The Chamber Music Network

Camerata Alma Viva Chamber Music Workshop

11 September, 2020 to 13 September, 2020

This is third consecutive year that the Camerata Alma Viva is organizing a Chamber Music Workshop in Geneva, Switzerland. This program has been made possible, in part with support from ACMP Associated Chamber Music Players.

The workshop will now be held 11-13 September 2020.

The professional musicians providing coaching are:

Marie-Barbara Berlaud, viola

Pierre Fouchenneret,  violin

Simon Zaoui, piano

Thomas Ravez, cello

The workshop is open to adult amateur chamber musicians, who play wind instruments, strings or the piano. Participants are expected to have chosen at least two movements in any given repertoire (approx. 20 minutes of music), and to have practiced together in pre-formed ensembles prior to the start of the workshop. The coaching provided by the workshop will lead to participants perfecting their individual technical playing skills, improving their practice of ensemble playing, and their musicianship. The ensembles will present their achievements at the concert, open to the general public, at the end of the workshop.

Musical Insight - During the workshop, participants will be given 4 coaching sessions (each 2 hours long). Each group will be taught by three different coaches, thus, ensembles will benefit from three different approaches and insights to the pieces they are preparing.This encourages participants keeping an open mind and raises their awareness as to the different possible interpretations and understandings of the music they are playing.

Knowledge Sharing - The program offers participants the opportunity, should they so wish, to complete their group with one of the coaches. Coaching received from the heart of the group is warmly appreciated by participants, as any theoretical training is immediately tried, practiced and perfected. Playing with a professional gives a real boost to amateur ensemble playing.

Creativity and Improvisation - The workshop prides itself on introducing different approaches to chamber music playing, with a view to stimulating participants’ sensitivity to rhythm, sound quality or intonation, and their ability to improvise.The workshop develops a series of innovative and musically enlightening group exercises (for additional details, see below under Program Uniqueness).

Programme Uniqueness - The workshop will hold three one-hour long sessions in which the participants and the coaches take part.The aim of these sessions is to (i) stimulate participants’ sensitivity to rhythm, sound quality or intonation, and (ii) develop their musical skills as ensemble players.

The first of these three sessions introduces the concept of Whole-Body-Listening.  Vocal exercises, using resonance and voice vibrations (overtones) to develop flexibility and control of pitch and tone, will help participants discover new and different ways of emitting, transmitting, sensing, perceiving and hearing musical sounds.

The second session, themed Let’s Play Together, gets participants to experiment with musical exercises aimed at understanding (i) what’s at play in my ensemble? (ii) how do I adjust my note in a group chord? (iii) how do I sing rhythmically, in tune with myself and with the others? (iv) how do I listen to myself, to the others and be listened to by them, all at once?

The third session focuses on participants’ respective Instruments and the comparative differences in sound and technical skills required, according to whether one plays a wind, stringed or percussive instrument.