My description of the Schubert Club – but what is yours?

By Barry Kempton


A few weeks ago, I was asked for a brief written description of the Schubert Club for someone unfamiliar with what we are.  Sounds easy!  But like the perfect elevator speech, it kept me busy for a lot longer than I thought it would.  Here it is:   

Schubert Club is not so much a club, but rather a community of music-lovers, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to presenting and supporting classical music and musicians, with a focus on solo recitals and chamber music.  Sixty concerts each year feature guest artists and ensembles of world renown as well as distinguished local musicians.  Not just a concert presenter, Schubert Club supports local music students with scholarships, and provides introductory music lessons and workshops for Twin Cities children who otherwise get little exposure to music learning.  A third focus, our Museum in Landmark Center with keyboard instruments from four centuries and handwritten letters from famous composers among its exhibits (attracting 8,000 visitors annually), makes us a truly unique entity.  What keeps this 135-year old organization thriving?  A passion for music and a sincere belief in the positive impact of music on the quality of life.

While writing it, I was reminded that this is an organization that wears a variety of hats.  Music-lovers in this community – indeed music enthusiasts from all over the country and abroad know us for different reasons.  It might be the concert series they have attended for many years, it might be because of a particular composer letter in our Museum collection which throws light on their academic research (as happened recently) or because they participated in Project CHEER or won a scholarship years ago.  Concerts, the Museum collection and music education are all important facets of the Schubert Club and each aspect has a long history.  Even the relatively new Schubert Club Museum will be 50 in less than 5 years!

In addition to identifying what we do, I also want the biography to convey a little of why we do it – the passion and interest in music which ties together all who participate as a community.

But this is just my description of the Schubert Club, and I know that others may see it differently.  I’d love to hear your portrayal of the Schubert Club and invite you to compose a paragraph and post it below in the comments. Try to keep to 150 words or fewer.  We will include some submissions on our website and in future issues of our program magazine An die Musik, and anyone who participates will be entered to win tickets to your choice of an upcoming concert in the 2016-2017 season. We’ll contact the winners by email at the very end of March.