History of the Chicago Chamber Music Society

The Chicago Chamber Music Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering chamber music in our city, was founded in 1935 by a group of prominent women who were officers of a music group called The Russian Trio, to provide a venue for gifted Chicago musicians. As the Society’s first beneficiary The Russian Trio (renamed the Pro Musica Trio in 1948) performed several series of concerts into the late 1950s. Over time CCMS expanded its reach to include not only local groups but those of national and international renown.

Early CCMS Program Directors included Mrs. Moise Dreyfus, Ms. Rose de Moulin, Impressario Harry Zelser, Sara Zelser (his wife), Mrs. Frank Ruehle, and, since 2007, Ms. Gay Stanek.

To commemorate the Chicago Millennium, the CCMS Board of Directors, under the leadership of then-president, Joanne Schroeder, commissioned a chamber piece by Chicago journalist and composer, Dan Tucker, who set to music a charming short story by Carl Sandburg, “Up in Rootabaga County.” Performed by the Chicago Ensemble at the Chicago Cultural Center in September, 1999, it was read and performed again at a dedication ceremony in February, 2007, at which time the original score was deposited in the CCMS Archive at the Newberry Library.

To celebrate its 75th season, CCMS invited graduate music composition students from Chicago universities to submit works from which we would select a composer to write a new composition for string quartet to be played at our evening concert. A small group of our Board members and Augusta Read Thomas, composer and University Professor from the University of Chicago, evaluated the submissions and selected Ben Hjertmann, a graduate student from Northwestern University, for the commission. Mr. Hjertmann’s composition, “Eos”, was performed by the Borromeo Quartet at our celebratory concert in April, 2012.

With the support of its subscribers and friends, the Chicago Chamber Music Society, now in its 86ᵗʰ year, continues to present four outstanding concerts each season.

Julia Schmidt, Board President

Julia Schmidt, Board President

Board of Directors

Julia Schmidt, President

Margaret McCamant, Executive Vice President
Gay Stanek, Vice President, Programs
Elizabeth Stein, Vice President, Outreach
Joan Blew, Treasurer
Lee Hamilton, Corresponding Secretary
Marie Levesque, Recording Secretary
Laura Spingola, Member-at-Large

Pat Alberding

Barbara Bermudez

M.J. Black

Joan Blew

Leora Douraghy

Erika Erich

Ethel Gofen

Lee Hamilton

Mary Houston

Jill Isselhard

Paula Kiefer

Diana Hunt King

Marie Levesque

Margaret McCamant

Patricia Young McKinlay

Theodora Kanellos Nicolandis

Christina Ochs

Marina Phelps

Missy Ravid

Heather Refetoff

Joyce Ruth Saxon

Julia Schmidt

Joanne Schroeder

Laura M. Spingola

Gay Stanek

Elizabeth Stein

Susie Stein

Lynn Urstadt

Dorianne Venator

Carilane Vieregg

Nancy Voss

Jane Stroud Wright


Adaskin String Trio

Alon Goldstein

Amelia Piano Trio

American Chamber Players

American String Quartet

Atos Trio

Borromeo String Quartet

Brentano String Quartet

Cavatina Duo

Daedalus String Quartet

Degas Quartet

Dorian Wind Quintet

Dover String Quartet

Eden-Stell Guitar Duo

Escher String Quartet

Euclid Quartet

Fine Arts Quartet

Heath Quartet

Hugo Wolf Quartet

Jasper String Quartet

Julliard String Quartet

Jupiter String Quartet

Kouzov Duo

Lark Quartet

Manhattan String Quartet

Merz Piano Trio

Miami String Quartet

Minguet Quartet

Miro Quartet

Modigliani Quartet

Morgenstern Trio

Moscow String Quartet

Orion Ensemble

Osiris Piano Trio

Pacifica Quartet

Poulenc Trio

Prazak Quartet

Prima Trio

Quintet Attacca

Schumann Quartet

Smetana Trio

St. Lawrence String Quartet

St. Petersburg Quartet

Telegraph String Quartet

Trio con Brio Copenhagen

Trio Solisti

Vienna Piano Trio

Zodiac Trio