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 truly remarkable music of lasting value, and ensures that the art of chamber music remain a living art form. The yearly commission is always a tremendously exciting event, and one of the highlights of the summer festival. 

– Artistic Director James Ehnes

Each year, Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Commissioning Club supports the creation of a new chamber music work, which receives its world premiere during our Summer Festival in July.

Commissioning Club members make a three-year pledge of $300 or more annually to join. Club activities include to three salons, as well as an invitation to the dress rehearsal before the annual world premiere at our Summer Festival. During the first two salons, led by chamber music educator and composer Aaron Grad, Club members learn about the history of the ensemble form that is featured in that year’s commission, as well as the compositional approach of the year’s selected composer. The composer attends the final salon and leads a discussion about the finished work.

Since its inception, Seattle Chamber Music Society’s Commissioning Club has supported the creation of 13 new works for chamber music; several have had additional performances at other festival around the country. They are:

2021     Jocelyn Morlock, Unfurl for Wind Quintet

2020     Aaron Jay Kernis, Siren for Solo Flute, 7 Flutes, and Piccolo

2019     Sebastian CurrierVoyage Out; Quintet for Piano and Strings

2018     James Newton HowardThey have just arrived at this new level; Sextet for String Quartet, Flute, and Clarinet

2017     Lisa BielawaFictional Migrations; Trio for Flute, Horn, and Piano

2016     Jeremy TurnerThe Inland Seas for Violin and Mandolin

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

2014     Derek BermelDeath with Interruptions for Violin, Cello and Piano
Death with Interruptions 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 was performed during the 2014 Ottawa Chamber Music Festival.

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

2010     Gerard SchwarzTrio 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.

For more information about joining please contact us at 206.283.8710, or complete and return our Membership Form.

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