Helpful chamber coachings with distinguished, friendly professional musicians

Join us for Chamber Music and Orchestra for Adults and enjoy making music with others who love playing classical music as much as you do! All levels are welcome. You’ll learn from distinguished faculty and, in many groups, play side by side with select Curtis students.

Immerse yourself in chamber music through:

  • Faculty Open Rehearsal - in the first session of the chamber program, faculty share their favorite skills and techniques to work through a piece in rehearsal.
  • Chamber ensemble rehearsals: year after year, we hear it from our faculty in some form - chamber music is the one true democratic space. Intentionally built into the schedule is time and space for your ensemble to get to know one another, try things out, find what musical story to tell. Ensemble members are encouraged prior to or at the start of the program to discuss how they would like to spend their rehearsal time to develop a plan - what are your common goals for program, and so how much time would you all like to spend rehearsing your main piece together, practicing individually, sight-reading other music, or relaxing on the beautiful terrace talking about Bach.
  • Rehearsal in Gould Rehearsal Hall: each group is scheduled for one hour of rehearsal time inside Gould Rehearsal Hall so that you can hear yourselves in the recital space in advance.
  • Coachings: each group receives five one-hour coachings from professional chamber musicians, many of them Curtis alumni. Coaches are assigned based on instrumentation. 
  • Performance: every ensemble performs in a recital open to friends and family. Faculty help groups select one movement, or in the case of a piece with short movements, 8 - 10 minutes of music.

All practice and rehearsal rooms host Steinway pianos. Register as an individual or a pre-formed ensemble. 

Individual registrants, with or without chamber ensemble experience, are welcome. No audition is required for admission, but we ask each individual registrant to submit a playing sample, which informs our decisions on ensemble assignments. We also ask that you provide a repertoire list-what you’ve played in the past, whether solo, chamber, or accompanied. Finally, let us know what repertoire you’d love to play while you’re here and we’ll do our best to accommodate your requests where possible - some flexibility is appreciated. Once registration closes, faculty match all individual registrants into ensembles based on common level and repertoire-requests; participants then know their group’s repertoire in advance of the program and have a chance to order the music and practice their parts for a few weeks before joining together at the program.

If you are attending as a pre-formed group, submission of your playing is not necessary. We will ask you to submit a repertoire list—what you have played in the past as an ensemble—to help us suggest new repertoire. You’re also welcome to tell us what you want to work on during the program.

In the evenings after your chamber group rehearsals, come play in the chamber orchestra side by side with select Curtis students. Orchestra members meet for two rehearsals on Wednesday and Thursday nights, and then perform for friends and family on Friday evening.

No audition is required for admission, but we ask each participant to submit a sample of his or her playing, which informs our decisions on section placement. We also ask that you provide a repertoire list—what you’ve played in the past, whether orchestral, solo, chamber, or accompanied.

Pianists can sign up for intensive chamber music sessions during the day, or with the addition of piano master classes at night.

Pianists receive tailored instruction on solo repertoire through two evening piano master classes with Amy Yang in Curtis’s historic Field Concert Hall. Participants in the master classes share the camaraderie of a studio and engage in vibrant discussions on the repertoire presented. Those who sign up are invited to perform their pieces for friends and family in an informal performance on Friday, May 18, also in Field Concert Hall.

Any chamber music participant may benefit from observing without performing. Choose to audit Wednesday, May 16 and/or Thursday, May 17 for $40 per class.

No audition is required for admission, but we ask each participant to submit a sample of his or her playing, which informs our decisions on chamber repertoire. We also ask that you provide a repertoire list—what you’ve played in the past, whether solo, chamber, accompaniment, or four hands.


1. Stick around and get the most out of your experience. We ask that participants free themselves of other major work commitments that would take you away from the Curtis campus during this time. The chamber program schedule includes some flexible time, being built around five hour-long coachings with faculty. Those coachings are important to your group-mates. Like we say, chamber music is a democracy, and every voice is imperative.

