Chamber music is a vital part of study and performance at Manhattan School of Music. Almost every classical instrumentalist is required to take part in chamber music at some point in each degree program.
Over 100 chamber ensembles ranging from duos to octets are formed each semester. Faculty comprises many of the School's most experienced chamber musicians, including current and former members of the Juilliard, Tokyo, Brentano, Orion and Mendelssohn string quartets, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic. Our prestigious resident ensembles, the American String Quartet and Windscape, also coach and give seasonal performances. Masterclasses given by distinguished artists are available to chamber groups by audition or nomination from the chamber music faculty.
In addition to the more traditional ensembles, the Baroque Aria Ensemble is offered in fulfillment of one semester of instrumental chamber music credit. Pianists may earn chamber music credit from participation in standard chamber groups, two-piano teams, instrumental studio accompanying or vocal accompanying.
Students are placed into ensembles by their department chair in collaboration with the director of chamber music. Students are encouraged to submit individual or group requests to participate in a specific type of ensemble, as well as request a particular chamber coach.
Performance is a key element of the chamber music program. Each semester, the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition takes place. Groups are invited to audition based on faculty nominations. Select groups perform in a special public concert held in Greenfield Hall. All other groups perform on the Chamber Music Festival that takes place at the end of each semester.