2020: CMR Board Member & NCMA Foundation Trustee Mary J.C. Cresimore hosts a sold-out concert honoring John & Nancy Lambert and Joe & Elizabeth Kahn for their long-term commitment to CMR.  After that event, the COVID-19 pandemic forced our concert venue to close and CMR partnered with other presenters to offer the  remainder or the 78th Season and most of the 79th Season as virtual livestream events.  As soon as NC public gathering restrictions eased, CMR  hosted 2020 Grammy-winning ensemble Attacca Quartet on April 4, 2021 to kick off a Spring Outdoor Concert Series in acoustically-enhanced picnic shelters. 

                  THE FIRST

  • 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 

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • 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: Raleigh Chamber Music Guild becomes Chamber Music Raleigh.
  • 2016: Our new home, the North Carolina Museum of Art, becomes our venue for performing all concerts. C


  • April 25, 2021 - The Guild's 80th Anniversary Celebration at Cary's  Ritter Park featuring 2021 Grammy-winners Pacifica Quartet. It was the artists' first live concert post-pandemic.
  • September 24, 2021 - Long-time supporter and board President Elizabeth  A. Kahn (pictured above on the  far-right) passed away after a brief illness. There was a packed house for her memorial concert  at the  NC Museum of Art on Sunday, March 13, 2022. 
  • December 2021 - The last time there was an unsold seat for a Chamber Music Raleigh concert event.  GET YOUR TICKETS EARLY and come be a part of the action.