A Summer Workshop for People Who Love to Play Chamber Music

Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

July 12 to August 9, 2020

For seven decades, musicians from all over the world have gathered each summer to play chamber music and to grow as musicians. After more than forty years of gathering on the campus of Bennington College in Vermont, they look forward to their new home on the campus of Colgate University in the state of New York. What attracts these musicians, and brings them back, is the love of playing chamber music, the chance to learn from world-class performers and teachers, and the joy of seeing old friends and making new ones.

The Conference enables committed chamber musicians to learn and grow, by offering outstanding chamber music coaching, faculty concerts and seminars, and opportunities for spontaneous free playing, in a historic and verdant setting. At the same time, it supports new chamber music composition and performance through a vibrant program of composer residencies. This combination of features creates a unique and exhilarating musical immersion.

The Conference runs for four weeks in July and August. Most participants attend for one or two weeks. Conference participants comprise amateur musicians who range in age and ability, and who play strings (violin, viola, cello, and double bass), woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn), piano, voice, and harp. All participants share a passion for chamber music and the desire for an intensive and rewarding learning experience.

The Conference faculty includes outstanding performing artists who combine concert careers with a dedication to teaching. They perform regularly as soloists and as members of leading chamber music ensembles and orchestras; many are drawn from the faculties of major conservatories and university music departments nationwide and beyond.

At the Conference, the coaching program and concert series feature a tremendous diversity of music, from the Classical period to the present. In addition to the core string quartet and wind quintet repertoire, the Conference explores works for many combinations of piano, woodwinds, and strings. Participants are encouraged to submit repertoire requests in advance of the Conference.

The Composers' Forum involves both faculty and participants in contemporary music. The Conference appoints composers for week-long residencies as Composers-in-Residence or Composition Fellows and commissions new works that participants study and perform. Faculty performances of existing works by the Composers-in-Residence are featured on the Conference Concert Series.

See also our Frequently Asked Questions page for more details about the Conference.

To Apply

The application form for the 2020 Conference will be posted in December 2019.

If you are a potential first-time applicant, we encourage you to contact us now, so that we know of your interest and can answer any questions you have.

The Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, Inc.
Tobias Werner, Music Director
Donald Crockett, Senior Composer-in-Residence
Susie Ikeda, Executive Director

617-447-1808  •  cmceast@cmceast.org
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