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Chicago Chamber Musicians Cancel 2014-15 Season

By Louise Burton l.burton@classicalite.com on Jun 30, 2014 04:35 PM EDT

The Chicago Chamber Musicians, long considered one of the finest chamber ensembles in the city, announced on Friday that they will discontinue all artistic activities at the close of the current fiscal year on August 31, and will not present a 2014-15 season.

John von Rhein reported in the Chicago Tribune that the 28-year-old group "had been battling audience decline and growing deficits over the last several seasons."

CCM Board Chair Michael Woolever said in a statement, "While CCM filled an important niche in Chicago's musical scene for many years, numerous factors have made it more and more difficult for CCM to avoid operational deficits in recent years, and CCM leadership decided to take a prudent approach and suspend artistic operations while we continue to be solvent."

CCM faced a predicament similar to that of a number of arts organizations across the country: what to do when faced with mounting deficits and audience attrition. The CCM board made the difficult decision to cancel the upcoming season, instead of going ahead and risking mounting debts. The ensemble must now consider what the next steps will be.

CCM's 13 resident ensemble artists, comprising winds, brass, strings and piano, are world-renowned soloists and performers with affiliations including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the faculties of several prominent area universities. The ensemble has had a reputation for excellence for 28 years and was one of the first Chicago chamber ensembles to offer a subscription series.

Charles Geyer, who has played the trumpet with CCM for 17 years, said in a statement "CCM led the way, when Chicago had virtually no chamber music series, to today where the city enjoys multiple groups and programs. I am grateful to our musicians, Board, staff and individual and institutional donors for making it possible to provide Chicago and beyond with 28 years of great chamber music performances."

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TagsChicago Chamber Musicians, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Michael Woolever, Chicago

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