Chamber music study at Eastman fills a unique role in that it requires students to synthesize many different aspects of their study: technical mastery of their instrument; ability to make informed decisions about interpretation based on theoretical and historical knowledge; development of effective rehearsal techniques and good interpersonal skills; the ability to communicate with an audience and to serve as an ambassador for classical music, and much more.
Over fifty ensembles – string, piano, woodwind, saxophone, brass, percussion, harp, organ, guitar, and eclectic mixed groups – are formed each semester, and all complete a program of study that involves weekly coachings, guest masterclasses, and performances both in school and in the greater Rochester community.
Chamber music groups can audition to take part in the innovative “Eastman to Go” Program in the Spring semester, and motivated and serious students can also take specialized courses for advanced study in chamber music. The department also offers occasional interdepartmental seminars, combining chamber music performance with historical, theoretical, or cultural perspectives.
Eastman’s thriving chamber music culture is anchored by the resident faculty ensemble, the Ying Quartet. Many other faculty also bring a wealth of experience to their chamber music teaching. Faculty coaches include current and former members of the Tokyo Quartet, Kopelman Quartet, Los Angeles Piano Quartet, Borodin Quartet, New Arts Trio, Peabody Trio, Rochester Philharmonic Brass Quintet, and others.