Dene and HazelDene Denny and Hazel Watrous
in their Carmel home, late 1940s.
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In 95 seasons we have presented more than
500 artists and ensembles in Carmel

In the 1920s, the musical life of the California's Monterey Peninsula consisted mainly of a few private at-home recitals each season and perhaps the occasional touring soloist. Two extraordinary women, Dene Denny and Hazel Watrous, moved to Carmel together in 1922 and saw a potential in the community for creating first-rate musical events.

First they booked concerts in their home (built for music - see the photo). Those first events were so successful that, in 1927, with a group of local friends and music lovers they established Carmel Music Society—an organization devoted to presenting an annual concert series featuring the world's finest performing artists and ensembles. (Eight years later, CMS was a co-sponsor of the first Carmel Bach Festival in 1935.)

The first Carmel Music Society season included pianist Walter Gieseking, followed in succeeding seasons by such legendary performers as Vladimir Horowitz, Igor Stravinsky, Jascha Heifitz, Arthur Rubinstein, Isaac Stern, Rudolf Serkin, and Itzhak Perlman. The complete roster of all 93 seasons is shown below.

One of the Society's founding objectives is to book exciting new performers as well as established artists. Sometimes we can do both! For example, Leontyne Price presented a solo recital in 1961 (age 33) and again a quarter century later in 1986.

In 2014, musician and author David Gordon published the definitive history of Carmel Music Society, the Carmel Bach Festival, music and theater in early Carmel, and the amazing Denny-Watrous friendship that made it all happen. David's book, Carmel Impresarios, is available from any book vendor. Learn more about this major cultural biography.


1927-28 Season
Hart House String Quartet
Walter Gieseking, Piano
Kathryn Meisle, Contralto
Reinald Werrenrath, Baritone
Horace Britt, Cello

London String Quartet
Alexander Brailowsky, Piano
Kedroff Vocal Quartet
Albert Spalding, Violin
Richard Buhlig, Piano
Fred Leedom Scott, Tenor

VIadimir Horowitz, Piano
Roth String Quartet
Smallman A Cappella Choir
Claire Dux, Soprano

Walter Gieseking, Piano
Aguilar Lute Quartet
Mina Hager, Contralto
Gregor Piatigorsky, Cello

Joseph Szigeti, Violin
Neah-Kah-Nie String Quartet
   and E. Robert Schmitz, Piano
Myra Hess, Piano
Harold Kreutzberg, Dancer

Summer Season 1932
Neah-Kah-Nie String Quartet
   and Harold Bauer, Piano
Monterey Peninsula Orchestra debut
Neah-Kah-Nie String Quartet
   and Ralph Linsley, Piano
Neah-Kah-Nie String Quartet
   with Dene Denny, Piano
   and Claire Upshaw, Soprano

Vienna Boys Choir
Michel Penha, Cello
Monterey Peninsula Orchestra
Florence Austral, Soprano
   and John Amadio, Flutist

1933 Summer Season
Pro Arte String Quartet (2 concerts)
Penha Piano Quartet (3 concerts)
Monterey Peninsula Orchestra (2 concerts)

Mischa Elman, Violin
Teresina, Spanish Dancer
Roland Hayes, Tenor
Walter Gieseking, Piano

1934 Summer Season
Winifred Christie, Piano
   (Moor double keyboard piano)
Penha Piano Quartet (3 concerts)
Monterey Peninsula Orchestra & Chorus

Don Cossack Chorus
Joseph Hoffman, Piano
Igor Stravinsky, Piano
   and Samuel Duschkin, Violin
Budapest String Quartet

1935 Summer Season
and First Carmel Bach Festival

Sascha Jacobinoff, Violin
Abas String Quartet
Gunnar Johansen, Piano
Waldeen, Dancer
Carmel Bach Festival (4 concerts)

Hart House String Quartet
Jascha Heifetz, Violin
Martha Graham, Dancer
Nino Martini, Tenor

Harold Bauer, Piano
Richard Crooks, Tenor
Nathan Milstein, Violin
Trudi Schoop Comic Ballet

