Experts in the chamber-music industry discuss the best places to play
Performing and playing chamber music is an incredible opportunity for musicians to interact with one another, as well as the audience, in a rather intimate setting. This specialized environment offers performers a chance to overcome personal fears and anxieties, learn from one another, and develop important skills that apply not just to the music or performance, but also to everyday life.
Musicians of all playing levels can find great opportunities to perform and enjoy chamber music - as well as practice and hone their performance styles - through a variety of opportunities. Most notably through workshops and camps, recitals and gigs, and other music-education activities.
But how to find these valuable experiences?
Resources for finding performance opportunities are as rich and varied as the opportunities themselves.
One of the best places to start looking for playing opportunities is to connect with a musical organization tied to a network of players with similar interests. Associations and organizations offer players a network of professional and amateurs alike, with access to postings for local, national, and possibly international playing opportunities. One of the most notable organizations is the Association of Chamber Music Players (ACMP.net). "I would strongly recommend joining the Association of Chamber Music Players, an international organization of chamber musicians," says Inge Kjemtrup, violist and Strings magazine's London correspondent.
Christian Thompson, academy director and special projects manager for the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, agrees. "The ACMP is a brilliant international organization through which musicians of all levels can find musical partners."
Being part of an organization, like the ACMP, can help flesh out a not-yet-complete ensemble or connect established groups with gigging opportunities. "Playing chamber music - no matter where in the world you live - is very easy if you have access to the enormous database of members that the ACMP has," Thompson says
The ACMP produces an annual directory of its 5,000 members around the world. Each member profile includes instrument, contact details, and an ability rating. "I know many people who have found chamber music partners - and even life partners - through this directory," Kjemtrup says.
Because ACMP was founded in the United States, and is headquartered in New York, the domestic listings are extensive.
Becoming part of an association or organization also opens the doors to festivals, camps, workshops, and other performance and learning opportunities. "The ACMP helps us to promote our own Amateur Chamber Music Week," Thompson says.
Some organizations …