a Del Sol Chamber Music Workshop for Adult Non-Professionals

This workshop opened my eyes to a “brave new world” of musical possibilities for myself as a musician AND as an audience member.
— Chamberfest Participant

ChamberFest is an exciting, intensive weekend chamber music workshop for adult amateur string players. This fantastic weekend program is held in the intimate setting of a San Francisco Heights home.  There’s intense coaching, great food and drink, guest composers, and a house concert by the Del Sol Quartet.

The next Chamberfest is

February 1-2, 2020


“The Del Sol [Chamberfest] was one of the best weekends I have had for years – great music, good friendships, an amazing concert by Del Sol, and we played our piece well. What more can you ask for? It was a fantastic experience, and I cannot wait to go back.”
— VIolinist


Ensembles will receive two days of coaching on their choice of repertoire (plus a short work by our resident composer) with members of the Del Sol Quartet and composer-in-residence Danny Clay.  (Suggestions for will be made for other short contemporary works to explore during the weekend, including works by Danny Clay)   In addition to the extensive coaching, participants will enjoy great food & drink, an intimate concert by Del Sol, and two intriguing, pragmatic workshops.  (Workshops have included topics on: ensemble, rhythm, intonation, the physical aspects of playing , contemporary repertoire and more.)

2020 dates: February 1-2, 2020

2020 Application – apply now or before December 2, 2019.

For more information please contact Kathryn Bates at


Dates & Times: Saturday Feb 1 (9AM-7:30PM) & Sunday Feb 2 (9AM-4PM)   

Location:  Outer Richmond, San Francisco, CA.

Cost: Tuition is $315/weekend including food.  Limited scholarships available.

Ensembles: This workshop focuses on the string quartet and is available to 6 ensembles.  These can include quartet “plus” (e.g. quintet, sextet).  We are limited to one group including piano, so please contact Chamberfest specifically ( Mixed string/wind ensembles accepted on a limited basis.

Preformed groups only.  Applications from incomplete groups (2-3 people looking for additional players) will be accepted, but we cannot guarantee assignment to a group.

Auditions:  No audition required. Notifications by December 9, 2019

RegistrationComplete the application.  No application fee.

Tuition: Tuition of $315 is due January 6, 2019.  You can use online payment (with 3.5% surcharge) or a mail check (Payable to: DSPAO) to:

Del Sol ChamberFest
751 – 47th Ave
San Francisco, California 94121

Composer Project

Composer Project

Each Chamberfest we explore the relationship between performer and composer and study the works of living composers.

2020: We are excited to have Bay Area composer Danny Clay join us for the weekend, including a Del Sol performance. Danny’s ethos is deeply rooted in curiosity, collaboration, and the sheer joy of making things with people of all ages and levels of artistic experience. We encourage to participants to try some of his music during the workshop!


2019: We are thrilled to be joined by Turkish composer Erberk Eryilmaz for the workshop.  Erberk will share about his compositional process and inspiration, as well as coach some of the quartets.  Movements of his quartets will be made available to work on during the workshop.  Del Sol will also perform Eryilmaz’s “Hoppa! 2” in the evening performance.

2018: We will be joined this year by extraordinary cellist and composer Theresa Wong, who will explore her compositional aesthetics of intersecting composed music with improvisation and outside genres.  At the house concert, Del Sol will share her new work for quartet written in honor of their 25th anniversary.      New in 2018 – Participants will break up the long hours of playing with a neck and shoulders stretching class led by yoga instructor Mary Anne Shinta.

2017: We were thrilled to welcome world-renowned composer Gabriela Lena Frank for a talk on string quartet music & a masterclass with participants, with a Del Sol preview of her new string quartet.  We also brought in a  “culinary” composer – guest chef Ayako Iino – who cooking philosophy comes from 8 years of self sustaining life in rural Japan, farming and cooking from the garden and the field, and who trained in Italian and California cuisines at Oliveto, Boulette’s Larder, and Chez Panisse.

2016: Participants collaborated in the premiere of a new work composed specifically for this workshop by composer Mark Ackerley!

2015: Both Chamberfest groups and Del Sol performed parts of Pierre Jalbert’s energetic String Quartet no. 4


Saturday Feb 1

9AM arrive & greet / coffee  

9:30 orientation

9:45-11 rehearse / coach

11-11:15 break

11:15-12:30 rehearse / coach

12:30-1:30 lunch

1:30-2:45 rehearse / coach

2:45-4 workshop

4:00-5:15 rehearse / coach

5:15-5:30 break

5:30-6:30 Del Sol performs

6:30-7:30 dinner

Post-Dinner: sight-reading/freelancing (optional)

Sunday Feb 2

9AM arrive

9:30-11:30 rehearse / coach

11:15-11:30 break

11:30-12:30 workshop with Del Sol Quartet

12:30-1:15 lunch

1:15-2:30 rehearse / coach

2:30-4:00 performance


Each year, we offer two “pragmatic & intriguing workshops” during Chamberfest. Topics vary from year to year.

2020: TBA

Past topics:

Masterclass & talk with composer Erberk Eryilmaz
Talk with Del Sol Quartet – How to Work On Genre-Crossing Music

Masterclass & talk with composers Gabriela Lena Frank & Theresa Wong
Neck & shoulders stretching class
Composers through the lens of precision & flexibility
How to rehearse gnarly things
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
Off the Page: Going Beyond the Notes
Curious Chamber Music Minds


This program has been made possible, in part, with support from ACMP Associated Chamber Music Players.