The Ensemble Music Society was formed in the winter of 1944 by a nucleus of civic-minded music lovers who met in the Herron Art Museum on 16th Street, which later became the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Guided by Leonard Strauss who with Ferdinand Schaefer had worked to establish the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, they decided to officially form a chamber music society to bring a regular season of chamber music concerts to Indianapolis. They selected the name, Ensemble Music Society of Indianapolis, and formed an organizational committee. The first concert was announced for the following April in the Indiana War Memorial concert hall.
The mission of this organization is to present a regular series of chamber music concerts each season in Indianapolis with internationally-known touring and recording artists. Often the ensembles are also very generous and gifted teachers. So from the first meeting, our mission has included promoting music education in the schools by taking the visiting ensembles into the schools throughout Indianapolis with lectures and demonstrations for students. There is no charge to the students or schools. Click to learn more about the Chamber Music in Schools program.
We remain an all-volunteer organization. The thousands of volunteer hours given annually by our board keep expenses down and ticket prices reasonable. We now give our concerts in the Indiana Historical Society in downtown Indianapolis.