Chamber Music Society of Detroit connects musicians and fans during pandemic
Tens of thousands of music fans in 46 states and 51 countries have viewed concerts from the Chamber Music Society of Detroit and its co-presenters since they started live-streaming in mid-March.
Dubbed CameraMusic, the webcast program has reached more than 100,000 viewers, with an average of around 7,700 per concert. CMSD has teamed up with local institutions like the Michigan Opera Theater, Wayne State University and the Grosse Pointe War Memorial as well as national arts organizations.
While the concerts are free to view, the talent is compensated for the performances. More than $60,000 has been distributed to the artists, collected by CMSD and collaborating organizations
Chamber Music Society of Detroit's president Stephen Wogaman said the organization is "surprised and gratified" by the reaction locally and nationally. He also points out that because these concerts are online, they aren't limited to just a local audience. He's seeing the positive impact of the webcast program come through in many ways.
"When you reach more people in three and a half months as you normally do in four-five years; when a 40-year member of the Juilliard String Quartet makes a personal contribution to support your project, and another artist asks a foundation in another city to send you a grant; when some concert presenters call you for advice on their own webcasting projects, and other music businesses start quietly copying your approach; you know you’re really having an impact," he said.
Wogaman says what separates CameraMusic from other streaming concerts is the collaboration effort. With co-presenters across the country promoting and broadcasting the events to their own audiences, it's helped boost the audience and the contribution that can be made to the artists.
"The Chamber Music Society of Detroit is the inventor of the model, and the leader now of what has become a unique national movement to keep chamber music audiences engaged, and artists employed, during the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.
Some of the musicians seen as part of CameraMusic since mid-March include pianist Marc-Andre Halelin, duo Jamie Laredo and Sharon Robinson and Mack Avenue Records recording artists and pianist Aaron Diehl, who played for more than 12,000 viewers from his studio in Brooklyn in April. All past streams are available for viewing in the CMSD's CameraMusic archive online at chambermusicdetroit.org/cameramusic-archive.
The next live-streamed concert is Saturday's offering from cellist Julia Bruskin and pianist Aaron Wunsch. The duo will start at 8 p.m. performing Beethoven works and Debussy's three pieces for cello and piano.
On July 18 hear pianist Michelle Cann play Chopin's Ballade in A-flat major, Florence Price's Piano Sonata in E minor and the solo piano version of "Rhapsody in Blue" from Gershwin. Recent Grammy Award-winners the Attacca Quartet are set for July 25 with music from Caroline Shaw plus Haydn's String Quartet in in C major, Op. 74, No. 1 and Beethoven's Grosse Fuge, Op. 133.
Chamber Music Society of Detroit
7:30 p.m. "doors open," 8 p.m. concert
Saturday: Cellist Julia Bruskin and pianist Aaron Wunsch
July 18: Pianist Michelle Cann
July 25: The Attacca Quartet