Summertrios is a vibrant musical experience offering amateur musicians the opportunity to play chamber music together in a friendly, encouraging and supportive atmosphere. By means of scheduling, personalized to meet your needs and wishes, the focus is on you. Our inspiring, patient, imaginative and insightful faculty invite you to make a leap forward in your musical journey. In such a comfortable environment, you can safely take the chances that help one learn. You will be surprised at the progress you can make in total immersion in just one week. Three unique programs are offered.
PREMIUM WEEK: Participants play in chamber music ensembles of all professional musicians; your choice of repertoire.
WEEKS ONE AND TWO: Uniquely, Summertrios is piano-centered. Pianists choose their own repertoire. For string players, here is your chance to have an in-depth string quartet experience plus an opportunity to explore the rich piano trio repertoire. We have had as many as 50 pianists attend the four different programs in one season. We welcome amateurs of all playing levels and abilities, and we place you in groups of compatible peers with personalized scheduling. Everyone, from novice to advanced levels, is assigned a piano trio. Further, there are sessions playing with professionals included in the schedule.
Week One covers chamber music for piano and strings at all levels. The Novice Program curriculum includes Sight Reading Classes, and the advanced string players work intensively on one string quartet which includes a faculty member. Intermediate string players are scheduled for 3 string quartets of their choice.
Week Two chamber music repertoire is for piano, strings (intermediate and advanced levels) and woodwinds (intermediate and advanced) providing a rare chance for these groupings to play in ensembles together. Summertrios has even been known to accommodate guitar, harp and trumpet players!
The unique CONCERTO PROGRAM is designed to serve soloists, composers and conductors. The soloist doesn’t have to win a competition to play with our very high caliber professional orchestra. Composers have an opportunity to get a professional demo of their composition as well as a premiere performance of this work. And finally, for conductors, Summertrios puts the baton in the hands of the maestro-to-be.
History of Summertrios
Summertrios was formed in 1990 and at that time most chamber music camps across the nation specialized in the string quartet and its incredible literature. Summertrios’ initial aim was to provide a week-long program which would give pianists the same opportunity to play chamber music. This goal continues to be a central purpose of the organization.
From the beginning we attracted numerous pianists eager to take advantage of this new-found opportunity. By 2008, we had expanded to four week-long programs and we were able to accommodate 50 pianists of all levels in attendance at the four different programs. These were open to anyone—there were no admission criteria.
Since pianists obviously need string players, Summertrios has always had an active string quartet program. The result was that string players were provided with an opportunity to become more acquainted with the extensive and equally incredible repertoire for piano and strings.
Originally the string quartet program was divided into advanced and intermediate tracks. All string players also worked on the piano chamber music literature and all were scheduled for some sessions with a professional pianist. As far as we know, this may be the only program that mixes amateurs with professionals on a regular basis. By 1994, we recognized the need for a Novice String Program. There were many reasons for this: some pianists wanted to learn string instruments; some participants brought spouses who were enticed by this new program to learn a string instrument; some of our intermediate string players weren’t so intermediate! and finally, some in the advanced program were tempted to try out other instruments.
Our Novice String Program has become very popular, especially since most music camps in the country do not accommodate this level of player. We believe our program is unique in the way it gives participants a means to climb towards the intermediate level. In fact, there has been a high graduation rate into the intermediate program. In 2008, sight reading classes were initiated to help this burgeoning group and these were a huge success.
Soon after 1994 we opened Summertrios to woodwind players. There has been growing enthusiasm for playing in mixed string, woodwind, and piano ensembles. These players also are scheduled for sessions with a professional pianist.
The week-long Premium Program was introduced next. As the only amateur in an ensemble of all professionals, each participant experiences an intense and exhilarating week. There are no admission criteria. Everyone is welcome. This is also unique since such opportunities to play with professionals are usually reserved for other professionals or pre-professional students.
In the 2000 season Summertrios added the Concerto Program, which gives amateurs, without having to win a competition, the opportunity to be a soloist on any instrument and play a concerto with a professional orchestra. The orchestra is chosen from highly regarded professionals in the Philadelphia area and the conductor is Yuval Waldman, of worldwide reputation. Orchestra members as well as Waldman are extremely friendly and supportive and derive much pleasure from helping amateurs.
In 2006, this program was opened to composers who wish to have a premiere performance and demo disc of an orchestral or chamber music composition and to conductors who wish to have an opportunity to conduct a professional orchestra. We are always open to innovation. Who knows what will be next!
Co-founders were Betty Mock, Executive Director and Lily Friedman, Music Director.