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String Chamber Music

Head of String Chamber Music Department

String Chamber Music ensembles are built to give the student a deep and creative experience in the chamber music genre. Students are placed by audition into groups with like-minded colleagues who want to learn the rich repertoire of the chamber music world and have the opportunity to perform these works for audiences both at Biola and beyond. Groups are fit together according to skill level and personal goals and can be built for both standard and non-standard instrumentation. Placement in an ensemble is open to both majors and non-majors alike.

Ensemble types include the genres of the string quartet, string trio, string quintets, sextets and octets, among others. String Chamber Music also collaborates with the Piano Department to program works for piano trio, quartet and quintet, as well as sonata duos. Repertoire covers substantial works from across all time periods, providing endless possibilities. This course includes one coaching session per week plus one or two self-directed rehearsals for the group on their own. All chamber ensembles are coached by outstanding Conservatory faculty, who are internationally-recognized, professional performing artists. Guest Artist Masterclasses are also offered by world-class musicians. Performance opportunities in numerous venues are a central component to this experience.

Biola String Quartet

This group is a specialized, high performance string quartet within the String Chamber Music Department. Tour opportunities may also be available as a member of this ensemble. Coaching sessions are 90 minutes per week for the Biola String Quartet, and members are chosen by special audition.

Sample Repertoire

  • String Quartet in C Major, No. 3. Op. 33 by Joseph Hadyn
  • String Quartet in F Major by Maurice Ravel
  • String Quartet Op. 59, No. 1 by Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Piano Trio in C Major Op. 89, No. 2 by Johannes Brahms
  • Piano Trio in D Minor Op. 49, No. 1 by Felix Mendelssohn
  • The Four Seasons by Astor Piazzolla
  • Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 by J.S. Bach

How to Audition

A student's audition for entrance to the Conservatory also serves as his/her audition for String Chamber Music. The String Chamber Music coordinator will assign groups at the beginning of each semester based on availability and skill level.