Friends of Chamber Music
The Friends of Chamber Music. Vancouver music club formed in 1948 to promote chamber music, and one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Vancouver. Ida Halpern was the founding president; other founding members included the banker Alec Walton (composer William Walton's brother) and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Albert Steinberg, who prepared the first concert, given 13 May 1948. The Friends have increased their program from four concerts a year to 10 and have continued to present major international chamber ensembles, often including Canadian artists. Membership, by subscription, is limited by the size of the Vancouver Playhouse, which seats 650. In 1954 the organization began to sponsor an annual Young Musicians' Competition, which features youthful chamber ensembles. The club occasionally features a summer series dedicated to the performance of works by an individual composer.