At Iowa, our commitment to chamber music in its many forms is a longstanding tradition—for nine decades and counting! In 1936 we created our first faculty quartet, and today our top-notch chamber music programs are a burgeoning destination for musicians who appreciate this nimble, accessible art form.

Woodwind Chamber Music

Chamber music is an integral, thriving, and exciting aspect of the University of Iowa Woodwind Area. Many of our students create chamber groups that include duos, reed trios, woodwind quintets, double reed ensembles and several other varieties small and large ensembles. These groups allow students to develop many fundamental musical qualities in a focused and fun way. In their chamber ensembles, University of Iowa woodwind students will cultivate a deeper understanding of balance, blend, intonation, rhythm, and the cohesive creation of a musical narrative with their musical peers. Taking part in the woodwind chamber music course is also a wonderful way for students to form bonds of friendship and musical partnerships with each other.

Enrolling in woodwind chamber music will allow students to form groups of their choosing and receive weekly coachings with one of the  Woodwind Area professors.  In addition to coachings students will have the opportunity to perform as a group for guest artists in master class settings.  Students can perform on chamber music recitals or individual student’s recitals.  They are also encouraged and welcome to perform on our new lunch time chamber music series. 

Woodwind Chamber Music is available to undergraduate and graduate students alike. You may enroll as a member of a pre-formed group or as an individual. Chamber music groups will be assigned to individuals during the first few weeks of classes, depending on enrollment in the course.


Portrait of Nicole Esposito

Nicole Esposito

Woodwinds Area Head

Piano Chamber Music

Chamber music is an integral and important part of the educational and artistic mission of the piano area. All graduate and undergraduate students are required to enroll in various chamber music classes.

The piano area faculty strongly believes that good skills and experience in chamber music are crucial for all pianists. We believe chamber music enriches solo playing and builds important collaborative experience for future employment.

MA and DMA students are required to enroll for four semesters in collaborative and chamber music courses, either in MUS:7401:0IND (Special Studies in Piano Accompaniment & Chamber Music) or MUS:3481:0IND (Piano Chamber Music). Undergraduate students may enroll in these courses by special permission or if they are in need of more rudimentary training can enroll in MUS:3480:0001 (Piano Accompaniment). Students may enroll under their advisors’ sections and are also strongly encouraged to enroll with other instrumentalists and vocalists to gain the widest possible collaborative experience. With students enrolled in these various courses, the piano area strongly supports many of the applied studios within our school.


Portrait of Réne Lecuona

Réne Lecuona

Piano Co-Area Head
Réne Lecuona is a professor of piano at the University of Iowa School of Music.

Brass Chamber Music

The University of Iowa Brass Area maintains an active commitment to chamber music. Students may participate in small ensembles such as brass quintets, quartets and trios, as well as the trumpet ensemble, horn choir, trombone choir, tuba euphonium ensemble or brass choir. These ensembles can be taken for credit and courses are listed as Wind Chamber Music with the following course numbers:

  • MUS:3485:0002 (Brass Quintets, Quartets and Trios)
  • MUS:3485:0005 (Horn Choir)
  • MUS:3485:0007 (Trumpet Ensemble)
  • MUS:3485:0008 (Trombone Ensemble)
  • MUS:3485:0010 (Brass Choir)
  • MUS:3485:0012 (Tuba Euphonium Ensemble)

Brass Quintets and other small ensembles rehearse two hours weekly and receive one hour of coaching per week from a faculty member. Trumpet Ensemble, Horn Choir, Trombone Ensemble and the Tuba Euphonium Ensemble rehearse and perform regularly, including at the annual brass chamber music recital.

In addition to weekly studio classes held by each professor, twice each semester all of the brass studios convene for an area brass seminar; which often takes the form of a masterclass for brass chamber groups, orchestral brass sections, soloists, guest artist performances, and other events.


Portrait of John Manning

John Manning

Associate Professor
Associate Director, Instructional Support & Enrollment Management

UI String Quartet Residency Program

This distinctive program brings four nationally recognized professional string quartets to campus for extended residences each year. The quartets showcase the highest level of performance and chamber music instruction. Each year, the residencies include public performances, master classes, and interdisciplinary seminars. Students particularly benefit from presentations on how to build a career as an entrepreneurial performer. School of Music students have many opportunities to work closely with these visiting artists through coaching, master classes, and individual lessons. 

Learn more information here.


Portrait of Elizabeth Oakes

Elizabeth Oakes

Director of University of Iowa String Quartet Residency Program
Professor of Instruction