The Friends of Chamber Music of Reading, Inc. (FOCM) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to foster classical chamber music of the highest caliber, and to make these great achievements of the human spirit accessible to persons throughout the greater Reading community free of charge. From its inception in 1953, the FOCM has presented a series of concerts performed by professional musicians of extremely high stature and expertise, originally offering two such concerts each year.
For the first twenty-five years these concerts featured the Curtis String Quartet, sometimes joined by friends and colleagues, and were supported by voluntary patron contributions. The Quartet chose to apply these funds to the endowment of Philadelphia’s New School of Music, which was founded and administered by Curtis Quartet members.
Now in our 70th season, we have expanded to present eight professional ensembles each season, and we have maintained a voluntary, loyal patron base (solicited through our season brochure) as our primary means of support. We are committed to maintaining this unique model, presenting our concerts with no admission fee, truly accessible to everyone in our community.
We are fortunate to receive generous grant support from the Reading Musical Foundation, the Presser Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (administered through the Berks Arts Council).
The Friends of Chamber Music of Reading seeks to foster chamber music of the highest caliber, and to make these achievements of the human spirit accessible to persons young and old throughout the greater Reading community.
Goals (in support of the Mission):
- Curating compelling concerts by eminent professional ensembles and cultivating ongoing relationships with these extraordinary musicians
- Offering a series of these concerts in a beautiful, acoustically rewarding space, without charge, to anyone who is interested and creating the conditions for an informed and intimate dialogue between listeners and performers.
- Bringing these artists into the schools of Berks County to educate and inspire the rising generation of musicians and music lovers.
- Enlisting the passion and support of patrons young and old, great and small, who sustain this Mission.
Board of Directors
Suzanne Palmer, Esq.
Ellen K. Shapiro
James G. Mathis, M.D.
John R. Pankratz, Ph.D.
Immediate Past President
Penelope P. Proserpi
Neil Hoffman, M.D.
Thomas B. Souders, M.D.