Aspen Music Festival And School

Aspen Chamber MusicBack To Chamber Music...

Chamber music has an important presence at the Aspen Music Festival and School, with two resident string quartets (Pacifica Quartet, American String Quartet, and Jupiter String Quartet), a resident brass quintet (American Brass Quintet), as well as chamber music experts such as Donald and Vivian Hornik Weilerstein and Wu Han and David Finckel.

Students interested in the Aspen Chamber Music program must audition upon arrival. Pre-formed ensembles are strongly encouraged to audition together. The Aspen Music Festival and School has several violas to loan violinists interested in playing viola for chamber music. Also, more experienced cellists and violists may receive compensation to serve as mentors to ensembles comprised of less experienced players. An audition is required for placement in a young ensemble. Once placed, ensembles work with a primary coach from the AMFS artist-faculty roster, receiving weekly coachings in preparation for a performance. Additionally, students have the opportunity to participate in master classes led by AMFS artist-faculty and guests, and to attend recitals by resident and visiting ensembles.

Select piano trios and piano quartets participating in the Aspen Chamber Music program will be invited to spend the second-session portion of their chamber music studies in the Weilerstein Piano and Strings Chamber Music Workshop. Students can expect to receive one coaching per week and are welcome to observe coachings of the other participating groups. Study will be supplemented with a master class. Groups should be working toward the goal of performing the repertoire coached in the Workshop.

Two chamber blocks, devoid of all conflicts, are devoted to chamber music coachings weekly. Participants are expected to receive at least one coaching per week within a Chamber Music Block, and can use the second block for additional coachings or rehearsals as needed, which allows students the opportunity to customize the intensity of their chamber music experience. Faculty coaches may recommend an alternate coach to provide a supplementary perspective to the ensemble. Coaching assignments are made after auditions and a schedule will be distributed at the required Chamber Music Orientation Meeting at the beginning of the summer.

Participants of the Aspen Chamber Music program are expected to perform at least once over the course of the summer. Select students may also be invited to perform on faculty chamber music concerts and other special opportunities. Performance opportunities include:

  • Chapel Chamber Concert Series
  • Spotlight Recital Series
  • Aspen Chamber Music Series
  • Composition Recitals
  • Brass Bashes & Woodwind Recitals
  • House Music
  • Basalt and Carbondale Library Series

Placement in chamber music is not guaranteed for any student and priority is given to Full Session students. Once assigned to an ensemble, group members are expected to remain committed to their rehearsals and coachings for the duration of their session at the AMFS. Students of all ages are welcome to audition for the Aspen Chamber Music program upon arrival at Aspen. Students under age eighteen should consult with their private teachers before auditioning. It may be recommended that younger or less-experienced players focus on private study or specially-designed and limited exposure to chamber music.

Chamber Music Coaches

Darrett Adkins, cello Nancy Allen, harp Renata Arado, violin
Nadine Asin, flute Daniel Avshalomov, viola Adam Barnett-Hart, violin
Guy Ben-Ziony, viola Aaron Boyd, violin Per Brevig, trombone
Laurie Carney, violin Hung-Kuan Chen, piano Kevin Cobb, trumpet
Ellen dePasquale, violin Elaine Douvas, oboe James Dunham, viola
Liz Freivogel, viola Meg Freivogel, viola Simin Gantara, violin
Nancy Goeres, bassoon Jonathan Haas, percussion Per Hannevold, bassoon
Louis Hanzlik, trumpet Austin Hartman, violin Cornelia Heard, violin
Alex Kerr, violin Eric Kim, cello Wolfram Koessel, cello
Pierre Lapointe, viola Nelson Lee, violin Anneleen Lenaerts, harp
Espen Lilleslåtten, violin Raymond Mase, trumpet Daniel McDonough, cello
Michael Mermagen, cello Anton Nel, piano Michael Powell, trombone
Eric Reed, horn Carla Maria Rodrigues, viola John Rojak, bass trombone
Sylvia Rosenberg, violin Ann Schein, piano Brook Speltz, cello
Sabina Thatcher, viola Brandon Vamos, cello David Wakefield, horn
Bing Wang, violin Virginia Weckstrom, piano Donald Weilerstein, violin
Vivian Hornik Weilerstein, piano Peter Winograd, violin Stephen Wyrczynski, viola
John Zirbel, horn    


Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO