Chamber music, often called “the music of friends,” is written for two to 12 players, one performer per part, and without a conductor. Chamber musicians learn when to lead and when to follow, along with the flexibility to quickly alternate these roles in performance. Each member is a soloist, but must also appreciate compromise and collaboration while developing their own ideas.
The practice of chamber music draws upon a plethora of musical, strategic, and logistical challenges that require effective and quick solutions, as well as exploration of many options. Keeping the intention and style of the composer in mind, chamber musicians learn to explore their imaginations in their musical interpretations. Players learn how to communicate musical ideas, directions, and articulations nonverbally and soloistic in rehearsal/performance, and how to quickly resolve creative and rehearsal process disagreements in order to produce a product in which everyone’s ideas are represented.
Passion for this collaborative and solistic musical genre unites creative performers who have entered such diverse professions as law, medicine, business, and computer science. Through love of music and the joys of this intimate musical activity, chamber musicians of differing musical, religious, socioeconomic, and political views often form lifelong bonds and friendships.
Laura Klugherz is a professor of music and director of chamber music at Colgate. Additionally, she is a professor of Africana and Latin American studies and coordinator of Latin American studies. An active concert soloist, she specializes in somatic education for musicians and other performing artists, contemporary violin-viola repertoire of Spain and Latin America, and compositions of 19th- and 20th-century Spain.
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