For more than 70 years, the Chamber Music Workshop (CMW) has provided amateur musicians with the opportunity to expand their knowledge of chamber music by collaborating with friends old and new, while learning from world-class performers.

Applications are accepted for individuals and pre-formed groups including strings, winds, brass, pianists, and singers. Individuals will be matched according to ability as well as personnel and repertoire requests.

About the Chamber Music Workshop

In addition to daily chamber music coachings by Conference faculty and Artists-in-Residence, Chamber Music Workshop participants have the opportunity to partake in masterclasses, seminars, performances, chamber music reading sessions and learning new commissioned works, as well as attend open rehearsals, lectures and concerts from faculty members and students of the Contemporary Performance Institute. CMW participants live and socialize with the Composers Conference Fellows, CPI and Faculty Artists, and the resulting shared experience and synergy creates a close-knit musical community unlike any other. Under the direction of violinist and CMW Director Jessica Tong, the Chamber Music Workshop offers a rich and diverse experience that reflects the expressive and intellectual possibilities that only the intimacy of chamber music can reveal.


The Chamber Music Workshop participants have the opportunity to work in their coached ensembles with the CMW Artists-in-Residence, Resident Faculty, and members of the Conference Ensemble. Scroll down for list of Faculty and Staff.

2020 Program Activities Overview

The Chamber Music Workshop [CMW] offers a wide variety of programs to both individuals and pre-formed ensembles in order to help tailor the chamber music experience to each participant according to their experience level, needs and areas of interest. The Workshop is open to all strings, winds, brass, piano and singers.

Typically, participants choose to participate in a full week program (which consists of three different coached sessions and repertoire choices) or a partial week program (which consists of two different coached sessions and repertoire choices.) If you are only able or interested in participating in a single coached session, or would like to spread your coached sessions over a longer period of time, you must contact us prior to submitting your registration to ensure that your special registration is properly noted and we can accommodate your scheduling needs.

Each participant has the opportunity to request what type of coached sessions (see next section) they would like to participate in, or they may leave it up to CMW to determine a personalized program to suit their needs and abilities.

Should you have any questions about the nature of the sessions, please contact the CMW Director Jessica Tong at jtong@​composersconference.​org. Please note that there is limited space availability for the Seminars, so early registration is strongly encouraged.

Types of Coached Sessions

Traditional Coachings
OFFERED: Weeks 1 and 2; mornings and afternoons
OPEN TO: all levels, individuals and pre-formed
A traditional coaching session consists of three consecutive days of coachings with other individuals or a pre-formed ensemble on a single piece. The members of the ensemble will have an opportunity to decide if they would like to perform a movement of their work on a Musicale concert or masterclass at the end of the three days.

Happy Birthday Beethoven! Seminar I: Exploring Stylistic Evolutions in Beethoven’s Piano Trios


LEADING FACULTY: David Kaplan and Jessica Tong

OPEN TO: Individuals and Pre-formed ensembles for strings, pianists and clarinetists. Experienced players looking to broaden their scope of knowledge not only on a single piece, but on a particular composer. This year, in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Lecturer of Piano at UCLA’s Herbert Alpert’s School of Music and CMW Artist-in-Residence David Kaplanand CMW Director Jessica Tong lead an in-depth study of various piano trios by Beethoven written throughout his lifetime. All participants of the Chamber Music Seminar will prepare movements from a pre-assigned Beethoven Trio with two hours of masterclass coaching by various faculty members. The result is not only an opportunity to experience different teaching perspectives, but to learn about overarching stylistic elements that serve as common threads in each composer's output.

Happy Birthday Beethoven! Seminar II: Comparing and Contrasting Instrumentation in Beethoven’s Quintet/Quartet op. 16



OPEN TO: Individuals and Pre-formed ensembles for string/pianoand wind/piano players. This year, in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Lecturer of Piano at UCLA’s Herbert Alpert’s School of Music and CMW Artist-in-Residence David Kaplan leads a seminar on the famous Beethoven Quintet, said to be modeled after Mozart’s Quintet K. 452. The goal is to investigate how the two different instrumental versions of the same piece (transcribed by Beethoven himself) affected the colours and characters of the piece. All participants of the Chamber Music Seminar will prepare the entire op. 16 piece with two hours of masterclass coaching each day, with priority to perform in both the Conference masterclass and Musicale concert.

Large Wind Ensemble Seminar

OFFERED: Week 1, M-W orTh-Sat PM: Mozart Serenade in Eb Major, K. 375, octet version

Week 2, M-W orTh-Sat PM: Beethoven Octet in Eb, op. 103

LEADING FACULTY: Isabelle Plaster

OPEN TO: Individuals. Guided by longtime CMW faculty member Isabelle Plaster, this is an opportunity to work in-depth in a large ensemble on repertoire that is often covered only briefly in large ensemble readings. Participants will have a daily coachings, as well as an assigned time for additional rehearsals, and priority to perform in both the masterclasses and chamber music Musicale performances.

Piano Four Hands Seminar: Brahms Liebeslieder (piano)

OFFERED: Week 2, Th-Sat PM


OPEN TO: Individual pianists, highly experienced Lecturer of Piano at UCLA’s Herbert Alpert’s School of Music and CMW Artist-in-Residence David Kaplan leads an intimate piano four-hands seminar on Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes. Participants will learn both parts of the piece, and have the opportunity to rehearse and get daily masterclass style coachings with the leading faculty.

Other Activities

In addition to the coached sessions, participants are able to participate in a vast range of additional activities during the Chamber Music Workshop.

