A Summer Workshop for People Who Love to Play Chamber Music
Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont
July 16 to August 13, 2017
For seven decades, musicians from the United States, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere have gathered each summer in Vermont – for nearly forty years at Bennington College – to play chamber music and to grow as musicians. What attracts these musicians, and brings them back, is the love of playing chamber music, the chance to learn from world-class performers and teachers, and the joy of seeing old friends and making new ones.
The Bennington Chamber Music Conference offers outstanding chamber music coaching, faculty concerts and seminars, opportunities for
free playing, and a vibrant program of composer residencies, in a historic and verdant New England setting at the foot of the Green Mountains. This combination of features creates a unique and exhilarating musical immersion.
The Conference runs for four separate weeks in July and August. The weeks vary as to the number of participants and the mix of coaching and free playing. Most participants attend for one or two weeks. Conference participants include amateur and professional musicians who range widely in age and ability, on strings (violin, viola, cello, and double bass), winds (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn), piano, voice, and harp. What all participants share are a passion for chamber music and the desire for an intensive but thrilling learning experience.
The Conference faculty includes outstanding performing artists who combine concert careers with a dedication to teaching. They perform regularly as soloists and as members of leading chamber music ensembles and orchestras; many are drawn from the faculties of major conservatories and university music departments nationwide and beyond.
At the Conference, the coaching program and concert series feature a tremendous diversity of music, from the Classical period to the present. In addition to the core string quartet and wind quintet repertoire, the Conference explores works for many combinations of piano, winds, and strings. Participants are encouraged to submit requests to express their repertoire interests in advance of the Conference.
The Composers' Forum involves both faculty and participants in contemporary music. The Conference appoints composers for week-long residencies as Composers-in-Residence or Composition Fellows and commissions new works that participants study and perform. Faculty performances of existing works by the Composers-in-Residence are featured on the Conference Concert Series.
See also our Frequently Asked Questions page for more details about the Conference.
The application form for the 2017 Conference will be posted in December 2016.
If you are a potential first-time applicant, we encourage you to contact us now, so that we know of your interest and can answer any questions you have.