A New Model for the Performing Arts

Esme Quartet

Our Mission

The mission of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society is to engage our community in a life more beautiful through the shared experience of chamber music. Every season, PCMS presents 50 performances by world-renowned musicians representing a broad spectrum of ages, ethnicities, nationalities, and cultural perspectives from throughout this region and around the world. To inspire young people and strengthen community collaborations, PCMS also arranges an extensive education program of artist visits, masterclasses, and pre-concert talks for learners of all ages, and collaboratively curates pre- and post-concert experiences to welcome new and returning audiences.


Our Vision

The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society will always:

•  Foster connections between artists and audiences to share experiences that are fundamentally human, yet transcendent.

•  Reduce barriers by maintaining low ticket prices and provide a welcoming concert experience, so everyone can attend PCMS performances.

•  Identify today’s most gifted and deserving artists and provide them with vital artistic opportunities and exposure.

•  Work intentionally to mirror the demographics of our region on our stages, in our administration, and in our audiences.


Our Values

•  World-class artistry

•  Affordability

•  Inclusivity

•  Welcoming concert environment

•  Exceptional customer service

Our History

Since its founding by Anthony Checchia in 1986, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society has presented more than 1,700 concerts, commissioned 60 new works, and presented 100 world premieres. Great artists, compelling repertoire, affordable prices, and a friendly and welcoming community have been the hallmarks of this organization from the beginning.

Our annual concert season features eminent string quartets and other ensembles, renowned pianists, great string and woodwind recitalists, an acclaimed art song series, early music, new music, guitarists, and a rich diversity of programming. The Society is a founding resident company of Ensemble Arts Philly, with more than 30 concerts in the Perelman Theater each year, and presents performances also in collaborations with the American Philosophical Society, Musical Fund Society, and other cultural institutions.

Each season, to enrich the lives of young people, we also present more than 50 education and outreach programs and distribute more than 800 free student tickets. These programs, along with our commitment to affordable pricing, are opening doors to participation in the arts—building new audiences, enthusiasm, and support.


The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society has taken the lead as the city's constant reminder that it's all about artists and repertoire. In fact, without a single concession, the scale and quality of the series is unlike anything else in the country. Peter Dobrin
It may be obvious to anyone who regularly attends Philadelphia Chamber Music Society concerts, but it’s even more clear now: Feeling part of a group reinforces the relationship with art. To stand in the lobby of the Kimmel Center at intermission and overhear a conversation about the sound quality cultivated by a particular pianist or string quartet is an exhilarating thing. Over time, you befriend audience members, you develop ways of talking about the art, and it changes your musical values. Peter Dobrin
PCMS deserves credit for sheer scope and vision. The chamber music setting need not be small on ideas... and those ideas can marry intellectualism with old-fashioned musical enjoyment. Cameron Kelsall

In Their Own Words

"PCMS is really a society, or even a family. The intimate concert settings, the focus that the audience brings to the performances, the quality of the staff, and the fact that we are welcomed at every single concert speaks volumes as to the personal nature of the experience. Classical performances can sometimes err on the side of making the audience member feel anonymous, and at PCMS you really feel you're a part of the experience."
Emily Collier

Patron since 2009

Linda Jan & Richard Leung

In Their Own Words

“The music and camaraderie at PCMS have kept our souls enlightened and fulfilled in surprising ways. The flexibility of the passes allows this experience to seamlessly integrate with our busy schedules.”
Linda Jan and Richard Leung

Season Pass Holders

In Their Own Words

"After 25 years of attending PCMS concerts, it is not unusual to see the audience profoundly connected to the performers, to the music, and to each other, as though we were all breathing at the same rate, drawing all of us into the intimacy of the experience. This is a hallmark of PCMS concerts. They are a central part of our life in Philadelphia."
John Higgins

Patron since 1992

In Their Own Words

"Few other series compare to PCMS in the diversity and breadth of their programming and in their commitment to the affordability and accessibility of great music. It shows in how welcoming, open-minded, and committed the PCMS audiences are."
Emilie-Anne Gendron

Momenta String Quartet

In Their Own Words

"The work of PCMS and the many international artists that they bring to the Philadelphia region directly dovetails with our mission to highlight the rich global activity of the city and promote the development of an international consciousness within the region."
Zabeth Teelucksingh

Executive Director, Global Philadelphia

In Their Own Words

"The Student Pass program at PCMS offers the only affordable way that I have been able to attend concerts that I am most interested in. The musicians are amazing, and every concert has been most enjoyable."
Matthew Lucas

Student Pass Holder