Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society
Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society. Organization founded in 1974 by Jan Narveson (a philosophy professor at the University of Waterloo). The society was primarily a concert venue for the Stratford Ensemble (Canadian Chamber Ensemble) 1974-6, but on occasion presented other groups, including the Orford String Quartet. When the Stratford Ensemble came entirely under the auspices of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the society presented 1976-80 regular dinner-concert combinations at Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo. Highlights included, in the 1977-8 season, the complete chamber music with piano of Beethoven (with Raffi Armenian at the piano) and in the 1978-9 season in the Theatre of the Arts at the University of Waterloo the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven performed by Anton Kuerti.
The KWCMS Music Room (in Narveson's home) was inaugurated in 1980 with a concert featuring Ofra Harnoy. The Music Room subsequently has been the location for most of the society's concerts; larger events are occasionally held in the Aird Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University.
In 1988, as a tribute to Jan Narveson, the KWCMS held a gala concert in the Wilfrid Laurier Theatre Auditorium featuring Moshe Hammer, James Campbell, Anton Kuerti, Kristine Bogyo and the Orford String Quartet. Proceeds from this concert were used toward the purchase of a new Steinway piano for the Music Room. Other featured concerts have featured the Bartók and Borodin String Quartets, violinist Joshua Bell, pianist Janina Fialkowska, and cellist Stephen Isserlis. Presentations have included many all-Beethoven and all-Haydn concerts, an all-Mozart concert (in 1991), and concerts of music by Canadian and women composers.
The KWCMS encourages the involvement of the community by annually inviting members of the KW Community Orchestra to present chamber concerts. Other efforts to support amateur performers were made in 1993, with the inauguration of a summer chamber music workshop for young artists. The following year witnessed the first chamber music concert by members of the KW Chamber Orchestra. The KWCMS is one of the busiest chamber music organizations in Canada.
Concerts are broadcast weekly on the program "The World of Chamber Music" on the University of Waterloo radio station, CKMS-FM, and some of them have been made into privately distributed cassette or compact disc recordings (including a pair of CDs of Schubert piano sonatas performed by Kuerti).
Since its inception in 1974, the KWCMS has had a board of directors. Original members included Jan Narveson, Hugh and Pat Smyth, Marek Irland, Beryl Hultin, and Tom and Lynn Certin.