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Does anyone know of graduate schools that offer a degree in chamber music performance


Annelise
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quote:

Originally posted by HuangKaiVun:

Why do you want a chamber music degree?

Why would you want anything else? Can you honestly tell me that the Beethoven Violin Concerto is more fun to play than the Grosse Fuge???? Nah. Anyway back to the subject...

I believe that the Cleveland Institute of Music does offer a chamber music degree...if it doesn't, it's about as close as it gets: that's a #1 priority there, from what I understand. LOTS of chamber music whether or not you major in it. Also, try looking into the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. While they may not have an actual degree, there is certainly enough chamber music to go around there.

And also...

HAVE FUN!!! I wish I were old enough to be going to college playing all that chamber music. And lucky you, that you've realized what field of music you love most. Chamber music is what it's all about, as far as I'm concerned!

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Yes, I can honestly say that Beethoven's violin concerto is far more fun to play than the Grosse Fugue.

In fact, I'd wager that most audiences (educated and uneducated alike) would rather hear/play the Concerto than the Fugue.

You don't need a degree in chamber music to be immersed in chamber music, and you don't need to necessarily go to a conservatory to be immersed in chamber music.

Acquiring a solid scale/etude based technique will discourage you from playing chamber music far more than anybody else will.

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quote:

Originally posted by HuangKaiVun:

Acquiring a solid scale/etude based technique will discourage you from playing chamber music far more than anybody else will.

Meaning that you have to check your brain at the door in order to learn to play properly?

[Expression of further impure thoughts deleted after mature reflection.]

[This message has been edited by Stephen (edited 10-20-2000).]

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Drop the personal attacks, Lydia. You only see the surface.

Actually, you'll appreciate chamber music a lot better if you have a good technique.

Whether or not your PARTNERS can/will keep up with you is an entirely different issue.

My favorite chamber music experiences have taken place with near utter beginners. That is because they don't distort rhythms and play things "straight". The beauty of hearing "Twinkle" harmonized is breathtaking.

Too many times, I end up disagreeing with teammates over what's written in the score and what they're used to imitating from modern violninist CDs. In my experience, this is the WORST with the most advanced players.

I have always been able to adjust to my partners, but they rarely can adjust to my penchant for playing phrases with a discernible rhythm.

The more you do etudes and scales, the LESS you will fit the playing of your partners because YOU will cease to be a modern violinist. You will have an available technique, but you'll find yourself waiting for them to "catch up" as opposed to making music on an equal plane.

In my experience, NONstrings tend to be less limited by their instruments than string players tend to be. However, the pulse distortion does seem to go up as skill levels increase.

Ideally, a good technique ought to help you. But we live in the real world - a world where people read scores by listening to recordings.

Stephen, cut out the personal attacks when you disagree with my statements.

You sound as if YOU'VE checked your brain at the door.

[This message has been edited by HuangKaiVun (edited 10-20-2000).]

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quote:

Originally posted by HuangKaiVun:

Actually, you'll appreciate chamber music a lot better if you have a good technique.

Whether or not your PARTNERS can/will keep up with you is an entirely different issue.

Never been a problem for me. Tolerance is necessary in any kind of group activity. Indeed, I find someone who is struggling with the notes VASTLY less frustrating than the know-it-all who can't cooperate with the rest of the group. If you are lucky, you will always encounter both players better and worse than yourself.

As for the score vs. what people have heard on CDs: It's all part of the interpretation arguments that take place in a serious session. The error is in assuming that there is One Right Way (including, "follow exactly what's in the score").

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But why does everything have to be played the SAME EXACT WAY, especially when that way goes against what's written (modern violinist syndrome?)

Struggling with the notes is one thing. I struggle with notes too.

It's an entirely different issue when somebody WON'T make the effort to keep up with the others because he has to have HIS way.

In the context of a solo or orchestral performance, such outliers simply don't exert their influence without embarrassing themselves.

Too often, the chamber music groups I've seen are led by the weakest denominator. This holds true at the pro levels too.

[This message has been edited by HuangKaiVun (edited 10-20-2000).]

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While I most certainly agree that MOST audiences would rather hear the Beethoven concerto that the Fugue, I certainly wouldn't. Not to say that anyone's wrong for thinking otherwise, but the Fuge is, in my opinion a much more substantial, moving, aaaaa I can't even think of words to describe it sort of piece. I LONG for the day when I can actually play it...if it invigorates me just to listen to it, imagine if I was playing it.

I better stop writing now...my mouth is starting to water. laugh.gif

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In the book "Indivisible by Four" the point is made that each quartet member is of solo-artist caliber. Therefore, it probably behooves aspiring chamber-musicians to get a thorough grounding in all areas.

