à quel point on a été comblés par ces trois jours exceptionnels, tant du point de vue musical comme de celui humain. Vous avez créé quelque chose d'extraordinaire dont on a tellement besoin! À part la réussite et la qualité du stage, j'aimerais aussi souligner la richesse des rencontres qu'on y a fait: des liens magnifique sont nés en si peux de temps!
Mr Gabor Bartá
Violonist, Teacher

Register as A Workshop Participant Today

Super Early Bird Full Workshop Participant Package– 299 CHF (compared to full price of 650 CHF)

Full Access to all Workshops and Concerts.

Special ends 1/03/2023

Super Early Bird Full Workshop Participant Package- DEPOSIT ONLY 150 CHF now, Remaining  200 CHF by February 15, 2022

Full Access to all Workshops and Concerts.

Special ends 1/15/2022

Early Bird Full Workshop Participant Package– 400 CHF

Full Access to all Workshops and Concerts.

Available only for a limited time and in limited quantities

Early Bird Full Workshop Participant Package– 525 CHF (compared to full price of 599 CHF)

Full Access to all Workshops and Concerts

Special ends 9/8/2023

Full Workshop Participant Package– 599 CHF

Full Access to all Workshops and Concerts

Weekend Only Workshop Participant Package– 450 CHF

Access to Saturday/Sunday Workshops and Friday/Saturday/Sunday Concerts only

Refund Policy: Workshop Packages are non-refundable except in the event that the event is cancelled due to COVID-19.

Have friends or family that don't play but love listening?

Workshop participants will receive tickets to all concerts automatically.

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