Wednesday, May 20–Saturday, May 23, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Chamber Music for Adults program has been cancelled.
Join us for Chamber Music 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, friendly professional musicians, and, in many groups, play side-by-side with select Curtis students. View a PDF of a sample schedule.
Immerse yourself in chamber music through:
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 that notes 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 are notified of their groups’ repertoire in advance of the program and have a chance to order the music and practice their parts for a couple of weeks before joining together at the program.
If you are attending as a pre-formed group, no playing sample is 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 three rehearsals on Tuesday, 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, with optional master classes at night.
Pianists receive tailored instruction on solo repertoire through two evening piano master classes. 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 Thursday, May 21.
Any chamber music participant may benefit from observing without performing. Choose to audit Tuesday, May 19 and/or Wednesday, May 20 for $40 per class.
No audition is required for admission, but we ask each participant to submit a sample of their 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 you free yourself 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 for you and your fellow ensemble members. As our faculty members 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 the understanding that your group 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 Saturday, May 23. We can't wait for you to have that thrill, and are honored every year by musicians’ generous gift of performing music in front of an audience. 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 of what type of piece you would like to work on, as we all do, please clearly indicate them on your registration and also allow for some level of flexibility. Faculty do their very best to accommodate 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 the program’s enrollment, and so not all requests can be fully honored. 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.
*Registration fee: $90 before Friday, January 17, 2020 at noon EST; $150 (NOON EST January 17–NOON EST March 6).
Registration closes Friday, March 6, 2020 at noon EST.
Avocational musicians between the ages of 25 to 35 who live in the Philadelphia area are 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full-time Graduate students ages 23 through 29 are eligible for a 50% discount on tuition. College graduate students in any major, including music, are encouraged to join us. Contact email@example.com for more information; and please include in your message documentation of your full-time student status in the form of a registrar enrollment form, letter from an advisor, transcript or course schedule, etc. (This discount cannot be combined with the Bryan Anderson and Patrick Kreeger Scholarship.)
I'm new to the flute, having taken it up in my 60s, and I never experienced anything like this. [The coaches’] passion, enthusiasm, and encouragement was contagious and brought out the best in us. Thank you to Curtis for creating this program and ensuring that it was accessible to so many levels of musicianship.
I have been to many adult amateur groups through the years and this one was so special. I am definitely coming back. For anyone thinking about trying this out, I would just say, ‘You have to experience it!’
Had a FABULOUS weekend!! This is far and away the BEST amateur chamber music program (and I have sampled many of them!!). ... The coaching is superb, on an extraordinarily high professional level. Working in depth on an entire Brahms piano trio brought a wealth of understanding about that particular trio, but also important concepts to apply to other works. This is a rare musical growth opportunity, all in a very condensed time frame!! Bravo!!
“Through my experience at Curtis Summerfest I gained many strategies for preparing a piece that I’ve used over the past year in my teaching. It’s always wonderful to hear new ideas and to be able to pass those new ideas on to students.”
As a non-music professional, Curtis Summerfest CMA program is truly inspiring. Having the opportunity to interact with Curtis students and faculty was an experience of a lifetime. Their coaching tips and support ignited my music ability making the entire experience fulfilling and worth while. Music is back in my life as a wonderful source for enjoyment and relaxation.
My few days at Curtis were wonderful; and I can say that they were among the most rewarding that I have ever had. I already miss being there; and I look forward to attending in the future.
Thank you so so much for the recordings of the Chamber Music for Adults 2018. My experience there this summer was a thrill of a lifetime.
"A truly wonderful program—I would strongly recommend to anyone interested in chamber music! [The coaches] were all superb! Their recommendations were all complementary and not competitive, so we didn't feel like we had to choose between different recommendations. Their styles were all very supportive, and they gave concrete, actionable advice."
"I loved the feeling of camaraderie in the [piano studio] class. I hadn't performed solo in many years, and it made it much less daunting. It gave me a sense of confidence in my playing I hadn't experienced in a very long time, and it inspired me to strive to be the best musician I can be."
"The coaches' experience and highly developed technical and musical training and skills were an inspiration. Their ability to joyously and artfully work with non-professional musicians to bring out the most in us was fantastic."
"I enjoyed playing with a player of this caliber, [a Curtis student] who made me feel like I 'belonged.' "
"Looking forward to it each year with great anticipation—and finding it better than expected. You organize the entire program with care and love, considering our special requests and musical needs."
"Everything was well organized and there was such a friendly atmosphere!"
"[Curtis students] raise the level of the ensemble and inspire you to play at the edge of your limit."
“The intellectual and musical challenges of playing with others were so interesting…I think I’m hooked!”
“This was a spectacular experience! … thoughtfully scheduled and configured … perfect set-up for maximum enjoyment and learning in a compact format in a great setting. The staff were all incredible: enthusiastic, helpful, organized. The coaches were encouraging and supportive. I (and my pre-formed group) got so much out of this.”
“I’m still amazed of all the help I got and what I was hearing in my own playing. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing…I never had any hope that I could approach this level.”