Chamber Symphony

  • Title Chamber Symphony
  • Year 2009
  • Instr fl/picc, cl, bsn/cbn, hn, tpt, tbn, 2vlns, vc, cb, pf, 2perc, hp
  • Duration 22 min
  • Categories Chamber Orchestra
  • Publisher CF Peters

“My Chamber Symphony, composed in 2009, is in three movements, following a moderate-slow-fast format. In the longer first movement, the music ranges over a particularly wide spectrum of harmonic tendencies; part of the fun was to try to create seamless connections between disparate regions. Exploring the various color combinations of an ensemble with just about one of every instrument was another preoccupation. A third one was writing a movement that gradually “gathered steam” as it progressed, but in a way that the listener would find unobtrusive. The second movement is a simple song (for a reduced instrumentation), with the first violinist as soloist. In the third movement, a rambunctious finale has something of a “rondo” flavor to it, with a fanfare-like finish showcasing the three brass instruments. The work lasts about 22 minutes.” LK

First performance:
The Washington Square Ensemble, Louis Karchin, conductor
Merkin Concert Hall, New York City April 7, 2010


"In Louis Karchin's Chamber Symphony.... continuously reconfigured textures, dynamics and timbres wove spells so magical that debates about harmonic language were beside the point."

Allan Kozinn, The New York Times

Waves rippling and shimmering in a sea of sound…rich with intriguing timbres….a riotous explosion of color in the exuberant finale.

Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times


At indiana University after performance of Chamber Symphony (L to R) Karchin, pianist Yael Weiss, theorist Severine Neff, composer Dcn Freund, and second from right, composer Joel Feigen.

Karchin with his family, after conducting his Chamber Symphony at Tanglewood in 2011. (L to R) daughters Marisa and Lindsay, and wife Julie.