The CLEVELAND CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY was organized to bring ensembles of the highest quality to Cleveland for chamber music performances. Organized in 1949 by a small group of individuals, in 1951 the Chamber Music Society received a bequest from Grover Higgins "for one thing only, the nurturing of chamber music in some form—its creation, its interpretation, its publication and its nourishment." Alan S. Geismer served as the society's first president. Expanding its program from approx. 3 concerts a year from 1949-52, the society has presented a full series of 7 concerts per season since 1952. Favorite performing quartets and soloists have included the Guarneri, Julliard, Cleveland, and Tokyo quartets, the Bach Aria Group, the Beaux Arts Trio, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Robt. Veyron-Lacrois, and I Musici de Montreal. Concerts have been held mostly in auditoriums in the Univ. Circle area, but also in other locations such as Byron Jr. High School in SHAKER HTS. and Fairmount Temple in BEACHWOOD. In 1953 the society began a school concert program with the formation of the Symphonia Quartet and the participation of other ensembles, all working to communicate the appreciation of fine music to children of various ages and backgrounds. By 1968-69, the school program involved 82 concerts presented to 25,000 listeners, when it was consequently merged with Young Audiences, Inc., a national organization that shared the same educational objectives. The society has commissioned works by ARTHUR SHEPHERD, Normand Lockwood, Sterling Cumberworth, Pat Pace, Walter Aschaffenburg, and Matthias Bamert. The society's attendance for the 1993-94 season was 2,500. In 1995, it was headquartered at 2326 Belvoir Rd. in CLEVELAND HTS.

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