Chamber Music

Collaborative artistry is a vital part of study and performance at Manhattan School of Music. Almost every classical instrumentalist and singer is required to take part in chamber music and ensembles at some point in their degree program. Each day, time is set aside as the whole school participates in instrumental or vocal ensembles.

Every semester, nearly 100 chamber ensembles ranging from duos to octets are coached. Chamber music faculty comprises 50 of the school's most experienced chamber musicians including players from the Juilliard, Tokyo, Guarneri and Mendelssohn string quartets, Orpheus, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the New York Philharmonic and other acclaimed concert artists. Our prestigious resident ensembles, the world renowned American String Quartet and woodwind quintet Windscape, coach and give frequent performances. In addition to studies with our expert chamber faculty, students are provided opportunities to play for and observe world-famous guest artists.

In addition to traditional ensembles, the contemporary group Tactus provides opportunities for the performance of new music. For singers there are ensembles as well as performance classes such as Opera Studio, American Musical Theater, Baroque Aria Ensemble, workshops with Mignon Dunn and Catherine Malfitano, chamber choir, among many others. Pianists are able to earn chamber music through regular chamber groups (two-piano duos are popular), through instrumental studio accompanying or in vocal accompanying ensembles.

Students are placed into instrumental and vocal ensembles by their department chairpersons in collaboration with the manager of chamber music and ensembles. They are encouraged to submit individual requests to participate in a specific type of ensemble, as well as request a particular chamber music coach. Groups that are already in formation may also make a request to study together.

Performance is an important element of the chamber music program. A final performance of each chamber group and ensemble is required. Toward the end of each semester, the manager of chamber music holds auditions for the Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Winners Concert. Coaches recommend groups who audition for this gala public event. Vocal ensembles perform in school and off campus. Chamber Music Festivals—weekend-long celebrations featuring string, piano, woodwind, brass, guitar and vocal ensembles—take place each winter and spring.

Specific courses and degree sequence plans can be found in the Course Catalog.​

Chamber Music Department Handbook

Faculty

Abby Fennessy

Manager of Chamber Music and Ensembles

Daniel Avshalomov  (Viola)
Alan Baer  (Tuba, Brass)
Per Brevig  (Trombone, Brass)
Laurie Carney  (Violin)
Linda Chesis  (Flute, Woodwinds)
Jeffrey Cohen  (Piano)
Paul Cohen  (Saxophone, Woodwinds)
Kenneth Cooper  (Baroque Aria Ensemble)
Mark Delpriora  (Guitar)
Justin DiCioccio  (Associate Dean, Chair, Jazz Arts Program)
Karen Dreyfus  (Viola)
Mignon Dunn  (Vocal)
Oren Fader  (Guitar)
David Finlayson  (Trombone, Brass)
John Forconi  (Accompanying)
David Geber  (Cello)
Mark Gould  (Trumpet, Brass)
Cynthia Hoffmann  (Vocal)
Susan Jolles  (Harp)
David Jolley  (Brass)
Alan Kay  (Clarinet, Woodwinds)
Wolfram Koessel  (Cello)
David Krakauer  (Clarinet, Woodwinds)
David Leisner  (Guitar)
Curtis Macomber  (Violin)
Catherine Malfitano  (Vocal)
Nicholas Mann  (Violin)
Robert Mann  (Violin)
Carolyn Marlow  (American Musical Theater, Related Studies, Vocal)
Marya Martin  (Flute, Woodwinds)
Linda McKnight  (Double Bass, Bass Ensemble)
Jeffrey Milarsky  (Music Director and Conductor of the MSM Percussion Ensemble, Percussion, Conductor)
Frank Morelli  (Bassoon, Woodwinds)
Thomas Muraco  (Related Studies, Vocal - Opera)
Gordon Ostrowski  (Assistant Dean, Opera Studies/Opera Production)
Jorge Parodi  (Vocal Coach and Music Director of Senior Opera Theater)
Maitland Peters  (Vocal)
Heasook Rhee  (Accompanying, Chamber Music)
Gerald Robbins  (Piano)
Lucie Robert  (Violin)
Sylvia Rosenberg  (Violin)
André-Michel Schub  (Piano)
Marc Silverman  (Piano)
Gait Sirguey  (Vocal)
Thomas Smith  (Trumpet, Brass)
Laurie Smukler  (Violin)
Thomas Stacy  (Oboe/English Horn, Woodwinds)
Dave Taylor  (Trombone, Brass)
Stephen Taylor  (Oboe, Woodwinds)
Michael Tree  (Viola)
Kent Tritle  (Director of Choral Activities)
Dona D. Vaughn  (Artistic Director, Opera)
Peter Winograd  (Violin)