Mountain Top Camerata

Mountain Top Camerata at the “Cave” in Big Bear

Mountain Top Camerata after a dazzling performance with String Fever from London

About the MountainTop Camerata

The Mountain Top Camerata, formed under the direction of professional cellist Sharon Rizzo, is a small conductorless youth ensemble of primarily middle and high school-aged musicians. The Italian term camerata refers to a small group of musicians and shares roots with the word “comrade,” or friend. The camaraderie of these musicians is undoubtedly a factor in the success of this ensemble.

Based in Big Bear, California, the Mountain Top Camerata draws musicians from all across the San Bernardino Mountains and the surrounding areas. The Camerata is comprised of advanced student musicians by audition, as well as Mountain Top Camerata faculty. Performances may consist of anywhere between four to eighteen musicians and repertoire includes standards of the string chamber orchestra literature with an emphasis on the Baroque music of Corelli, Bach, Telemann and Vivaldi. The Camerata has also played a variety of rock, pop, Celtic, and Latin music.

In addition to performances in the local mountains, recent engagements include collaborations with the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra, Symphonie Jeunesse, String Fever (a world class electric string quartet from London), the San Bernardino Symphony, and the number one Led Zeppelin tribute band Led Zepagain.

The Mountain Top Camerata has recently completed two European tours. Their 2016 tour included  performances in Rome, Venice, Lucca, and Cremona, Italy and Salzburg, Austria. They were invited back to Lucca by the Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicale Boccherini, where they performed in the institute’s fall 2017 concert series and embarked on yet another tour of Italy this past October. In addition to performances in cities like Perugia and Rome, the Camerata participated in masterclasses at the Istituto Superiore di Studi Musicale Boccherini in Lucca and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena.

In March of 2017, the Mountain Top Camerata took part in the National Youth Concert series at Carnegie Hall in New York City, gaining praise for their unique conductorless performance. They also gave a concert at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Manhattan.

To book the MountainTop Camerata for a concert or event, please contact Sharon Rizzo at or 909.744.7598.

MountainTop Strings is a collective of youth strings ensembles which have transformed our mountain community into a robust, thriving, and cultured musical destination for both the connoisseur and student of music. Our programs serve students 8 - 18 years of age, from beginning to advanced levels. MTS is known for its eclectic repertoire and variety of performance opportunities for our musical youth.

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Carnegie Hall