Princeton Chamber Music Play Week provides adult musicians the opportunity to expand their musical horizons through a week of concentrated ensemble playing and outstanding coaching from our faculty.
While our participants come from all walks of life and many locales, they all have in common a deep love of chamber music. Many return year after year to refine their skills, learn new repertoire, collaborate with others, greet old friends and make new ones. “Princeton” in our name comes from the early days of the workshop when our one venue was in the vicinity of Princeton, New Jersey. Last year, we returned to the area with Play Week East, now held at Rider University.
We limit the size of the program to ensure personal attention. Players with moderate to excellent abilities are welcome, and either individuals or pre-formed groups may apply. Acceptance is based on instrumentation needs and the date of application. While our program is primarily for string players, we can occasionally accept a few good wind players and pianists. Pre-formed groups may attend for part of a week, space permitting; tuition will be adjusted accordingly.
The heart of our program is the schedule of twice-daily ensemble sessions, which are each coached for half of their duration.
Players are assigned to three ensembles for the week. For the week-long workshops, the first group meets in the mornings for all six days, in order to focus on one piece of music in depth for an extended period. The second ensemble will be together for the first three afternoons, and the third one meets for the last three afternoons. These two afternoon groups offer the opportunity to cover more repertoire and to play with a greater number of people. By week’s end, you will have had a total of twelve coachings.
Late afternoons and evenings offer time for practice, “pick-up” groups, the readings of string literature in larger ensembles, special sessions offered by the faculty such as an open rehearsal, and relaxed socializing.
Play Week East follows the same general format, but in a shortened, four-five day schedule.
Assignments for morning groups and for the first of the afternoon groups are made at least four weeks prior to the start of the workshop in order to give players time to prepare. The second of the afternoon groups will be formed in consultation with the faculty during the week.
Groups and Repertoire
We make every effort to match players of similar ability and to assign appropriate repertoire based on the information provided via self-evaluation forms. This repertoire ranges from the classical through the romantic and contemporary, accommodating special requests whenever possible. Participants have the opportunity to share their work with colleagues in performance at least twice, with the main recital taking place at the end of the week.
Play Week boasts a first-class faculty of consummate chamber players. Collectively, they have studied with great masters, played with celebrated ensembles on several continents, and won many prizes and accolades.
As teachers, they are dedicated to sharing their knowledge and insights in a constructive and supportive manner to help you to achieve your musical goals. You will hear them collaborate in the faculty concert during the latter part of the week, and if you wish, you may arrange a private lesson or two for an additional fee.