Chamber Music for Adults

Discover the Music Within You

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Chamber Music for Adults program has been cancelled. "Stay tuned for more information"

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:

  • 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, and find a musical story to tell. Prior to or at the start of the program, ensemble members are encouraged to discuss how they would like to spend their rehearsal time. Together, you should develop a plan based on your common goals for the program: 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 of the performance.
  • Coachings: Each group receives five one-hour coachings from professional chamber musicians, many of whom are Curtis alumni. Coaches are assigned based on instrumentation, i.e. string groups with string faculty. 
  • Performance: Every ensemble performs in a recital open to friends and family. Faculty members will help groups select one movement, or in the case of a piece with short movements, 8 to 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 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.

Chamber Music + Orchestra or Piano Class

  • Tuition: $900
  • Registration Fee: $90/$150*
  • Housing and Dining: $520

Chamber Music Only

  • Tuition: $700
  • Registration Fee: $90/$150*
  • Housing and Dining: $520

Chamber Orchestra Only

  • Tuition: $375
  • Registration Fee: $90/$150*
  • Housing and Dining: $480

*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.

Scholarship for Young Professionals

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


Discount for Graduate Students

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 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.)


Discount for Curtis Donors

Curtis Society members (those who have given $100 to Curtis Institute) receive 15% discount on tuition. Contact for your discount code to be entered at the end of registration.