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A (very brief) history of Ipswich Chamber Music Society


Ipswich Chamber Music Society was founded in 1925 by Martin Slater and Hendrik Spruytenburg (pictured L to R) with the intention of bringing to Ipswich live performances of the best chamber music at affordable prices. Among our earliest visitors were the all-female Wilson Quartet, the Léner Quartet (who made the first complete recording of Beethoven’s string quartets) and the Griller Quartet. The concerts continued throughout World War II, when they were held in the afternoons to avoid the hazards of night-time blackouts. Dame Myra Hess, the celebrated pianist and organiser of the famous wartime concerts at the National Gallery in London, gave a recital for us during this period.

Martin Slater     Hendrik Spruytenburg

Over the course of its history ICMS has played host to many of the world’s leading chamber ensembles. Among the string quartets the extensive and ever-growing list includes, in addition to those already mentioned, the Aeolian, Allegri, Amadeus, Brodsky, Carducci, Coull, Endellion, Henschel, Janáček, Lindsay, Maggini, Sacconi, Vanbrugh, Vegh and Ysaÿe Quartets. Other groups who have performed for us include the Kungsbacka and Busch Piano Trios, Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, Nash Ensemble, Hausmusik and Zephyr Winds, to name just a few from the past decade or so.


In 2000 a booklet was published to celebrate the Society’s 75th anniversary, and a copy of it can be downloaded here.


A member of Ipswich Arts Association and affiliated to Making Music (formerly the National Federation of Music Societies), ICMS is run by a small and enthusiastic committee, several of whom are practising musicians.

ICMS Committee 2023-2024

Chairman Andrew Leach

Secretary Libby Cotton

Treasurer Sheila Pugh

Terry Bird, Viola Jones, Alan Loader, John Pulham, Martin Stevens

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