Conservatory environments include the opportunity to participate in many ensembles, if the student wishes. From what I hear from my d, there are students who are seen only in their teacher's studio, their practice room, or performing solo. It doesn't have to be this way unless the student wishes it. My d found that she became known for saying "yes" to every chamber opportunity and so was asked more and more.

She thinks if you just try to do the very best you can do, opportunities will open up. She'd decided in advance what she especially wanted, but now she understands that if she is versatile, she will receive more opportunities. Chamber music remains a focus for her; meanwhile, she studies the Bartok Concerto. And summer festivals are great for chamber music playing.

AB

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Though some of Huang's comments I don't agree with, the most important thing I think to realize is his point that:

"You don't need a degree in chamber music to be immersed in chamber music, and you don't need to necessarily go to a conservatory to be immersed in chamber music."

If you're going to go to a concervatory, chances are, you'll have a chance to play chamber music, however, you wouldn't want to major in it. That really wouldn't help you very much at all (although I don't know what comprises the degree requirements). Good luck.

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I loved Indivisible By Four. It's one of my favorite books. I even got it signed by Arnold Steinhardt!! Yay! That book is so wonderfully written and it gives such a fabulous description of what it's like to be in a quartet...if anyone hasn't read it, assuredly it will change your mind if you're only interested in solo playing!

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Ah, A. Brown hit it on the head. All truly great chamber groups are peopled with musicians of solo caliber technique. A degree in chamber music is a gimmick used to get students to go here instead of there. Go to the school where you will learn to play your instrument the best and provides the best musical experience. All of us play chamber music, it was written for musicians.

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Ah, I see HKV is back to Yoda-ish pronouncements.

Though I agree with you that most audiences would rather hear the Beethoven concerto than the Grosse Fugue, the latter is still a magnificent masterpiece -- much like many other things that an audience wouldn't want to hear as much as a Great Warhorse.

Chamber music is all about the other players you're with. (The music is often more interesting to play than to listen to, in my opinion, which contributes to audience preferences.) I realize that HKV feels like playing with other people stifles his style. However, I believe the back-and-forth and debate that's part of a good serious chamber music session is inherently part of the end product -- and part of the fun.

I would suspect that having a degree in chamber music would increase one's professional opportunities, in terms of beefing up credentials to get coaching jobs and so forth. I would also think that, like any other piece of music, this does benefit from the chance to talk to experienced performers, receive coaching, and so forth -- all very much a valuable part of an educational program. (Not to mention having the ability to work with student partners who are committed to this sort of thing and for whom this is part of their time commitments.)

The last statement, about how acquiring good technique will discourage you from playing chamber music, is such pure bullsh-t that I'll assume it's there merely to be provacative.

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The surge in chamber music performances and chamber music degrees (and yes, there has been a surge) in the last couple of decades is due to a renewed interest among players and listeners alike. It is partly economic - the number of degrees granted each year is significantly higher than the number of jobs available (this I am sure you all know) - chamber music is a way of controlling one's own (or at least one's group's) destiny. There are more competitions, fellowships, grants and yes - degrees - in chamber music than ever before. School gimmick, maybe. But who are any of us to tell this poster that a degree in chamber music is not what she wants - she has told us that she DOES want it (not that she needs to state her reasons for asking a simple question!) and this degree does exist.

That said, Annelise if you are still reading, I am fairly certain that the institutions that offer a chamber music degree offer it to pre-existing groups; i.e., a string quartet would audition as a unit to a particular program. If you do not belong to a like-minded group however, I would take the advice of several others on this thread and get into the best school that meets your needs and delve into chamber music from there. You will probably meet kindred spirits in grad school.

We could have endless discussions on the worth of ANY music degree - why single out a chamber music concentration? Because it is new?

Some advantages of a chamber music degree program:

Previously-formed groups stay together and learn together.

Schools are offering residencies to top ensembles and these ensembles are teaching as a group.

The pursuit of chamber music is a different business than that of being a soloist or orchestral musician; in fact, it is MUCH MORE like running a business than solo or orchestral playing - there is a lot more to learn than music.

You are immersed in the music with like-minded people who want to do this for a living rather than a grade, gig, whatever (and yes, hopefully, they are all of soloist calibre).

I could go on...

Stacy

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another plug for the Cleveland Institute of Music -

They have a fine all around program and a truly great chamber music program. They have 3 members of the former Cleveland Quartet on the faculty (Don Weilerstein, Peter Sallaff & Bill Preucil) and the Cavani Quartet are in residence. In addition to regular chamber music study, there is an intensive seminar each year that brings a superb quartet (Guarneri, Juilliard, etc.) to coach the groups and give master classes.

They have produced many fine emerging quartets and competition winners - most notably the Miro Quartet who are now the quartet-in-residence at Juilliard. I think you'd love it there! (yes, I'm an alumni)

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