Schumann A Minor, Op. 41 No. 1

Monday, August 12th to Sunday, August 18th
Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA

1842 was an astonishing year in the life of Robert Schumann. Newly married to Clara Wieck and with a newborn first child, Schumann was, at 32 years old, at the pinnacle of his creative prowess. He fearlessly threw himself into the creation of some of our most treasured pieces of chamber music including the Piano Quintet in E-flat, Op. 44 and his three String Quartets, Op. 41. And this just 15 years after the death of Beethoven!

His first foray into the string quartet is his Quartet in A minor, Op. 41 No. 1. His mastery of the genre is on full display with his signature fantasy and lyricism paired with a remarkable understanding of voice leading and counter point. Every player has vital contributions and individual solos abound. How could this be his very first quartet? The work as a whole has a beautiful arch from the quiet contemplation of A minor to the heartfelt warmth of the F major slow movement to the unbridled exuberance of the A Major ending!

One can only imagine the level of inspiration and, indeed, obsession that enabled Schumann in this creative volcano of 1842. These are the very qualities that we aspire to at the Manhattan String Quartet conferences and we salute our participants for their devotion, preparation and, yes, obsession!

Kent Music Logo
Seattle Pacific University
Seattle Pacific University
Robert and Clara Schumann
Robert and Clara Schumann

KentMusic offers experienced string players the opportunity to spend six gratifying days studying a major work from the string quartet repertoire. Participants receive high-level coaching from world-class performing musicians, attend lecture / demonstrations and concerts by the faculty artists, and have ample time for informal chamber music readings, relaxing & socializing.

These seminars offer a unique chance to delve deeply into a single, major work from the string quartet repertoire.  In no other program that we are aware of do participants work with this degree of appreciation and profundity, with regard not only to the featured piece but also to the art of string quartet playing generally.

Enrollment is limited to ensure balanced groups and ample coaching. Advance preparation is absolutely essential for all participants. Enrollment is for individual players as well as a limited number of preformed groups.

Coached Quartets
At the core of KentMusic is the opportunity to receive intensive, daily coaching on one great quartet that all participants must prepare in advance. Coaches rotate among quartets that are carefully matched and assigned each day.

Daily, in-depth exploration of the work being studied with Dr. David Clampitt and the Manhattan String Quartet. A KentMusic highlight!

Featured Concert
An evening performance by the Manhattan String Quartet, including the featured work.

Informal Ensembles
Explore repertoire and meet the other players in self-organized, daily reading sessions.


Come join us and refine your quartet playing at KentMusic!

Fees / Application

Schumann A Minor, Op. 41 No. 1

Monday, August 12th to Sunday, August 18th
Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA

The faculty welcomes experienced string players: amateur, pre-professional, and professional. Acceptance will depend upon the number of applicants and the need for balanced instrumentation in assembling the participants into full quartets of similar ability.

Enrollment is for individual players as well as a limited number of preformed groups.

Registration Deadline…………………..June 1, 2024
Acceptance Notification………………..June 22, 2024
Payment in Full Due…………………….July 8, 2024

We have transitioned to an online application/registration process and no longer offer paper forms for download. If you need help registering, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Resident Coached Participant

Single Room $1,450 / Double Room $1,350
Coaching, lectures, free-playing, lodging, meals, MSQ concerts, receptions

Non-Coached Resident Participant/Auditor:

Single Room $1,250 / Double Room $1150
Lectures, free-playing, lodging, meals, MSQ concerts, receptions. May audit coaching sessions.

Commuter Coached Participant:

$975 Per Person
Coaching, lectures, free-playing, 1 dinner, 6 lunches, MSQ concerts, receptions

Non-Playing Resident Guest or Spouse:

Single Room $925/Double Room $825
Lodging, meals, lectures, concerts, reception

Fees include a non-refundable application deposit of $400 per participant and $150 per guest/spouse. In the case of applicants who are not accepted, deposits will be returned.

Application & Deposit

To apply, you can fill out the application form here and mail your check to the address below.

Manhattan String Quartet
c/o Curtis Macomber
3135 Johnson Avenue #5J
Bronx, NY 10463

Please make checks payable to MSQ Enterprises, Inc.

MSQ is now also accepting payments via Zelle. 917-751-5612 is our registered phone number.

Meals and Accommodations

For Resident Participants, meals begin with dinner on Monday and end with lunch on Sunday. ​For Commuter Participants, dinner on Monday evening and daily lunch from Tuesday through Sunday are included in your fee.

Accommodations will be in the Wesley Residence Hall suites. Each individual or couple will have their own private bedroom and assigned use private bathroom.

For those who are local commuters, SPU offers plenty of free parking.

