The Chamber Music Society was founded in 1979 when a small, civic-minded and enthusiastic group got together to discuss the notion of an organized series of chamber music events in St. Cloud. They were dedicated to the idea that as CMS founder Michael Barone said, “In things musical, bigger is not necessarily better.”

CMS has presented many of the world’s leading chamber ensembles, encompassing a spectacular range of repertoire and instrumentation. Many prominent performers have made their Minnesota debuts at our concerts, and members of the community have welcomed them at receptions, special events, school workshops, and master classes. Concerts have been held in halls ideal for the intimacy of chamber music, and listeners have been able to meet the artists at informal gatherings afterward. 

Until the 1995-96 season, the organization was run entirely by volunteers. As part of a three-year expansion program funded by a major grant from Chamber Music America (one of only six awarded nationwide that year), we were then able to hire an executive director; however, board members and volunteers continued to play an active role in both governance and “hands-on” logistical tasks at concerts.