In 2004, the Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa created an academy in Switzerland focused on the string quartet and the string ensemble. The foundations of this program were laid with Robert Mann, founder of the Juilliard String Quartet. Three teachers have participated in the Academy since its inception: Sadao Harada, Nobuko Imai and Pamela Frank. Seiji Ozawa entrusted the direction of the Academy to the pianist Blanche d'Harcourt. Since its foundation, the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland has welcomed 24 young soloists each year. Since 2007, it has been based in the Castle of Rolle, which has been made available to it by the municipality of Rolle.
The academicians give a series of concerts: the rehearsals in Rolle are open to the public, the Academy gives an annual concert in the courtyard of the castle of Rolle with the Choeur des Armaillis de la Gruyère. The closing concert of the Academy takes place in the prestigious Victoria Hall in Geneva.