Large Ensemble & Ad Hoc Chamber Music Readings
Readings punctuate the Chamber Music Workshop and allow participants to collaborate with a broader range of musicians and in a variety of musical settings. Large ensemble readings are organized and conducted by Conference staff and are held throughout the week in the mornings. Ad hoc chamber music readings are self-organized during participants’ free time. At any hour of the day, you can hear sounds of friends trying out new works, from Beethoven and Mozart string quartets and Schubert songs to 20th century wind and brass quintets. Participants are encouraged to bring scores to share. To help facilitate organizing your ad hoc readings, a contact list of other participants with the same free slots will be sent out prior to the start of the CMW.

Masterclasses will be held twice weekly on Wednesday and Saturday mornings. It is an opportunity for ensembles to perform for peers and receive feedback from different faculty members of the Conference Ensemble besides their daily coach.

Open Rehearsals
A unique aspect of the Chamber Music Workshop is that it runs concurrently and symbiotically with a Composers’ Program, Conference Ensemble and the Contemporary Performance Institute, spearheaded by internationally respected and acclaimed musicians. The opportunity to observe Conference Ensemble rehearsals or Contemporary Performance Institute coachings will help to broaden your scope of chamber music repertoire and understanding, and offer a glimpse into the artistic process of professional musicians.

Concerts, Evening Lectures and Parties
Each evening of the week, there are faculty concerts, lectures by resident composers and parties to bring participants and faculty of all three programs together. The CMW Artists-In-Residence will kick off the week of concerts on Tuesday evening with a trio performance, followed by a community-wide chamber music reading party and reception. Concerts by the Conference Ensemble on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday evenings will explore new works by the Composer Fellows and Guest Composers, as well as those from the standard literature and lesser-known older works. The Contemporary Performance Institute Fellows perform masterpieces of the 20th and 21st centuries in a Friday evening extravaganza.

Category Full Week Resident Partial Week Resident Full Week Commuter Partial Week Commuter Special Commuter
Tuition $890 ($296/group) $600 ($300/group) $890 $600 ($300/group) $349 ($349/group)
Room/Board $455 $260 $130 ($22/day) $66 ($22/day) $66 ($22/day)
Registration/Facilities $130 $65 $130 $65 $65
Total $1475 $925 $1150 $731 $480

Full Week residents and commuters participate for seven days (Sunday through Saturday evening; checkout is on Sunday morning for residents). Full week participant tuition includes THREE COACHED SESSIONS throughout the week.

Partial week residents and commuters participate during first half (Monday-Wednesday) or second half (Thursday-Saturday) of the week. Partial week residents stay in dormitory Sunday through Wednesday nights or Wednesday through Saturday nights. Partial week participant tuition includes TWO COACHED SESSIONS throughout the week.

Special commuter options are for participants who are only able to participate in a SINGLE COACHED SESSION for the workshop.


Room/Board covers breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily for residents; lunch for commuters

Registration/Facilities Fee–All participants regardless of category pay the required Registration/Facilities fee.

Family Rate (for additional family members staying on campus): $100/day (room and board)

In order to fully register for the Chamber Music Workshop, you must complete the following:

1. Read through the Program Activities Overview and Types of Coached Session under the "Activities" sidebar to learn about the new program offerings for your coached sessions.

2. Complete the Online Registration form: Click Here. If you are unable to complete the Online Registration form, please contact us (see "Contact Us" tab above).

3. Submit your appropriate registration deposit in the mail. The CMW Early Registration Deposit (prior to March 1) is $200 per person, per week, and is non-refundable. Registration received after March 1 will be subject to a $50 late charge in addition to the tuition deposit for a total of $250.
Deposit check made out to “Composers Conference” to:

Sandy Rosenberg, Treasurer
1 Chatfield Dr. Apt. 336
West Hartford, CT 06110

4. Upon receipt of your Online Registration form and your Registration Deposit, you will receive a confirmation message from the Chamber Music Workshop. Newcomers will be contact by the Director to set up an in-person or Skype meeting.

5. After acceptance letters are sent out (no later than April 15), you must submit the balance of your fees by May 1.

Info for Newcomers

New­comers of all exper­i­ence levels are wel­come at the Cham­ber Music Work­shop! As part of your regis­tra­tion, please note your music­al exper­i­ence (recent works played, organ­iz­a­tions you per­form with, etc.) and include two ref­er­ences (teach­ers, con­duct­ors, past Work­shop par­ti­cipants, etc.) who are famil­i­ar with your play­ing.

We do require that all new­comers either sched­ule an in-per­son or Skype ses­sion with the CMW Dir­ect­or, or send in a recent video link of two con­trast­ing move­ments, in order for us to be able to accur­ately place you in ensembles and pro­grams that will best suit you dur­ing the Work­shop.

An excep­tion to this pro­cess may be made if you have already worked closely with a fac­ulty mem­ber from the Cham­ber Music Work­shop or Con­fer­ence Ensemble. In this case, you must ask that fac­ulty mem­ber to sub­mit a recom­mend­a­tion on your behalf.

We will con­tact you after we receive and review your applic­a­tion with options for your audi­tion ses­sion date and time. Early applic­a­tion is appre­ci­ated.

Chamber Music Workshop Faculty & Staff

Jessica Tong

Chamber Music Workshop Director

Conference Ensemble

John Ranck

Chamber Music Workshop Assistant Director

Timothy McFarland

Resident Faculty

Ashley Bathgate

Artist-In-Residence (Cello)

Isabelle Plaster

Resident Faculty

Yoni Gertner

Artist-In-Residence (Viola)

David Kaplan

Artist-In-Residence (Piano)

Ani Kalayjian

Artist-In-Residence (Cello)

Need more info or have questions? Call us at (508) 276-1011 or Contact Us