Chamber Music Organizations to Receive National Award

For Immediate Release
Contact: Gina Izzo
212-242-2022 ext. 5291

Ensemble and Presenter Cited for Extraordinary Cultural Impact in Their Communities

New York, NYChamber Music America (CMA) has announced the recipients of its 2013 CMAcclaim Award, which recognizes organizations whose achievements in the ensemble music field have had a significant impact in their community or region.

Two organizations have been selected to receive the honor: the Portland String Quartet, in Maine, and Friends of Chamber Music, in Portland, Oregon.  CMA will travel to present the awards in the recipients’ home communities, in recognition of the outstanding contributions of each in its own region.

Since 1969, the Portland String Quartet (PSQ) has performed hundreds of concerts in the Greater Portland area and throughout Maine.  Brought together as principal players in the Portland Symphony Orchestra under the direction of maestro Paul Vermel, the ensemble was initially called The Portland Symphony String Quartet.  In their dual roles as chamber musicians and orchestral players, the PSQ members established a concert series and teaching studios in Portland, gave youth concerts in schools throughout Maine, and went on to conduct residencies at the University of Southern Maine and at Colby College, in Waterville. The PSQ was ensemble-in-residence at Colby for 20 years.  The quartet has also held seminars and concerts at each of the University of Maine system campuses, and, through an annual concert series, helped establish the Damariscotta Arts Council.  The PSQ holds quartet workshops at Boothbay Harbor, Saint Joseph's College in Standish, and at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in New Gloucester.   

The quartet will receive its award on March 24 at a concert presented by the LARK Society, which promotes chamber music in Maine through the Portland String Quartet’s performances and education programs.

Friends of Chamber Musiccelebrates its 75th anniversary this year. The longest-running chamber music series in the state of Oregon, it continues to bring world-renowned artists to the Portland community. Its Classic, Not So Classic, and Vocal Arts series are complemented by its multifaceted education and outreach activities, which reach student as well as adult audiences.  The organization also boasts a poet laureate—currently Margaret Chula—who creates original poems capturing the essence of each concert.  The poems are posted on the Friends’ website and Facebook page in an effort to enhance the listeners’ experience.

The Friends of Chamber Music will receive its award later this year.

“The accomplishments of the Portland String Quartet and the Friends of Chamber Music inspire all of us involved in chamber music,” said Margaret M. Lioi, CMA’s Chief Executive Officer. “Their achievements reflect Chamber Music America’s efforts to foster an appreciation and understanding of chamber music throughout the country. Not only do these organizations offer excellent concerts, but they also are committed to serving their local and regional communities through their work with young, as well as seasoned, audiences. Chamber Music America is proud to honor them both.”

Chamber Music America, the national network of chamber music professionals, was founded in 1977 to develop and strengthen an evolving chamber music community.  With a membership of over 6,000, including musicians, ensembles, presenters, artists’ managers, educators, music businesses, and advocates of ensemble music, CMA welcomes and represents a wide range of musical styles and traditions.  In addition to its awards, CMA provides its members with grant programs, consulting services, access to health and instrument insurance, conferences, seminars and several publications, including Chamber Music magazine. Visit www.chamber-music.org.