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Chamber Music Conference Issues Statement about Racial Injustice

[29 October 2020]

The Chamber Music Conference is deeply saddened by the numerous recent examples of racial injustice and discrimination throughout the United States, and how they have highlighted the inequities in our society. We believe Black lives matter. We are inspired by those taking a stand against forces that would perpetuate systemic racism and white supremacy. We are taking this opportunity to examine our own organization and programs: a working group that comprises representatives of Conference participants, faculty, staff, and Board is examining issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Conference and producing recommendations for the Board. We are committed to making changes that will foster a more inclusive culture and a more diverse community at the Conference.

For inquiries and further information, see our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion page, and contact us at

history book cover

Conference 75-Year History Book Is Available to Order

25 August 2020

Have you ever wondered about how our conference has grown? Consider this:

Impressive growth and interesting changes, all for good reasons! But enough cold facts. Want to learn about the reasons behind these changes, plus heartwarming stories, people, pictures, the whole conference experience from the earliest years to now? Want to read more about the many Conference traditions and practices, including “dance cards,” madrigals, lawn parties, musicales, round robins, faculty concerts, composers and coaches, hundreds of us making music practically round the clock? Then you’ll need the book The Music of Friends: 75 Years of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East! See our 75th anniversary page for ordering information.

Here are a couple more images you’ll find in the book:

first Conference brochure photo from New York Times, 1951
Conference brochure—first summer From New York Times article, 1951

Conference 75-Year History Book Coming Soon!

9 August 2020

Missing the Chamber Music Conference this summer? Want something to tide you over to next year’s conference?

The Music of Friends: 75 Years of the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East is coming your way. This handsome, splendidly illustrated volume, by long-time conference cellist and author David W. Webber, is a richly detailed history of the Conference from its beginnings to the present day. Packed with personalities, anecdotes, memorabilia, photos, and fascinating facts, it’s a must-read for conference devotees and chamber music fans everywhere.

Here are a few images from the book:

Joel Berman coaching in 1968
Joel Berman coaching in 1968

Maxine Neuman coaching in 1984
Maxine Neuman coaching in 1984
selected elements from 1979 and 1980 conference brochures
Selected elements from the 1979 and 1980 conference brochures

The Music of Friends will be out soon. We will share ordering information as soon as we have it!

Video Series from the Conference Faculty: CMC Presents

[7 July 2020]

Even though we can’t be together physically this summer, we are thinking of ways to keep our Chamber Music Conference community bonded as thoughtful and inquisitive musicians. To that end, we are excited to present this series of videos from our outstanding CMC faculty, each one considering a different chamber music related topic. We will release videos over the summer months. Find them all here.

Conference Announces New Logo

[7 July 2020]

The Conference has our first-ever logo! You will see this logo here on our website and in all of our electronic and printed material. The Conference board and administration are deeply grateful to graphic designer and clarinet participant Nancy Skolos for developing this logo and other aspects of a new visual identity for the Conference.

2020 Conference Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

[21 April 2020]

We regret that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Chamber Music Conference has been canceled. Please watch for updates about the 2021 Conference, which is scheduled for July 11 to August 8, 2021.

We are deeply saddened by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, which have included significant health risks as well as financial distress for many individuals, businesses, and institutions. Canceling our 2020 season will greatly impact on the Conference's finances, and we are projecting a very substantial loss this year. If you are fortunate enough to have the means, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help us replenish our reserves and remain financially healthy, to support the future of the Conference.

Conference Selects Colgate University as its New Site

[16 July 2019]

The Chamber Music Conference has announced that the 2020 Conference will take place at Colgate University, from July 12 to August 9.

The Conference will be leaving Bennington College because starting in 2020, the Bennington campus will host summer language programs offered by Middlebury College. After a four-month search that considered 350 candidates, the Conference selected Colgate, a private liberal arts college in Hamilton, NY, to be its next site. For more details, please see this announcement.

Conference Appoints Susie Ikeda as Executive Director

[5 September 2018]

The Chamber Music Conference has appointed Susie Ikeda as its next Executive Director, succeeding Marilyn Bell, who is stepping down from that role after having served as Executive Director since 2010.

Susie has a wealth of experience, in her professional life and at the Conference, that makes her ideally prepared and suited for the Executive Director position. She is currently a math and physics teacher at Boston International High School, where her students, all recent immigrants, have achieved remarkable success. Before becoming a teacher, Susie held a progression of leadership positions, primarily in IT, validation, and/or compliance, at Andersen Consulting, Abbott Labs, and Genzyme, with extensive responsibilities including management of teams, projects, and programs.

Susie is well known to the Conference community, having been a violin participant at the Conference for over 20 years, and in recent years having attended all four weeks of the Conference. As a member of the administrative staff since 2012, working closely with Marilyn, Susie has been involved in many critical aspects of Conference operations, and she has become familiar with much of the Executive Director job. Susie also previously served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Conference.

Though her appointment formally takes effect October 1, Susie will begin working with Marilyn immediately on the transition of Executive Director responsibilities.

Four Commissions Planned for 75th Anniversary Season

[31 August 2018]

For the celebration of its 75th season in 2020, the Conference has commissioned four new full-length works: a wind quintet by Stephen Hartke; a quintet for piano and strings (Schubert Trout instrumentation) by Hannah Lash; a work for winds, strings, and piano (Stravinsky Septet instrumentation) by Elizabeth Ogonek; and a work for winds and strings by Senior Composer-in-Residence Donald Crockett.

Each of the four weeks of the 2020 Conference will feature the premiere performance of one of these works on the Artist-Faculty Concert Series, and the commissioned composer will be in residence at the Conference during that week.

All of the commissions are being funded entirely by major donations from generous Conference participants.

Past News

For past news, see our News Archive page.

The Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, Inc.
Tobias Werner, Music Director
Donald Crockett, Senior Composer-in-Residence
Susie Ikeda, Executive Director

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