Every student at the Peabody Conservatory is eligible to play chamber music. The heart of the chamber music program, and the bulk of its activity, consists of chamber groups rehearsing on their own, receiving coachings from Peabody's distinguished faculty, participating in masterclasses and performing in chamber music departmental concerts. In addition, students can choose from a variety of chamber music electives, which provide the opportunity to examine repertoire and ensemble issues in seminar settings. For especially motivated and outstanding groups, opportunities to perform both inside and outside the Peabody community abound. In addition, students have the opportunity to hear some of the finest chamber ensembles in the world, in concerts both at Peabody and in the Baltimore/Washington area.
In addition to study in the areas of string, wind, brass and piano chamber music, Peabody boasts extensive programs in guitar ensemble, vocal chamber music, piano ensemble, percussion chamber music and saxophone ensemble. Baroque and Renaissance chamber music is studied, as well.
Chamber music masterclasses are presented at Peabody throughout each year. These classes are given by distinguished guest artists, as well as by Peabody's outstanding chamber music faculty. In the past two years, artists giving classes have included:
- The Tokyo String Quartet
- The Brentano String Quartet
- Members of the Takacs and Vermeer Quartets
- Leon Fleisher
- Pamela Frank
- Mikael Kopelman
- Benjamin Pasternack
- Mark Steinberg
Chamber Music Electives
Chamber music electives currently offered at Peabody include:
- The Chamber Music Seminar. This class consists of groups selected from the chamber music program each semester, that come to together to study an area of the chamber repertoire in weekly seminar settings. Groups play for each other and discuss interpretive and instrumental issues, in addition to examining the broader contexts of individual works. Recent Seminars have examined Music of the Early 20th Century, Russian Chamber Music, and the Chamber Music of Beethoven.
- Instrumental Chamber Music. This class is designed primarily for the group study of the sonata literature, but larger ensembles sometimes participate, as well. Works from all styles and periods are explored in a seminar setting.
Additional chamber music electives are always being developed, as the chamber music program at Peabody grows.