PCMS 30th Anniversary Gala Recap

By Brian Potter on March 31, 2016
Anthony P. Checchia

On March 24, 2016, PCMS paid tribute to our founder, Anthony P. Checchia, with a special 30th Anniversary Celebration concert at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater. Pianists Richard Goode and Jonathan Biss; violinist Mark Steinberg; cellist Peter Wiley; clarinetist Anthony McGill; soprano Sarah Shafer; and the Brentano Quartet performed works by Haydn, Schubert and Dvořák. Tony was also honored with a bronze plaque on Broad Street's Walk of Fame, presented by the Philadelphia Music Alliance.

Classical music critics Peter Dobrin,  Tom Di Nardo and Bernard Jacobson all reflected on Tony's accomplishments in feature articles and reviews of this milestone concert. Excerpts from and links to these articles are below.

Anthony Checchia and Chamber Society celebrate 30 years together (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"'We want the public to hear great music at prices they can afford.' That has been Anthony Checchia's mantra, whether founding the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society 30 years ago, or presenting concerts 25 years before that. The society has become the largest presenter of chamber music in the country, now giving 60 concerts of major artists each season...."—Tom Di Nardo (read the full article)

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society founder Anthony Checchia, the city's 'artistic north star,' celebrated (Philadelphia Inquirer)

"Having great chamber music easily accessible a couple of times a week in town is greeted as the natural order of things. But it was hardly inevitable, and is largely thanks to one man: Anthony P. Checchia, founding artistic director of the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. Checchia's modesty has obscured the scale of his feat; PCMS, now 30 years old, is presenting about 60 concerts per season...." —Peter Dobrin (read the full article)

 The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society Celebrates its 30th Anniversary (Seen and Heard International)

How does one review a love-fest? Yes, this was a concert, and a concert with a very strong program performed by a highly distinguished line-up of musicians. But its chief raison d’être was to salute the man who founded the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society 30 years ago. Founding artistic director Anthony Checchia, associated also with the Marlboro Music Festival for many years, was present, as affable and dignified as ever, to receive the clearly devoted homage of the audience for whom he changed the face of Philadelphia when in 1986 he inaugurated what is surely the preeminent chamber music series in America....." —Bernard Jacobson (read the full article)

As stated in our 30th Anniversary Celebration program, we thank Tony for his vision, his commitment to the highest standards, his devotion to his native Philadelphia, his passion for music and musicians, and his deep commitment to making great music accessible to everyone.

Photo by Ed Hille / Philadelphia Inquirer