Highlights In History

The First Twenty Years

1941: The Guild is founded by a group of about twenty local professional musicians and music lovers

April 25, 1941: First concert, presented in the Raleigh Little Theatre. Artists: Edgar and Dorothy Alden, Charlotte Houston Atkinson, Herbert Bird, violins; Katherine Eide, William Klenz, Peter Farrell, cellos; Christian Kutschinski, Julia Mueller, Paul Oncley, violas; Henry Bruinsma, double bass; Aileen McMillan, Dorothy Phelps, piano

1941: Season Subscription (3 concerts) is $2.00

1941-42: Expenses for six concerts are less than $500.00

1942-46: Concerts suspended as wartime duties took many musicians away from Raleigh

September 1947: Re-organized and concerts moved to St. Mary’s College auditorium

January 22, 1949: Juilliard String Quartet is the first non-local ensemble presented

1949-50: Season concerts moved to Meredith College Auditorium

1953-54: Budapest String Quartet gave its first concert in Raleigh

1957-58: Began the tradition of presenting all artists from outside the Triangle area. (Subsequently, there were, and are, occasional exceptions.)

1961-62: 20th anniversary season. Artists’ Fees: $2,750 (5 concerts)


The Second Twenty Years

1962-63: Season Concerts moved to the ballroom of Erdahl-Cloyd Student Union at NCSU

1969-70: Winston Music Collection (RCMG Archive) was established at NCSU

1971-72: 30th anniversary season.

1971: Guild becomes a 501 (c)(3) corporation, with tax-exempt, non-profit status

1972: RCMG Endowment was established, with an initial contribution of $100,  to provide basic operating support

1972: Concerts were moved to Stewart Theatre at NCSU


The Third Twenty Years

1981-82: 40th anniversary season

1984: Guild commissions its first work, a string quartet/guitar composition from Peter Klausmeyer

1985: Ellen Black Winston Trust Fund is established as a result of a $100,000 bequest, with income used to defer costs of one annual memorial concert in Ellen Winston’s name in perpetuity.

1986: First part-time Manager hired

1989: First office at Artspace in downtown Raleigh

1991-92: 50th anniversary season. Annual budget is $45,000. Season subscription (five concerts) is $50

1991-93: General decline in audience size. Guild hires a consultant and develops a strategic plan.

1993: Office moves to 112 South Blount Street

1994-95: Concerts moved to the new Fine Arts Center at Ravenscroft School. Subscriptions increase by 70%. Annual 3-4 day mini-residencies by world renowned artists begin.

1997: The rcmg.org website is launched. Volunteer webmaster is Doug Short.

1999: Sights and Sounds on Sundays series, featuring NC ensembles, debuts at the North Carolina Museum of Art, our cosponsor. Guild office moves to 336 Fayetteville St. Mall, #411.

2000: Guild develops a new strategic plan

2001: A three-year, $150,000 endowment fund drive is launched

2001-02: 60th anniversary season. Annual operating budget is $102,350. Season subscription is $75. Masters Series moves to the new A. J. Fletcher Opera Theater in the BTI Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh. Season opens with the Eroica Trio playing the world premiere of a work commissioned from Scott Warner


The Next Ten Years

2004: Debut of Sept. Prelude Chamber Music Festival of the Triangle, in collaboration with UNC and Duke.

2006: 2001 Endowment reaches $175,000

2008: Guild’s office moves to 227 W. Martin Street; Executive Director becomes full-time

2010: Sights & Sounds concert by Carolina Brass is part of  grand opening activities of NCMA’s West Building with a work commissioned from J. Mark Scearce

2011-12: 70th anniversary season, marked by commission from Richard Danielpour, the first out-of-state composer.  Annual budget is $155,000. Artists’ fees are $88,680

2011: New September Prelude collaboration with NC Central University where the Harlem Quartet receives tremendous ovation from faculty and students and bravos from audiences  at UNC, St. Ambrose Episcopal Church and RCMG. Over 700 orchestra students from seven Wake County schools welcome the Quartet at Ligon GT Magnet Middle School in Raleigh.

2012: Offerings included the Tokyo and Parker Quartets, Imani Winds, and Ignat Solzhenitsyn. Master classes for student musicians were offered as well as outreach by Imani Winds.

2013: Appearances by the Daedalus and Jerusalem Quartets, Rachel Barton Pine, American Chamber Players, and a residency by Ghanaian-American pianist William Chapman Nyaho.

2014: Ensemble-in-Residence, the Oak City String Quartet, is formed and RCMG introduces house concerts.

2015: Chamber Music Raleigh debuts!