Southern California Chamber Music Workshop

Where: Scripps College, Claremont, CA
When: 23 July – 29 July, 2017
What: An intense, joyful week of musical fun, learning, and growth
Who: You, along with top-notch coaches

If you’re reading this page, chances are good that you already know there is something very special and powerful in the experience of playing great chamber music. What is it that brings us back again and again? Is it the feeling of being inside the mind of a great composer? The joy of creating something beautiful and ephemeral? The pleasure of 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 skillful you get and the more deeply you learn to listen, the more intense this joy becomes.

Imagine how great it would be if you could take a solid week every year to immerse yourself in chamber music, building your skills in a positive, intense, friendly, informal environment. That is what the Southern California Chamber Music Workshop is.

Ever since the workshop opened in 1978 as the San Diego Chamber Music Workshop, it has had a reputation for friendly intensity. Every year, when we arrive back at the workshop and see our old friends, it’s like no time has passed and we pick up where we left off. Then we dive right in to playing music, with positive, productive coaching while the sun shines, and sight reading until the wee hours after the sun goes down.

We do it for joy, love, friendship, and pure fun!

Please read this entire site to learn more about how you can take a leap forward in your musical and personal growth by joining our community.

The workshop is held annually, usually the last week of July, at Scripps College in Claremont, California, located 30 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Claremont is a small picturesque town nestled at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains. Scripps College has air-conditioned buildings with comfortable housing and playing rooms. The campus is charming and quiet.

The workshop is intended for musicians interested in self-improvement and seeking an intensive, structured program. Key words at this workshop are “commitment” and “preparation” rather than “average” and “recreation”. Our previous workshops have earned us the reputation for excellent coaching.

You may apply as an individual player or as a member of a “preformed” group (quartet, etc.) An individual player will receive a new “assignment” (combination of players and piece) each day, as chosen by the coaches. Preformed groups stay together for the entire week (minus one day) to explore their own chosen repertoire in greater depth.

Mornings and early afternoons are for rehearsals, partly with your coach for the day, and partly without. In mid-afternoon, all groups gather in small clusters (“mini-master classes” containing four groups) for playing, coaching, and discussion of the day’s assignments.

We will AUTOMATICALLY ACCEPT preformed groups consisting of four or more players, regardless of playing level. (If your group contains a piano, acceptance is contingent on whether we have enough pianos available.)

We accept players with a range of playing levels, with the key requirement being that the individual’s technical abilities and musicality must be sufficient to enable effective group coaching and progress. If you have doubts as to whether you would fit in, please fill out an application, describe your playing, and we will be happy to discuss it with you.

In addition to the daily coaching sessions, the week’s optional activities include conducted group readings of difficult literature, faculty lectures and performances, special guest presentations, and playing opportunities with the faculty. Ample spare time will be available in the evenings for musical freelancing.

This year we will also be offering optionally a few jazz days and a few days of chamber music with voice. If you wish to participate as an instrumentalist, you will have the opportunity to express your preference on the application form. If you choose not to participate, you will continue with your regular daily assignment.

If you are a vocalist, and you would like to participate in the chamber music with voice days, please do not fill out the online application form, but rather contact us directly at

The workshop begins Sunday afternoon with registration and an orientation meeting. The evening will feature a special concert by the ensemble-in-residence. The traditional reception and get-acquainted party will follow.

We are now accepting applications for the 2017 workshop! Please just fill out the online application at the “APPLY” tab. If you apply by April 1, you will hear from us by April 30 whether you are accepted or wait-listed. Your acceptance will be guaranteed upon receipt of your payment by May 31. Applications made after April 1 will be considered on the basis of available space. If you are accepted, we will send further information and instructions on how to pay your tuition and room and board.

Your tax deductible donation will help us attract top-notch coaches, encourage student participation, and maintain our large chamber music library.
Please send to
SoCal Chamber Music Workshop
2615 Saint Andrews
Tustin, CA 92782-1208