Photo by David Andrews.

The Smithsonian Chamber Music Society (SCMS) uses the priceless treasures of the Smithsonian’s collection of musical instruments to offer the public unique experiences and insights into the Western classical music of the past 400 years. SCMS’s founding vision was, in the words of then-Smithsonian Secretary Dillon Ripley, to "take the instruments out of their cases and make them sing.”

NOI+F and the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society have embarked on a pioneering new partnership, allowing students a nationally unique opportunity to experience the rare and historic instruments housed in the collection at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.. This opportunity is open to all students, not just those with previous experience in historically informed performance. The NOI+F Smithsonian String Quartet Seminar students are guided by historic Performance expert Dr. Kenneth Slowik, Artistic Director of the Smithsonian Chamber Players and curator of the Musical Instrument Collection in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.