On a chilly evening in December 2002, Chatter – A Chamber Ensemble was created by violinist/Associate Concertmaster of the NMSO, David Felberg, and cellist/composer Eric Walters (1968-2016). Its purpose was to perform concerts featuring contemporary repertoire and promoting the use of unusual instrumentations.

Felix WurmanIn 2008, Church of Beethoven was founded by cellist Felix Wurman, who was soon joined by his friend David Felberg. At the Filling Station on 4th Street in downtown Albuquerque, Felix and David made espresso, played music with fellow musicians, and passed the basket. Poet Anthony Hunt suggested the addition of 10 minutes of spoken word, and became the first poet to speak at CoB. From the proceeds of the basket, the rent was paid, the coffee was purchased—sometimes the musicians were paid!

To meet the spatial and other needs of an enthusiastically growing audience, CoB moved to The Kosmos, 1715 5th Street NW, in 2009. The dream was to create great music in an unusual, intimate venue—an alternative to the concert hall.

Felix Wurman died at age 51 in December 2009. His friend and colleague David Felberg took up the baton, the responsibilities, and the passion of Church of Beethoven. Soon, he was joined by James T. Shields, principal clarinet of the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

In June 2011 Chatter launched an evening series called Club Beethoven — later Chatter Cabaret — offering classical music in an evening club atmosphere with drinks and tapas. This series began at Hotel Andaluz before migrating to the Albuquerque Museum in 2015.

In September 2015 Chatter Sunday moved to Las Puertas, an event center located at 1512 1st St NW in Albuquerque. In 2016 Chatter Late Works was begun as an occasional late-night concert offering at various urban venues. In 2022 this series moved to a regular schedule, appearing on the first Friday of every month.

In 2020-21, when the COVID pandemic necessitated concert closures statewide, Chatter presented 23 online concerts. In 2021 Chatter Sunday moved to its own bespoke venue, 912 3rd St NW — a renovated auto parts warehouse re-imagined for chamber music, which also offered office space for the growing organization, as well as control of rehearsal space and scheduling.

In 2018 Chatter began presenting concerts in Santa Fe on Saturday mornings at SITE, a contemporary art space. In 2023 we partnered with the Center for Contemporary Arts to provide stewardship of their Muñoz-Waxman Gallery, allowing the Santa Fe series, now known as Chatter North, to expand to a weekly performance schedule.

Ensemble Music New Mexico was established to bring our multiple performance entities under one parent board and one operating budget.

Go here for current EMNM Board of Directors officers and members.