Brooklyn Chamber Music Society

Carmit Zori, Artistic Director

Carmit Zori,
Artistic Director

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The Brooklyn Chamber Music Society is a not-for profit organization founded in 2002, dedicated to bringing chamber music performances of the highest quality to Brooklyn.

BCMS Board of Directors:
Robert Buckholz
Naomi Gardner
Sarah Erlij
Patricia B. Park
Robert Rinehart
Richard Yancey
Carmit Zori

Advisory Board:
Jaime Laredo
Sharon Robinson


The New York Sun, May 19, 2003
Brooklyn Heart

by Adam Baer

The contemporary Brooklyn Renaissance - people leaving "the city" for Park Slope, the influx of strong restaurants and galleries - is old news by now, but it's still very new when it comes to the diffusion of quality classical music.

Sure, there's the Brooklyn Philharmonic, at new heights thanks to maestro Robert Spano; there's BAM and its new-music programs and multimedia events; and there's Bargemusic, the floating chamber music series docked under the Brooklyn Bridge. But it will be a while before Brooklyn is saturated with the high-test musical fuel that floods Manhattan, and it is with that notion in mind that I enjoyed the inaugural concert of the new Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, held Friday night in the intimate chapel of Brooklyn Height's First Unitarian Church on Monroe Place, just blocks from the promenade.

The Society is the pet project of Carmit Zori, a gifted Brooklyn-based Israeli violinist with fiery eyes and a determined grin who represents a sizeable and steady New York population: the seasoned, gifted virtuoso who moves from gig to gig. It is a truism that you could stop most anyone walking around with an instrument in New York and ask them to play only to hear the harmonious sounds of a highly talented musician. But due to her top-notch training, many competition prizes, and myriad performances (she's played extensively at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as well as at Bargemusic, where she used to serve as an artistic director), Ms Zori is much more than just one of New York's giggers: she like her colleagues in the city's upper echelon of freelance soloists and chamber musicians, is one of its treasures...

...Could it be that gutsy chamber music feels even gutsier in Brooklyn? It's an interesting question, even if you're assessing a program run by a practicing musician rather than an administrative board. For now I'll just say that a group composed of talented friends who get to play in a small room the way they want to is both a pretty powerful thing and one that's becoming less and less common on the other side of the river. The BCMS, with the same level of talent you get in more stuffy (and expensive) city concert halls, isn't just off to an ambitious galloping start that deserves admiration; it's proof of where New York's musical heart really lies.

Brooklyn Eagle, April 21, 2005
Building a Devoted Audience for a High Musical Art Form

by Jessica Mc Neill

Even with the myriad of events or functions that one could attend in Brooklyn on any given night, in 2002 our borough was still missing something. More specifically, the close-knit community of Brooklyn Heights was missing something: a chamber music society.

With the help of several members of the community, Carmit Zori, an accomplished violinist, started the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society (BCMS) and has spearheaded its growth over the past few years...

Zori, artistic director of the Society, had the support of many...including Keith O'Brien, a former director at BargeMusic, Judy Hazen, a loyal fan and music lover, Robert Rinehart, Carmit's husband, and Naomi Gardner, a long-time friend and real estate lawyer...

According to both Zori and Hazen, the Chapel at First Unitarian Church is the perfect space. It is able to seat 100-plus people, the acoustics are remarkable and the minister of the church is a former musician who was thrilled to invite the Society into the chapel.

Zori then had to invite several other musicians to play, which, according to Hazen, was not too difficult a task considering she has played all over the world and has a variety of talented musician friends. "Carmit and other talented musicians were willing to donate their performance to get this started," said Hazen. "The first concert was such a success we had people standing."

After several years, the musicians no longer need to play for free since they now have a slew of devoted supporters and contributors, but Zori still has her hands full.

She chooses the musicians for each monthly performance based on style, character, which will play well together and many other factors... "Carmit is very good at it," Hazen said. "It's not automatic that a soloist is also good at creating the programs that people will enjoy hearing. It's a separate skill." And Zori does it all out of what she calls "a labor of love." Although she said she gets pleasure out of every performance, chamber music is her "most beloved form of artistry."

"Chamber music is personal," she said. "It's the highest level of listening and collaboration..."