In 1873, a group of five music-loving women began meeting informally to play and sing for each other in what became known as “The Amateur Musical Club.” Ensuing years witnessed phenomenal growth in both the size of the membership and the amount of musical activity. In an age prior to the existence of musical impresarios, the Amateur Musical Club acted in this capacity, presenting concerts by some of the greatest artists of the period, including Jan Paderewski, José Iturbi, Alexander Scriabin, Dame Myra Hess, Edward MacDowell and the noted American violinist Maud Powell, to mention a few.
The spirit of philanthropy and of supporting women musicians developed early in the club’s history. In 1893, the proceeds of a benefit concert were used to establish and maintain a music scholarship for young women. Thus began one of the most important traditions of Musicians Club of Women—an annual scholarship awards audition which assists young women in furthering their musical studies. In 1954, the Farwell Awards were established by a bequest from the estate of Ava W. Farwell, a soprano who was a member of the club until her death in 1931. Over the years, other generous individuals established scholarships awards. Annually, MCW offers scholarships awards to support talented young women in the highly competitive field of classical music.
Musicians Club of Women welcomes new members on an ongoing basis. As a member, you will be in contact with a vibrant Chicago community of musicians and music lovers as we further our mission of promoting women in music. Please visit How to Join for more information.