Music Making

Piano in the corner


There are several ways to make your stay at Blue Mountain Chamber Music Retreat an unforgettable musical experience. Without nearby neighbors, you are free to play at all hours of the day or night, your housemates willing! The residence houses a superb Grotrian grand piano and a two-manual, three-foot Sperrhake harpsichord. Music stands, music lights and suitable chairs are available.


Come as a preformed group


Guests are invited to coordinate their stay with their favorite chamber music companions. An established string trio or quartet, for example, could spend a weekend at the Retreat perfecting their repertoire and join with your host, pianist Ron Brickman, for piano quartets or quintets. There is a huge library of chamber music (with the focus on works including piano or harpsichord) on the premises (see Library page) and your host can make recommendations to help you discover some beautiful unfamiliar works.

Pianists are most welcome. The Grotrian grand piano is one of the world’s greatest pianos for chamber music and pianists can explore the vast library of scores on site. Your host also has a large collection of music for piano 4-hands and two pianos, and a digital piano can be brought in for two-piano playing (see Library page).

Professional Ensembles in Residence

The Blue Mountain Chamber Music Retreat welcomes professional ensembles for short- or long-term residencies.  Ensembles on tour are invited to stay at the Retreat to rehearse and relax between engagements in Northern California.  The Retreat is an ideal location for perfecting a program or working up new repertoire as there are no restrictions on practice hours nor fees for rehearsal hall rental.

Come as an individual artist for duos with piano

Your host Ron Brickman has accompanied world-class instrumentalists and vocalists and is a superb sight-reader. Individual instrumentalists and vocalists are invited to work with him on their upcoming programs and explore new repertoire. There is no charge for his services at the piano.

Link up with local players

As President of the Mother Lode Friends of Music, the premier classical music performance society in the Mother Lode, your host is at the nexus of a large network of players who reside in the region and in neighboring metropolitan areas. They can be contacted to fill virtually any opening in a desired ensemble. If you are a violinist and wish to come with a violist friend, we can ask one of our local cellists to join the group for a session. Ever want to play the “Trout” but couldn’t find a double bass player? We have one!

Students welcome

Chamber Music Library

As an accomplished pianist and accompanist, your host is available to work with students of all levels in preparing their upcoming recitals and auditions.  



Register as an independent player for ad hoc ensembles

If you do not have playing companions who are available to come with you to the Retreat, you may register your availability and link up with other compatible musicians also looking for playing partners. Guests who seem to be a good match will be contacted to work out a mutually convenient time for a coordinated stay. If interested, please click here to fill out the Registered Player form.

Coaching available

Individuals or ensembles who desire professional-level coaching may engage the services of several professionals who live within range and are regular performers with the Mother Lode Friends of Music. Ensembles will negotiate the date, times and fees directly with each coach. Advance booking is required. Coaches may also be available to play with the ensemble. This could be of particular interest to ensembles who seek the relatively rare experience of playing with harp or guitar. Available coaches include:

IMG_4141Corina Stoian, world-class concert violinist, former concertmaster of the Essen Chamber Orchestra in Germany, soloist with the Auburn, Diablo, Camellia and Bear Valley orchestras, concertmaster and soloist with the Orchestra of the Mother Lode Friends of Music

Randy Fisher, professional violinist/violist, coach at Hidden Valley Chamber Music Workshop and other workshops

Alan Clark, former principal cellist of the Auburn Symphony and the Camellia Symphony, former coach at Humboldt State Chamber Music Workshop

Ann Miller, associate professor of violin at the Conservatory of Music of the University of the Pacific and a member of Trio 180. She holds her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Juilliard School, and she received her Bachelor of Music, summa cum laude, from Rice University.

Nina Flyer, professor of cello at the Conservatory of Music, University of the Pacific and member of Trio 180. She is the former principal cello of the orchestras of Jerusalem, Bergen and The Women’s Philharmonic, and former acting principal of the San Diego Symphony.

Henrik Jul Hansen, conductor of the Orchestra of the Mother Lode Friends of Music and other orchestras. Trained at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Stockholm and the London School of Music.

Sonia Leong, international concert pianist, now with the Trio 180, Adjunct faculty at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, coach at Northern California Chamber Players workshop.

Laurel Zucker, Professor of flute at California State University-Sacramento and international concert flutist.

Joseph Wiggett, Professor of Voice Studies at California State University—Turlock and former Artistic Director, Townsend Opera, Modesto.

Beverly Wesner-Hoehn, international harp soloist and chamber musician

Gordon Rowland, professional classical guitarist, chamber player, teacher and recording artist

Performances possible

For those who like to perform at the end of a rehearsal cycle, it is possible to arrange informal performances during the Afternoon Tea or Happy Hour for the enjoyment of a small number of local music lovers.  Professional groups should contact the Retreat’s host Ron Brickman about performing a concert in a larger concert venue during their stay under the sponsorship of the Mother Lode Friends of Music or other presenter organizations in the region.   


There is no fee for the services of your host, Ron Brickman, at the piano for overnight guests of the Retreat.  Ensembles who desire coaching are responsible for negotiating fees and other arrangements with the coach of their choice. Contact information of possible coaches will be provided to those interested.

There is a $100 surcharge for the use of the harpsichord. This covers the cost of moving it into and out of the music-making space (it takes at least two hefty men to do so) and for tuning (1-2 hours over a several-day period).