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Chamber Music Offerings



Twentieth Century Music

Judith Eissenberg (founder of the Lydian String Quartet) coach
Meeting room: Houston Hall

From Webern to Phillip Glass to John Cage to Elliott Carter, the rich and varied music of the Twentieth Century will be explored. Repertoire to be assigned according to the interests and ability of the participants.


The Chamber Music of Tchaikovsky and Poulenc

Lila Brown, coach
Meeting room: 132IP-106

When Peter the Great expanded the Russian Empire in the 17th and 18th centuries, the European and especially French cultural influence in St. Petersburg was enormous and Tchaikovsky's ( 1840-1893 ) training a century later still basically Western. Though coming from such different worlds these two composers were both masters of lyricism. Tchaikovsky's chamber music is limited to several epic string quartets, a piano trio, and a string sextet, but this course may also include a quintet version of the Serenade for Strings (string quartet and Bass).

Poulenc ( 1899-1963 ), conversely, wrote many exquisite and rather shorter chamber works and sonatas, especially for winds; a two clarinet duo, a clarinet/bassoon duo, trio for oboe, bassoon and piano, sonatas each for clarinet, oboe, and flute, and a sextet for winds and piano, as well as several short pieces for unusual combinations and many piano four hands pieces.


Duo Class

Rictor Noren, coach
Meeting room: 1112 Boylston 2A

This class will concentrate on the duo repertoire for any combination of instruments and/or voices.


The Sonatas and Duos of Schubert and Beethoven

Max Levinson, coach
Meeting room: 8TF 306

This class is open to instrumentalists and pianists, as well as duo pianists. Repertoire will include Sonatas for violin, or cello, and piano as well as piano four hands.


The Great Piano Trios

Irina Muresanu, coach
Meeting room: 31H T401

Open to pianists, violinists and cellists. Repertoire, such as Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn and Shostakovich, to be assigned by the coaches.


Renaissance Consort

Chris Olav Henriksen, coach
Meeting room: 8TF-403

Purpose of class: to introduce students of traditional and early instruments to the chamber repertory of the late renaissance: polyphony, dance music, theatrical character pieces, and vocal works. The repertory is selected each semester based on the skills and opportunities provided by the individual students involved. Each time the course runs, it will highlight a different national style, rotating between English, Italian, French, German and Spanish repertory. The group will explore the context of the music studied, including issues of performance practice and how this can be applied to modern as well as historical instruments. Where appropriate, an introduction to period improvisational styles will be given.
The group is open to strings, woodwinds, voices and harps, also early instruments including viola da gamba, recorders and harpsichord. Other instruments: please inquire.


New Music Chamber Ensembles (NMCE)

Sharan Leventhal, coach
Meeting room: 132 Ipswich, Room 103

Two groups will perform 2 works by students composers selected by the composition faculty. Both groups will perform twice during the semester. This class offers the opportunity for performers and composers to work closely in shaping each new work. Performers will advise the composers about considerations for their individual instruments/voice ranging from general suitability to extended techniques.

For Spring 2015, the ensembles will include:

  1. oboe, flute, percussion

  2. clarinet, violin, piano


Individually Coached Groups

Multiple Instructors

Groups will be assigned by the second Friday class meeting. Each group will receive eight hours of coaching from an assigned instructor. Particularly dedicated groups may petition to have 12 hours of coaching. Participants must attend all masterclasses and perform twice during the semester.


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