Oberlin Conservatory Announces New Master of Contemporary Chamber Music Degree Program

October 7, 2013

Cathy Partlow Strauss

The Grammy-winning chamber music ensemble eighth blackbird was founded by alumni of Oberlin Conservatory, where it returned for a mini-residency and performance in October 2013.
Photo credit: Roger Mastroianni

The Oberlin Conservatory is pleased to announce the creation of a full-tuition scholarship graduate degree program, the Master of Contemporary Chamber Music (MCCM). This professionally focused two-year program is designed to launch chamber music ensembles of exceptional artistic and creative potential toward careers of innovative distinction.

Oberlin’s transformative undergraduate programs have led to the creation of highly acclaimed new music ensembles including the triple Grammy-winning eighth blackbird and the International Contemporary Ensemble, led by MacArthur Fellowship winner Claire Chase. The conservatory’s focus will now broaden to incorporate a graduate-level program that harnesses this ability to propel ensembles successful at creating new models and paradigms.

The MCCM curriculum includes intensive coaching combined with individual applied study. Students in the program will also take graduate-level coursework in theory and musicology, as well as courses that develop entrepreneurial skills. Ensembles will be guided to cultivate an innovative approach, and develop their craft, artistry, and programming over the two years. They will also benefit from faculty mentoring as well as financial support for touring, recording, and competitions. Successful graduates will be eligible to apply for start-up funding offered through Oberlin’s Creativity & Leadership Project.

The MCCM is designed for preexisting chamber ensembles that already perform together. Ensembles can consist of any instrumentation and may range in size from three to seven members. Ensembles are expected to be available for full-time study. These ensembles must be without artist management or representation at the time of enrollment. Only one ensemble will be accepted into the program during the inaugural year of 2013-14.

Application and audition requirements can be found here.

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