Chamber Music at the Conservatory

Open to all music students!

Chamber Music at the Conservatory

About Our Programs

The Conservatory offers chamber music opportunities for beginner, intermediate, and advanced music students in the greater Milwaukee area. Each chamber ensemble is curated based on the student’s musical experience, and matched with a Conservatory faculty member who serves as a mentor and coach for the ensemble. Students gain experience playing in a small, self-directed ensemble while receiving constructive feedback in technique, musicality, and non-verbal communication.


Advanced high school students are invited to audition for the Advanced Chamber Music Institute during the Conservatory’s annual Scholarship Audition day held in spring. Students admitted into the program receive weekly coaching from the world-class musicians of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. This unique program provides an intensive chamber ensemble experience for the most promising young high school artists in the state.



New to Chamber Music?

Chamber Music Inquiry Form

Are you a new student interested in chamber music opportunities? Have you been playing for a while and are looking for a group of musicians to play with? Fill out our chamber music inquiry form and the Education Team will work to match you with other interested students of similar age and ability levels. Students do not need to be a current WCM student to participate!


Chamber Music Inquiry Form

Student Playing the Cello

What You Can Expect

Advanced Chamber Music Institute Program

The Advanced Chamber Music Institute is an intensive program for high school musicians to rehearse and perform in small ensembles coached by musicians from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Admittance into the program is by audition. Students who are accepted into the Advanced Chamber Music Institute will be placed into a small ensemble (string quartet, piano trio, etc.) and receive:

  • Two full recitals a year at the Conservatory, plus multiple performance opportunities in the community and at MSO events
  • Special ticket offers to MSO concerts and local chamber music concerts
  • Weekly coaching and guided rehearsal time with a member of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • Weekly masterclasses and performance seminars with MSO guest artists and other special guests

Auditions for the 2024-2025 school year will take place on March 3, 2024. 


Advanced Chamber Music Institute Audition Requirements



  • Sonata-allegro movement from a classical sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert

  • Romantic solo work

  • Sight-reading



  • One movement of a Bach sonata, partita, or suite
  • Complete first movement of any standard concerto

  • Sight-reading

Woodwinds & Brass

  • Two contrasting movements from a standard concerto, sonata, or other solo work, OR two contrasting works by different composers

  • Sight-reading



  • One movement of a work by Bach on keyboard percussion (4 mallets)
  • One contemporary work on keyboard percussion OR multiple percussion setup

  • Sight-reading

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Advanced Chamber Music Faculty

Meet Our Teachers


Susan Babini



  • Graduate Diploma | The Juilliard School
  • Bachelor of Chamber Music | San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • Master of Chamber Music | San Francisco Conservatory of Music


  • Holds the Dorothea C. Mayer Principal Cello Chair with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • Has appeared as Guest Principal Cello with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
  • Performed solos with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Century Chamber Orchestra, and the Princeton Symphony.
  • Gave the East Coast premiere with Symphony in C of Aaron Jay Kernis’s Colored Field for Cello and Orchestra.
  • Performed as cellist with the Cavani String Quartet on the Detroit Chamber Music Society series and at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
  • While in Milwaukee she has performed on the Frankly Music series and with the Philomusica String Quartet.
  • Participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Festival, and the Yellow Barn Music Festival

Beth Breslin



  • Master of Music | Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Bachelor of Music | Oberlin Conservatory


  • Member of the viola section in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • Member of the viola section in the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.
  • Was a member of the San Antonio Symphony, and is currently a substitute with the Saint Louis Symphony and Houston Symphony.
  • Performs with the 414 Quartet and the Prospect Quartet.
  • Performer at festivals such as the Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, Kneisel Hall, and The Round Top Festival Institute.
  • Has also performed as a soloist with the Cleveland Institute of Music, National Repertory Orchestra and the New World Symphony.
  • Primary teachers include Robert Vernon (Cleveland) and Peter Slowik (Oberlin).

Stefanie Jacob


  • A.B. in Music, Harvard University
  • M.M. in Piano, Indiana University
  • doctoral studies, Indiana University


Why did you choose to work at WCM?

I wanted colleagues, and to be a part of something larger than just having a home studio.

What year did you start working at WCM?


Describe a musical experience or teacher that had a positive impact on you.

When I was 12, my piano teacher suggested that I might like to try playing chamber music. She had heard good things about a small music camp in the Berkshires that emphasized chamber music. I went that summer, and I was hooked–getting to play music with FRIENDS! It’s still my favorite form of music-making, these many years later.

Alexander Mandl



  • Bachelor of Fine Arts | Carnegie Mellon University
  • Master of Music | Yale University
  • Artist Diploma | Yale University
  • Doctor of Musical Arts | University of Wisconsin – Madison


  • Joined the WCM violin and chamber faculty in 2003.
  • Has taught worldwide with 35 years of teaching experience, ranging from beginners to graduate school and professional level musicians.
  • Has performed worldwide in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Avery Fisher, Auditório Manuel de Falla, and Memorial of Latin America.
  • Has shared the stage with eminent artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Mathieu Dufour, Eric Friedman, Sidney Harth, Caio Pagano, Frank Morelli, Wang Jian, Amit Peled, Susan Babini and Aldo Parisot.
  • Has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician, recording artist, pedagogue, adjudicator, and conductor.
  • Founding member of the critically acclaimed Philomusica Quartet.
  • Concertmaster of the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra and Racine Symphony Orchestra, and Assistant
  • Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra/Milwaukee Musaik.
  • Has performed at Chamber Music Milwaukee, Frankly Music, Fine Arts at First, Sunday Live from the Chazen, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series; to name a few.
  • Has appeared under conductors such as Eleazar De Carvalho, Gunther Herbig, Robert Shaw, Claudio Santoro and Isaac Karabtchevsky.
  • Studied with violinists Sidney Harth, Erick Friedman, Robert McDuffie, and Vartan Manoogian; as well as conductors Eleazar de Carvalho, David Stern, David Becker, James Smith; and members of the Tokyo, Yale, and the Paganini string quartet
  • Recipient of the prestigious Ivan Galamian Award, Carnegie Tradition Award, Yale Alumni Prize and the Miles Prize.