Zimmermann's Café Chamber Music

There is a large community of highly trained classical composers living in the southeast portion of Florida whose work is deserving of more recognition and quality performances that can be attended by the people who live in this area. As in many other areas of the country, chamber ensembles and orchestral groups underperform the works of living composers, and of American composers in general.

In October 2016, South Florida composers Clare Shore and Greg Stepanich decided to take action and bring our music to the people who live here; we co-founded Zimmermann’s Café Chamber Music, a series in Palm Beach County, FL, and presented the inaugural event, featuring new music by living South Florida composers performed by South Florida musicians.

Our idea was to present musical events in an informal fashion in a space not normally used as a “concert” venue and to have the composers on hand to talk about our pieces and converse with the audience between works. We planned to provide substantial refreshments as well, taking our cue (as well as our name) from the man whose coffee shop in 18th-century Leipzig hosted the collegium musicum founded by Telemann and directed by J.S. Bach.

We plan to present at least two or three of these events a year especially during the  “season,” when the fall and winter population swells here as chilled northerners head south. Taking advantage of the large pool of professional performers on hand to participate in these concerts, we can further establish South Florida as a good place to find interesting new music.

In presenting new music by local composers, sitting those composers down with an interested audience, and building an organization to host this music, we believe we can help raise the national artistic profile of South Florida as a place where the arts are flourishing. In the long run, raising that profile means economic development for the region and the state.

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