Therefore, missing a coaching for a prior commitment could mean being asked to leave the program without refund so that the rest of the chamber ensemble can proceed as scheduled with a hired substitute, should one be available. This does not apply to medical emergencies.

If you would like to participate in the program but know that you will not be present for its entirety, we encourage you to register with friends as a pre-formed ensemble, with this understanding that you would be foregoing some coaching time by being otherwise committed.

2. Take your bow. All participants perform in one of the final two chamber recitals on Sunday, May 20. We can't wait for you to have that thrill and are honored every year by musicians' generosity in the gift you give us by performing music. In the event that during the program you have a change in heart and start to feel nervous about performing, please reach out to staff so that we may assist you. We have been there! Exceptions can be made for pre-formed groups in which every member is in agreement and does not wish to perform. 

When booking travel, please allow for the possibility your group will be scheduled on the afternoon recital. We also hope you'll stay for the reception on the Dannenbaum Terrace!

3. Love the music, in all its many forms. But if you have preferences, as we all do, please clearly indicate them on your registration and also allow for some level of flexibility. Faculty work hard to do their very best to accomodate requests as closely as possible for certain repertoire or ensemble types (string quartet vs. piano trio; ensemble with a Curtis student embedded or ensemble with people from a certain geographic area; etc.). However, our ability to accommodate such requests is based on that year's enrollment, and so not all requests are possible. Those with a specific piece in mind are encouraged to register as a fully pre-formed ensemble. That doesn't mean that if you love baroque and classical we'll assign you a contemporary piece! It just means if your heart is set on having a Curtis student in your group, tell us that is your priority. Or, if you desperately want to make this the year for a difficult piece you've been working towards, maybe recruit some friends who are up to the challenge to sign-up as a pre-formed group! If in doubt, contact us at Summerfest before you register and we'll be more than happy to discuss what you are hoping for.

 

Apply Now

 

Questions about registration? Ask Summerfest.

Chamber Music + Orchestra or Piano Class

  • Tuition: $750
  • Registration Fee: $65/$125*
  • Housing and Dining: $480

Chamber Music Only

  • Tuition: $600
  • Registration Fee: $65/$125*
  • Housing and Dining: $480

Chamber Orchestra Only

  • Tuition: $300
  • Registration Fee: $65/$125*
  • Housing and Dining: $240

*Registration fee: $65 before January 31, 2017 at 11:59 a.m. EST; $125 (NOON EST January 31–11:59 a.m. EST March 31).
Registration closes 11:59 a.m. EST Friday, March 31, 2017.

Avocational musicians between the ages of 25 to 35 who live in the Philadelphia area were invited to apply for the Bryan Anderson and Patrick Kreeger Scholarship, which covers partial to full tuition for young professionals who might not otherwise have the financial resources to participate. For more details, please contact shino.verner@curtis.edu.

I'm having trouble making a recording or with some other element of the online registration.

Below are a few quick links to technical support. Our application platform, Acceptd, has a toll-free number to assist you with all technical questions: 1.888.725.2122, EXT. 2. 

Can we move our chamber coaching times to fit better in our schedules?
We ask that chamber musicians are available at all possible coaching times noted in the schedule.

You will be given your coaching schedule prior to the start of the program. It may not be possible to reschedule a coaching if one member of the group is missing.

Chamber participants are free to use the times they are not being coached for rehearsals, private practice, or break time. We encourage you to discuss this with one another and decide together.

Can family members from out of town also stay in Lenfest Hall?
If there is room in the Lenfest Hall suites, family members are welcome to stay at a per-night additional cost.

Contact summerfest@curtis.edu in the spring to inquire.

Can we bring other music to read through?

Participants are encouraged to bring all music that they would like to read through with others. Chamber groups are encouraged to discuss with one another in advance how they would like to spend their rehearsal time. You may also bring music to read with musicians outside of your ensemble whom you will meet at the program, and coordinate independently when to do read-throughs during the program.

For the enjoyment and fulfillment of goals of all participants, coachings and recital time focus on the music pre-arranged before the program.