Seattle Chamber Music Society

James Ehnes, Artistic Director

Commissioning Club //

I think the SCMS commissioning club is one of the greatest jewels of the organization. The commissioning club has been responsible for bringing to life some truly remarkable music of lasting value, and ensures that the art of chamber music remains a living art form. The yearly commission is always a tremendously exciting event, and one of the highlights of the summer festival. I am deeply grateful to the individuals of the commissioning club for their wonderful support. – SCMS Artistic Director James Ehnes

Through their support, members help support the commissioning of a new chamber music work each year, which is performed during our Summer Festival the following year.

Commissioning Club members are invited to three salons through the course of the year and receive an invitation to a dress rehearsal. The first two salons are led by SCMS Director of Education Programs, Jeremy Jolley, where members discuss the history of the ensemble form that is featured in that year’s commission, as well as the compositional approach of the commissioned composer. The final salon features the commissioned composer discussing the new piece with the members of the Club.

As a Commissioning Club member, you are asked to make a three year commitment in support of the initiative, with a minimum of $300 per year per household suggested. To join, or for more information, please call 206.283.8710.

As expressed by our Artistic Director James Ehnes, the introduction of new music will continue to play an important role in our organization. For 2016, we are excited about our commissioned work from composer and cellist Jeremy Turner. Jeremy’s The Inland Seas will have it’s premiere at SCMS’s Summer Festival on Monday, July 11, 2016 and will feature James Ehnes, violin, and Chris Thile, mandolin.

Here is Derek Bermel discussing his piece, Death with Interruptions for Violin, Cello, and Piano, which premiered during the 2014 Summer Festival.

Since its inception, Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Commissioning Club has supported the creation of 10 new works for chamber music; several have had additional performances at other festival around the country. They are:

2016     Jeremy TurnerThe Inland Seas for Violin and Mandolin

2015     Steven StuckyCantus, Sextet for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Percussion and Piano

2014     Derek BermelDeath with Interruptions for Violin, Cello and Piano
The Trio was co-commissioned with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and La Jolla Music Society for Summerfest

2013     Lawrence DillonSanctuary, Septet for Horn, String Quintet, and Piano

2012     Gary KuleshaQuartet for Piano and Strings
The Quartet will be performed during the 2014 Ottawa Chamber Music Festival.

2011     Laura KaminskyHorizon Lines for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano
Horizon Lines 
has received several performances and will be performed by the Poulenc Trio in March 2014 in Washington, DC.

2010     Gerard Schwarz, Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano

2009     Christopher TheofanidisSummer Verses for Violin and Cello

2008     Jeffery Cotton, Six Departures, Trio for Flute Viola and Harp

2007     Ronn YedidiaTrio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano


We are grateful to the members of the Commissioning Club for making possible the creation of new work each year to be enjoyed now—and by future generations.