Weinstock Memorial Fund

Our modest Scholarship Fund allows us to help younger players who would otherwise be unable to attend KentMusic. Your contributions to this fund are very much appreciated. Please make your tax-deductible gift payable to “MSQ Enterprises Inc” and mail with your application form.

Inquiries and additional information for KentMusic-Seattle:

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Manhattan String Quartet

The Manhattan String Quartet

Hailed by the Boston Globe as “a national treasure,” the MANHATTAN STRING QUARTET is celebrating its 51st season. Well known for performances of 20th-century “classics” such as Bartok and Shostakovich, the Manhattan Quartet has established a significant international reputation with regular concert appearances throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.

After a series of concerts in Moscow and Leningrad in the fall of 1985, the Quartet became the first American classical ensemble to give a full tour of the Soviet Union under that era’s new cultural agreement. Their first series of performances in 1986 was followed by an equally successful tour in 1989.

In 2005, the Quartet made its first tour of Asia and played to sold-out houses in Nagoya and Tokyo, Japan. Notable among its many recordings is the complete cycle of 15 Shostakovich string quartets that TIME Magazine called “One of the most important musical events of 1991.”

The group has been Quartet-in-Residence at Colgate University since 1988 and has held similar posts at the Manhattan School of Music, Cornell University and Grinnell College. In 2011, in collaboration with the Sarajevo Academy of Music, the Manhattan Quartet established the Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival.

Since 1989 the Manhattan String Quartet has hosted annual teaching and performing conferences in the United States for pre-professional quartets and amateur players. In 2001 the Quartet established it’s yearly “Cultural Expedition”trips to Europe where participants study an iconic work from the string quartet canon in the city of its composition.

David Clampitt
David Clampitt

DAVID CLAMPITT is a music theorist and violinist who taught at Yale University for 11 years before joining the faculty at Ohio State University, where he is where he is Professor and Area Head for Music Theory. The author of many articles and book chapters, he is a recipient of the Emerging Scholar Award from the national Society of Music Theory. A founding member of the Algonquin String Quartet during his years as a violinist in New York City, he has been a regular member and occasional soloist with Orchestra of New England in New Haven, and has appeared as a recitalist at Yale. He has coached and lectured at KentMusic since 1990 and has also given his popular lecture/demonstrations with the Manhattan String Quartet in New York City and Europe.

About Kent Music

Kent Music Logo

Since its beginnings in Kent, Connecticut in 1989, KentMusic has enjoyed a loyal following with participants returning each year from all over the United States as well as from abroad. Returning participants and newcomers alike enjoy a friendly, welcoming atmosphere with the opportunity to refine their skills, learn new repertoire and collaborate with others, see old friends and make new ones. Enrollment is limited to ensure balanced groups and ample coaching. Advance preparation is absolutely essential for all participants.

A Typical Day at KentMusic

Mornings: Breakfast is served from 7:30 AM, followed by coaching sessions with assigned ensembles from 9:00-10:45 AM. After a coffee break, Dr. David Clampitt lectures from 11:00-12:00 on the theoretical and musicological aspects of the movement studied that day with the MSQ playing musical examples. Lunch is served from 12:00-1:00 PM.

Afternoons: Coaching sessions with assigned ensembles resume from 1:45-3:45 PM. The period of free time that follows can be used for relaxation and more music making.

Evenings: Dinner is served from 6:00-7:00 PM.  From 7:30-10:00 PM time is available for optional free ensembles.

Seattle Pacific University – Seattle, WA​
Seattle Pacific University

Seattle Pacific University

Located in a residential neighborhood on the north slope of Queen Anne Hill and just 10 minutes from downtown, ​Seattle Pacific University’s 43-acre city campus borders the Lake Washington Ship Canal and boasts majestic trees, open lawns, beautiful gardens, and views of the Cascade Mountains.

Accommodations are in spacious suite-style units with single private bedrooms and private use baths, plus a shared kitchen and living room. Laundry facilities are available in each suite.

For those who are local commuters, SPU offers plenty of free parking.

Participant Comments

“I am still thinking about the wonderful week at KentMusic. I feel so lucky to be able to delve into this extraordinary music and study it with such a marvelous group of  coaches.  I think we all get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from the experience in large part because all of you approach the process with such enthusiasm and passion.”


“What a great week it was! For me as well as everybody I talked to. Today is like a fermata, trying to hold on to it before the inevitable rush of What’s Next.”


“The superb concerts make this conference the one to choose.”

“A fine week, worth every penny. I plan to return next year!”


“I’ve been to a lot of music camps and KentMusic is special. You gave me the kind of focused, friendly, interactive experience that is the heart and essence of chamber music. The members of the Manhattan String Quartet are not only superb performers, but they are all great coaches with the rare ability to illuminate the music while inducing us to play at the top of our capacity. KentMusic is extraordinary in its achievement of high standards without competition.”