Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute

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The Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute offers one of the most comprehensive and intense pre-college level chamber music learning experiences of any music school in North America. Students are coached weekly by members of Colburn’s nationally acclaimed faculty.

Ensembles from the Institute have been prizewinners in numerous competitions, including the Fischoff Competition, Coleman Chamber Music Competition and the Young Artists Peninsula Music Festival, and have appeared on the nationally syndicated Public Radio International series From the Top.

Ensembles perform regularly in Colburn’s Friday Night Recital series, and in the outreach program Musical Encounter. Each year, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the management of the radio program Sundays Live choose a select number of ensembles to perform in their weekly series broadcast on KUSC from the Bing Theatre at LACMA. At the end of each school year, chamber music recitals held in Thayer Hall showcase the Institute’s entire program.

Audition and Group Assignment

Every June, auditions are held for both new and continuing students for enrollment in the following season. For orchestral instruments, the same audition in June that serves for chamber music may also be used for enrollment in the larger ensembles, such as the Colburn Chamber Orchestra and Colburn Youth Orchestra.

Auditions have already passed for the 2019–20 academic year. Students interested in auditioning for the chamber music program in the future should fill out an inquiry form. Updates will be sent out when auditions are available.

Audition Requirements
  • Solo concerto, etude or sonata, without an accompanist, of student’s choice
  • Pianists should prepare one piece with contrasting sections or two pieces that demonstrate lyrical and technical proficiency
  • Orchestral excerpts, provided below (pianists exempt)
  • Students may be asked to sight read during the audition.

Select one of the following excerpt packets to download, which must be brought with you to your audition.

Chamber groups are formed after ensemble auditions on the basis of performance levels, ages, and compatibility of schedules. A particular goal of group assignment is matching the levels of the students in each group. Levels range from intermediate to very advanced. Note that the number of students enrolled in the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute is limited; students studying privately at the Community School are given priority in assignments.

Those admitted into the Chamber Music program will be required to attend a short orientation meeting at the beginning of the fall semester.

Honors Program

In 2003, the Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Institute introduced the Honors Chamber Music Scholarship Program. Highly skilled students are chosen by audition to participate and receive a full scholarship for their chamber music instruction. The ensembles receive two to three hours per week of coaching, covering a diverse cross-section of repertoire. The ensembles are showcased at a number of select performance venues, culminating in a full-length broadcast on KUSC’s Sundays Live program at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The program targets the most advanced students at the pre-college level who are willing to commit to an intense learning and performing experience.

Auditions will be held at the end of spring 2020.

Audition Requirements
  • Two contrasting pieces of student’s choice
  • Students may be asked to sight-read during the audition

Intro to Chamber Music Program

This group class prepares students for the Chamber Music Institute. Students should be intermediate level with little or no prior chamber music experience. The classes will meet once a week in small chamber ensembles and monthly in a group setting and include personalized coaching sessions, master classes, opportunities to perform and an end of year culminating performance recital.

Audition Requirements
  • Two contrasting pieces of student’s choice
  • Students may be asked to sight-read during the audition