Humboldt Chamber Music Workshop

2024 Workshop

Week 1: July 1-5
Week 2: July 8-12

The longest-running chamber music workshop on the West Coast


About the Workshop

The Humboldt Chamber Music Workshop was established in 1958 and has been the longest-running workshop in California. Musicians from California and other states gather for a week of music-making.

Each day an assignment is given, each group is coached by a professional coach, and performs a 5-minute segment of the work in a program for the other participants. There are no master classes.

These are mixed instrumentation (strings, woodwinds, piano, horn) ensembles and the music ranges from baroque to contemporary to the occasionally hysterical.

There is plenty of time for freelancing during meals and after the daily program.

All workshop rehearsal and programs are informal.

The participants come from a wide range of backgrounds. Recent college graduates, working professionals, music educators, retirees, and many spouses come along for the week.

Cal Poly Humboldt is located in Arcata, California. Arcata is on the Pacific Coast about 10 miles north of Eureka and 100 miles south of the California-Oregon border.

The Workshop Philosophy

"The workshop has been dedicated to the promotion of chamber music. From its beginning, the staff has endeavored to create an atmosphere where each participant would get together with as many different combinations as time would permit. Further, to enjoy the vast amount of music that is available, participants have been encouraged to get acquainted with and perform the music of all periods and all composers.

"If one is to be a true chamber music lover, one would be interested in listening to others perform. The workshop has afforded the players such an opportunity through its daily programs -- when the participants play for each other. Hearing each other play not only increases one's awareness of the literature but helps to satisfy a need felt by the performer. This need has certainly been recognized by the staff. The individual wants to be heard -- regardless of frequent and often strong nervous tension.

"If one is to promote chamber music, the beginning and intermediate performer must be encouraged as well as the more advanced participant. The workshop purposely accepts players of various degrees of advancement. It is not the intent to have only the most advanced players participate.

"Finally, one of the true rewards of chamber music participation is the creation of friendships and the development of a person's appreciation and understanding of others. Even though this particular means of musical expression is a personal thing, it is yet something that must be shared with others. It is this sharing -- the human element -- that gives much purpose to the activity."

-- Floyd Glende, 1966

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