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The Best Chamber Groups in the Country to Compete at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music in March

Published on Feb 18, 2020

The best pre-collegiate chamber groups in the country are coming to the Pasadena Conservatory of Music in March to compete in the PCM Chamber Music Competition.

Each year, highly-talented groups plan their repertoire around two major competitions: The PCM Chamber Music Competition in Pasadena, and the Fischoff Competition in South Bend, IN. In fact, last year, the Fervida Trio from Burlingame, CA won the gold medal at PCM and then went on to take the gold at Fischoff as well.

As one of the most prestigious competitions, the PCM Chamber Music Competition attracts the best ensembles from top music school and programs, including Juilliard Prep (NYC), the Colburn School (CA), the New England Conservatory Preparatory School (MA), Young Chamber Musicians (CA), Chamber Music Connection (OH), the Gifted Music School (UT), Junior Chamber Music (CA), Music Institute of Chicago Academy (IL), CMIT (TX), San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Pre-College (CA), and many more.

The competition also features a multi-camera live stream of the semi-finals, finals, and medal ceremony.

The Pasadena Conservatory of Music’s chamber music program has long been home to many of the country’s top student ensembles, with past groups like Incendium Quartet and Chimera Quartet winning gold medals at elite national competitions.

When launching the PCM Chamber Music Competition four years ago, PCM’s Chamber Music Department Chair and Artistic Director of the PCM Chamber Music Competition, Andrew Cook, said “California groups have always traveled east to participate in the larger national competitions, and with such a vibrant, classical music community on the west coast, we felt there was a need for a strong competition here. I’m proud that PCM is able to present it. I’ve always believed that, for highly-committed students, participating in high level competitions is an essential part of a student’s professional development. It isn’t about winning or losing, it’s about engaging in a process that prepares them for a world of auditions and stressful, rewarding performances that mark the lives of every professional musician.”

To this end, the PCM Chamber Music Competitions always includes a masterclass for all of the groups that don’t advance from the semi-final round to the final round. In the masterclass, each group performs and receives feedback and coaching from the competition’s all star panel of judges.

This year, the PCM Chamber Music Competition will be held Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, March 29th in Barrett Hall, on PCM’s campus.

Additionally, a complete list of competition guidelines, rules, and awards is available on the official competition website, where you can also meet the judges of this year’s competition, and see photos and videos of past competitions!

Pasadena Conservatory of Music (PCM) is located at 100 N. Hill Ave. #105, in Pasadena.

Visit for more information.

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