Chamber Music Side by Side with Pacifica Quartet

Pacifica Quartet Side by Side performance

From left to right: Simin Ganatra, Austin Hartman, Samantha Ma, Miriam Friedman, Mark Holloway, Phoebe Han, Brandon Vamos, Andy Zhang


In the early part of the Spring quarter, eight select UChicago Chamber Music Program students had the unique experience of rehearsing and performing the third and fourth movements of the Felix Mendelssohn Octet in E-flat Major alongside the 2024 Don Michael Randel Ensemble-in-Residence, Pacifica Quartet. This side-by-side performance was the culmination of Pacifica's yearlong residency and took place at a colloquium on April 19, moderated by Don Michael Randel. 

Heather Wittels, the Director of the Chamber Music Program shared her thoughts on the impact this side-by-side experience had on her students: 

This was a rare and special opportunity for UChicago chamber music students to rehearse and perform side-by-side as a super group with one of the best American string quartets. Immersive learning is the best way to master a skill, particularly one that combines mental and physical acuity such as playing an instrument, and figuring out how to react, listen, and respond to these professional players gave the students a whole new level of information and experience to draw on throughout the rest of their chamber music studies. For me as the program director, it was thrilling to watch how quickly the students adapted and grew through the process. 

Bravi tutti to all of the students that participated in this session!