Mission and History

The Cleveland Chamber Music Society is a non-profit organization that has been presenting annually for over sixty-five years, a series of chamber music concerts for Cleveland audiences. The organization began modestly in 1949 when three friends at Western Reserve University persuaded the renowned Budapest String Quartet to give one concert in Cleveland. The Cleveland Chamber Music Society was incorporated in 1950 and has evolved into one of today’s most esteemed presenting organizations. Each year, our series of seven concerts features artists of stellar quality providing musical enrichment for the community.

The purpose of the Cleveland Chamber Music Society is to promote, foster and encourage the culture, study and playing of chamber music by means of concerts and other programs of all kinds beneficial to the educational and cultural community. In addition to the concert series, soon after its founding CCMS developed a “school concerts program” targeted for the city of Cleveland and its suburbs. After many years, this successful program made a transition to the governance of Young Audiences.

Today CCMS involves some of its guest artists in master classes at conservatories in Northeast Ohio and other visits for the benefit of students and the community at large. It also sponsors a new “Outreach Program,” taking chamber music to several elementary schools in Cleveland and its suburbs in collaboration with CIM and student ensembles.

As a presenter of chamber music, CCMS is unique in that volunteers and only one part-time paid secretary accomplish its work. The organization is supported by earned income from its endowment and generous donations from its members and friends as ticket income covers less that 50% of the costs of the concerts. The Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, which carries out the work of the organization between meetings of the Directors, govern the Cleveland Chamber Music Society. Their sense of mission and dedication are as strong today as when the organization was founded.

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