Chamber Music America announces recipients of CMAcclaim Award

San Francisco and Brooklyn organizations cited for extraordinary cultural impact in their communities
Contact: Amanda Ameer

New York, NY — Chamber Music America (CMA) has announced the recipients of its 2010 CMAcclaim Awards. These honors recognize individuals or organizations whose achievements in the ensemble music field have had a significant and lasting impact on their community or region.

Two organizations— San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music (SFFCM), in San Francisco, CA, and Bargemusic in Brooklyn, NY—will receive the honor this year.

San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music was founded in 1997 by Bay Area music patrons Jane Roos Le Roux, Jane Galante and Barbara Barclay. The three women recognized that while chamber music ensembles contributed significantly to the San Francisco Bay Area’s cultural life, the groups generally lacked the tools and staffing to develop audiences and to garner the contributed support that larger arts organizations are organized to seek. The founders saw a distinct need for a local service organization to support the ensemble art form; and in 1998, they formed San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music.

Shortly afterward SFFCM launched its Affiliate Program—a fiscal sponsorship arrangement that enables affiliated ensembles to use its 501(c)(3) non-profit status to fundraise from individuals and foundations for chamber music projects. SFFCM’s diverse affiliate roster now includes over forty early, classical, jazz, new music and world-music ensembles.

In 2008, SFFCM inaugurated its Musical Grant Program. Now in its third cycle, this re-granting program awards up to $3,000 each to Bay Area-based ensembles for their chamber music projects. Another program, Chamber Music Encounters, offers ensemble coaching to middle- and high-school students. And each September, SFFCM presents Chamber Music Day. This year, 32 groups will give six hours of free performances on three different stages. SFFCM also provides free career-guidance workshops for local chamber ensembles.

Margaret M. Lioi, CMA’s chief executive officer, will present the CMAcclaim Award to SFFCM during this year’s Chamber Music Day—Sunday, September 12—at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

In a 2009 proclamation, Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York, described Bargemusic as "one of our city's greatest cultural institutions." Founded by violinist Olga Bloom in 1977, Bargemusic is New York's only floating concert hall, moored in Brooklyn at the Fulton Ferry Landing, right at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Under the aegis of Mark Peskanov, president, executive and artistic director, the organization presents four-plus performances each week, 52 weeks a year. Its concerts, offering a mix of emerging artists and seasoned veterans, have been acclaimed in The New York Times, The Financial Times, The New Yorker and other prestigious media outlets. This past summer, Bargemusic instituted a series of weekday afternoon "Music in Motion" concerts, with free admission for children. The organization further serves its community by offering free tickets to select groups, along with a free concert each month.

Bargemusic’s CMAcclaim Award presentation will take place during its fall 2010 season in Brooklyn.

Chamber Music America, the national service organization for the ensemble music profession, was founded in 1977 to promote artistic excellence and the economic stability of the field, and to ensure that chamber music, in its broadest sense, is a vital part of American life. 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 funding programs, CMA provides its members with consulting services, access to health and instrument insurance, conferences, seminars and several publications, including the bimonthly magazine, Chamber Music, and a website, www.chamber-music.org.