<p>I've heard really good things about this festival. What is the difficulty of acceptance to Banff?</p>

<p>I went last year. There are a lot of really great players who go to Banff, so I'm sure it's tough to get into but the difficulty probably depends on the instrument, too...</p>

<p>While S has never applied to Banff, he has friends that have applied and gone. As Cosmos says, admission probability is at least partially instrument dependent. It also seems to vary from year to year and like music performance admissions to good music schools, it can be very unpredictable. It is a relatively small program (not anywhere near the size of Aspen or Tanglewood or many other programs). </p>

<p>Players whose prescreen recordings got them auditions everywhere (i.e. Juilliard, NEC, CIM etc.) and who were admitted with $20K+ merit awards at even reputedly miserly schools, have been rejected by Banff using the same recording. Lesser players have been accepted to Banff in other years. Probably the size and calibre of the applicant pool can vary from year to year. Some players go back repeatedly, which further limits an already small number of openings. </p>

<p>As with other good programs, even if one is an excellent player, one would probably want to apply to a few programs.</p>