Chamber Music Society of Detroit

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The Chamber Music Society of Detroit a Non-Profit Organization is one of the most prestigious presenters of world-class chamber music in the United States. In addition to 20 concerts each season featuring the world's most outstanding chamber ensembles and soloists, the Chamber Music Society offers pre-concert talks, three intimate and accessible concert venues with excellent acoustics.

Founded in 1944 by radio musical educator Dr. Karl Haas, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit began as an informal association of people brought together for the purpose of listening to chamber music. Dr. Haas instituted lectures (the forerunners to his "Adventures in Good Music" internationally syndicated radio programs) at the Detroit Public Library to inform the public about upcoming concerts. During its first ten seasons, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit (known in its earliest years as the Chamber Music Festival) presented its concerts at the Detroit Institute of Arts Lecture Hall. Until the late 1960s, Chamber Music Society of Detroit ensembles often comprised the first chair musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, including such artists as Josef Gingold and Mischa Mischakoff, as well as Dr. Haas himself as pianist.

In 1969, the leadership of the Chamber Music Society passed from Karl Haas to Dr. Zalman “Tiny” Konikow; from this point forward, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit invited touring artists and ensembles from around the globe to perform on its series. During his 25-year tenure as president, Tiny Konikow showcased the talents of many up-and-coming musicians. Most notable are the Chamber Music Society of Detroit's early presentations of Emanuel Ax, Gidon Kremer, Yo-Yo Ma, Murray Perahia and the Tokyo String Quartet, as well as near-annual performances by the Guarnieri Quartet and the Beaux Arts Trio. Under Tiny Konikow's leadership, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit played a crucial role in the preservation and renovation of Detroit's Orchestra Hall by becoming, in 1978, its first permanent tenant since the Detroit Symphony had left the hall decades before.

In 1995, Lois R. Beznos became President of the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, after serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees since 1987. Under Lois Beznos' tenure as president, the Chamber Music Society more than tripled its subscriber base and its budget while developing community collaborations, adding professional staff and instituting comprehensive education programs. She established a collaboration with the Wayne State University Department of Music in 1995, introducing master classes by Chamber Music Society of Detroit series artists. Gradually increasing its scope over the years, the education program has evolved into an intensive Two-Week Ensemble Residency Program encompassing 15 or more school and community collaborations throughout metropolitan Detroit.

In 1996, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, along with seven other Chamber music presenters in the United States, including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Freer Gallery of Art at the Smithsonian Institution, was selected to present in perpetuity the winner of the Cleveland Quartet Award. Then, in 2001, Lois Beznos worked with the members of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and nineteen other presenters nationawide to establish a biennial award to recognize and provide performance opportunities for a gifted early-career piano trio. The Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson International Trio Award continues to be managed by the Chamber Music Society of Detroit.

In December 2010, Lois R. Beznos stepped down from the presidency of the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. After a national search, she was succeeded by Dr. Stephen Wogaman, a pianist and former student of Beaux Arts Trio pianist Menahem Pressler.

Chamber Series

The Signature Series (9 Saturdays at 8pm) - Seligman Performing Arts Center at Detroit Country Day School, Beverly Hills

The Midtown Series (6 Fridays at 8pm) - Schaver Music Recital Hall at Wayne State University

The Oakland Series (5 Sundays at 3pm) - Varner Recital Hall at Oakland University

5470 Chene Street
Suite 205
Detroit, MI 48211

Ticket Line: (313) 335-3300
Main Office Line: (313) 335-3350
Main Office Fax: (313) 335-3349


External Links