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Biography
Southwest Chamber Music is an ensemble of 15 musicians based in Los Angeles County, California. The organization was founded in 1987 by Artistic Director Jeff von der Schmidt and Executive Director Jan Karlin. One of the most active chamber music ensembles in the United States, the ensemble performs year round, provides educational programs, tours internationally, and has recorded 25 compact discs.

Southwest Chamber Music is an innovative and influential cultural force in Southern California, providing concert and educational programming that combines traditional European classics, contemporary work by diverse American composers, and modern music from Latin America and Asia. It presents concert series in Los Angeles and Pasadena, and, in the summer, the popular Summer Festival at The Huntington in San Marino, California. Project Muse in-school concerts and the Mentorship Program for student musicians continue to serve low- and moderate-income students at schools in Los Angeles County. Southwest Chamber Music has had extensive international activity in Europe, Mexico, and Asia. In 2010, Southwest Chamber Music completed a major U.S. State Department-sponsored program with Vietnam – the Ascending Dragon Music Festival and Cultural Exchange – which was the largest cultural exchange in the history of the two countries and received worldwide media coverage. In December 2009, Southwest Chamber Music toured to Mexico, representing the United States at the Guadalajara FIL Arts Festival, an arts festival produced alongside the world’s largest Spanish book fair. The ensemble has made 25 critically acclaimed recordings for which it has also received two Grammy Awards and seven nominations, including its most recent nomination for a 2010 Latin Grammy for Best Classical Album. The ensemble’s 25 recordings are available from Cambria Master Recordings, with world-wide distribution by Naxos (Classics Online).
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