Southern California Chamber Music Workshop

 2020 dates: July 19-25

Scripps College
Claremont, CA


SoCal Chamber Music Workshop Canceled


We are sorry to announce that we have come to the difficult decision to cancel SoCal 2020.  It is very disappointing for all of us to miss “the best week of the year” for the first time in its more than four-decade long tradition, but for the sake of safety we must take this precaution.

Although we are being physically forced apart, we are beginning to explore ways to bring our community together online for SoCal experiences.  Various possibilities include remote group coaching, remote individual lessons, streaming concerts, and lectures.  If you have ideas for how we could share chamber music experiences during the workshop week, please let us know! We also welcome your volunteering to help plan and organize.

As for 2021, we are on! The dates are July 25-31, 2021.

This gives us an extra year to continue exploring work by women composers, and we will bring this project to fruition at the 2021 workshop.

Please join us on our facebook group and let us know what you’re up to and how you’re keeping the chamber music flame alive!


If you’re on this website, you probably know that there’s something special and powerful about playing great chamber music. Is it the sensation of being inside the mind of a great composer? The joy of creating a beautiful and ephemeral thing? Spending intimate, creative time with bright, friendly people? The joy of chamber music comes from all of these. And the wonderful thing is: the more skilled you become, the more intense this joy becomes. Imagine having a solid week every year to immerse yourself in chamber music, building your skills in a positive, intense, friendly and informal environment. This is the Southern California Chamber Music Workshop.

This year, the SoCal Chamber Music Workshop (SCCMW), formerly known as the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop, celebrates its 43rd anniversary. SCCMW is designed for amateur and professional musicians (strings, winds, piano, and vocal) ages 18 and up. We offer a fun, intensive and structured program that strives to deepen a musician’s enjoyment and understanding of chamber music, while improving their ability to play within a group. This year’s workshop week includes master classes, group readings, coaching sessions, faculty concerts, evening programs, and musical freelancing.

2020 Theme:  Celebrating works by women composers!

This year we are encouraging musicians to explore works written by women composers.  This effort is inspired by the “50/50 in 2020” movement in the US which has sought to promote gender parity in the arts, politics, and beyond.   We are excited to highlight and explore the many beautiful chamber pieces written by women.  Hopefully, this is just the beginning!  Come along with us!

What will this initiative involve? See  for all the details.

See our lineup of coaches on our faculty page.  The Telegraph Quartet will be back in 2020!

A prospective participant may apply as an individual player or as a member of a preformed group (quartet, etc.) An individual player will receive a new assignment (a combination of new players and a new piece) each day from our coaches. Preformed groups may stay together for  as many as five days to explore their own chosen repertoire at greater depth.

If you’re accepted, we’ll send you more information and instructions on how to pay your tuition, and room and board.

A video from our time as the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop

Some Workshop testimonials from over the years.
Read all of them on our Testimonials page.

High class music making in a wonderful venue, what could be better?

Robert M.

The Southern California Chamber Workshop (SCCMW) has excellent coaches and the master classes provide the best possible learning experience. I have been to many other workshops, and I think that SCCMW offers the best experience at a reasonable cost. It’s simply outstanding!

Harriette E.

Probably the most fun you can have with your clothes on!


I came to chamber music rather late in my life, and as a result, I try to fit in as much playing as I can! As a violinist/private teacher, I enjoy the challenges of sight reading and seeing how easy (or challenging) it truly is! This workshop serves as a benchmark to see how far I have come from one year to the next! Exhilarating and humbling at the same time! It’s also great to see friends from all over the U.S. and abroad, and receive top-notch coaching!

Linda T.

It was worth crossing the Pacific to be part of it!

Lynn D.

Great music, great people, great experience.

Liz C.

I was privileged to attend the SoCal Chamber Music Workshop for an intense week of chamber music. I was deeply moved, inspired, and humbled to be among an outstanding group of amateur musicians, advanced music students, and professional musicians. This was my second time attending the workshop, and I have many cherished memories to add to the ones from my first time there. I can’t wait to go back yet again!

Raymond M.

Be prepared to get your musical butt kicked in the best way.

Caroline C.

What a wonderful state of bliss to be immersed in such a loving musical environment such as the SCCMW. The caliber of playing is high and the level of coaching is stellar. The workshop is so well-run that participants do not have to worry much if at all about everyday logistics. If there is any kind of issue, the people who run the workshop are very sensitive and responsive and will take care of it immediately. This year has been especially fun and enjoyable!

Milton W.

The SoCal experience helps players at many levels play and learn together.

Joe P.

Our preformed quartet has attended the workshop for over 20 years and has benefited from the phenomenal coaching year after year.

Linda O.