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Chamber Music Intensive at the University of Chicago

12 July, 2018 to 15 July, 2018
Arnold Steinhardt works with participants of the 2017 CMI

Now in its fifth year, Spektral Quartet and the University of Chicago Department of Music present the Chamber Music Intensive on July 12-15, in partnership with the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. The 2018 session celebrates the synergistic relationship of dance and music. With all of the advances and transformations of chamber music across the centuries, dance forms remain an essential and lively component of the repertoire, even to this day. Historically based dance movements frequently become one of the most challenging aspects of a piece for student musicians. How does one honor the practices of the form without becoming inhibited by it? How does one create long-range vision for the music with the prevalence of repetition? How does a dance movement inform the overall narrative and arc of the piece?

This year’s CMI investigates these movement-based works from a stimulating variety of approaches and eras. From the effervescence of Dvořák’s Dumky Trio, to the “evil clown music” of Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2, to the white-knuckled turns of Piazzolla’s tangos for strings, our goal is to demystify the often enigmatic process of rehearsing this music – and to engender a love for the quirks, character, and inherent dilemmas contained within.

The Chamber Music Intensive is an annual chamber music festival for adult amateurs and collegiate string players and pianists looking to hone their skills in a both inviting and rigorous environment. Coached daily by the members of the Spektral Quartet and University of Chicago chamber music director Daniel Pesca, participants assemble and polish one movement of a major work over the course of four days, culminating in a performance at the festival’s conclusion. Effective and efficient rehearsal techniques are taught with a hands-on approach by the faculty, and participants have masterclass opportunities with guest artists which in previous years included former Guarneri Quartet violinist Arnold Steinhardt, viola soloist Kim Kashkashian, and former Vermeer Quartet violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi.

This year, the CMI is pleased to welcome esteemed pedagogue and violinist Lucy Chapman. Director of the New England Conservatory’s chamber music program for over a decade, Ms. Chapman is the former first violinist of the Muir String Quartet and an annual luminary of the Marlboro Music Festival. Movement is an essential component to Ms. Chapman’s teaching philosophy, making her visit a superb centerpiece of the 2018 Intensive.

In addition to expanding musicians’ skill and agency, the CMI aims to engender a love for chamber music. Guest lectures circling the festival’s theme, social events like sight-reading parties, and film screenings are essential elements of the festival experience.