Biographical / Historical
Early in 1938, Dwight Anderson, dean of the School of Music, along with new faculty member Gerhard Herz, determined that Louisville needed professional chamber music. Before the end of the year, Anderson, along with philanthropist Morris Belknap and other local music lovers raised $1000 and put together the first concert of the Chamber Music Society of the University of Louisville. The Society put on Sunday afternoon concerts to this day, first in the U of L Playhouse until 1976, then at the Speed Museum, and finally, from 198? to the present, in the North Recital Hall of the School of Music.
In 1946, Emilie S. Smith, Fanny Brandeis, and Herz, continued Anderson's work. Brandeis and Smith managed the books, ticket sales, and logistics, while Herz, a Bach scholar, focused on designing the programs for each new season. Due to his extensive contacts, Herz was able to bring in acclaimed musicians, such as the Budapest String Quartet and the Juilliard Quartet, while keeping costs down, so that tickets where priced to what students could afford. With the shift in management, the Society was incorporated and determined to be no longer a "part of" the University of Louisville, but "affiliated with" the university. For over fifty years, the society's elegant concerts have been a staple of Louisville's cultural life and some portion of the city's reputation as a cultural center derives from the appearances of internationally acclaimed artist.