HISTORY OF THE CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF SALT LAKE CITY
In the fall of 1966, a group of University of Utah faculty members, some of whom were new to the area, were discussing how they missed the intimate and engaging musical experience of chamber music they had enjoyed elsewhere. They explored the possibility of bringing professional chamber ensembles to Salt Lake. This was when The Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City was born. Many, many people have made major contributions to the society since then. We are an all volunteer organization driven only by a love of the chamber music art form.
In our long history, the Society has used several venues. The Old Salt Lake Library (currently the Leonardo) from 1966-67 to 1969-70; the Fine Arts museum from 1970-71 to 1999-2000; and Libby Gardner Concert Hall from 2000-2001 to the present.
Our benefit to the local arts community has been, and continues to be, extremely noteworthy. Since the Juilliard Quartet performed our first concert in 1967, we have presented over 185 different ensembles featuring works by 200 different composers. We also arrange for visiting musicians to teach University of Utah music students, and we provide outreach to other budding musicians in the Salt Lake area. With one half of a century of history, that shows a considerable contribution to the local art environment. As a former U of U music major wrote:
My most treasured memories at the U were of Chamber Music Society Performances. In many ways they changed my life.
We bring in ensembles of the highest quality that could not otherwise be heard in this area. It is hard to name all of the outstanding groups we have brought to the city, however, stand-outs include the Guarneri Quartet and the Emerson Quartet. Both have been here multiple times.
Becky Durham of Utah Chamber Artists wrote:
We are fortunate to have such a resource available to us.The price is right, the venue exquisite, the artists are the best of the best and it’s all in our own backyard.
A local society of volunteers dedicated to great music, and that has survived over 53 years is worthy of commendation!