Rudolf Serkin, Piano
Shan-Kar with Hindu Ballet
Nathan Milstein, Violin
Budapest String Quartet

Povla Frijsh, Soprano
Angna Enters, Dancer
Pasquier String Trio
Robert Casadesus, Piano

Ballet Caravan
San Francisco Trio
   and Lawrence Strauss, Tenor
Artur Rubinstein, Piano
Robert Virovai, Violin

Argentinita with Spanish Ensemble
Sylvia Lent, Violin
Dorothy Maynor, Soprano
Vronsky & Babin, Duo-Pianos

Lotte Lehmann, Soprano
Germaine Leroux, Piano
The Trapp Family Singers
Gregor Piatigorsky, Cello
Ross Worsley, Bass Baritone

Carmen Amaya & Gypsy Ensemble
Witold Malcuzynski, Piano
Roland Hayes, Tenor
Belgian Piano Quartet

Paul Draper, Dancer
   and Larry Adler, Harmonicist
Alexander Brailowsky, Piano
Horace Britt Trio
Ezio Pinza, Bass

Robert Casadesus, Piano
Roth String Quartet
Anne Brown, Soprano
Erica Morini, Violin

Jan Peerce, Tenor
San Francisco Opera Ballet
Adolf Baller, Piano
Alexander Schneider, Violin
   and Ralph Kirkpatrick, Harpsichordist
Andres Segovia, Guitarist

Jussi Bjoerling, Tenor
Guiomar Novaes, Piano
Maggie Teyte, Soprano
Trudi Schoop, Comic Ballet
Rudolph Firkusny, Piano
The Alma Trio

Markova and Dobin, Ballet
Jacques Thibaud, Violin
Marian Anderson, Contralto
Benno Moiseiwitsch, Piano
Martial Singher, Baritone

Harald Kreutzberg, Dancer
Jennie Tourel, Mezzo-Soprano
Joseph Schuster, Cello
Rudolf Firkusny, Piano
Nathan Milstein, Violin

Pierre Bernac, Baritone
   and Francis Poulenc, Piano
Pro Musica Antiqua
Dorothy Warenskjold, Soprano
Maryla Jonas, Piano
Griller String Quartet

Tropicana Ballet
Intimate Opera Company
Gregor Piatigorsky, Cello
Erica Morini, Violin
Lili Kraus, Piano
Bidu Sayao, Soprano

Yi-Kwei-Sze, Bass-Baritone
Yehudi Menuhin, Violin
Shan-Kar with Hindu Ballet
Blanche Thebom, Mezzo-Soprano
Artur Rubinstein, Piano

Gina Bachauer, Piano
Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo
Victoria de los Angeles, Soprano
Leonard Warren, Baritone
Zino Francescatti, Violin
The Griller String Quartet
The Alma Trio.

Salzburg Marionette Theatre
Joseph Szigeti, Violin
Pierre Fournier, Cello
Leonard Pennario, Piano
Helen Traubel, Soprano

Cesare Siepi, Bass-Baritone
Societa Corelli Chamber Orchestra
Clifford Curzon, Piano
Isaac Stern, Violin
Mattilda Dobbs, Soprano

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Soprano
Dance Theatre Berlin
Grant Johannesen, Piano
William Primrose, Violin
George London, Baritone

Zinka Milanov, Soprano
Joseph Schuster, Cello
Festival Quartet
Frank Guarrera, Baritone
Luboschutz and Nemenoff, Duo-Pianos

Nan Merriman, Mezzo-Soprano
Les BaIlets Jarúne Charrat de France
Festival Quartet
Isaac Stern, Violin
Guiomar Novaes, Piano

Eileen Farrell, Soprano
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Baritone
I Musici Chamber Orchestra
Jose Greco & Company, Spanish Dancers
Louis Kentner, Piano

Nan Merriman, Mezzo-Soprano
BaIlet Español Roberto Iglesias
Jorge Bolet, Piano
Quartetto di Roma
Roger Wagner Chorale

Societa Corelli Chamber Orchestra
Leon Fleischer, Piano
Janos Starker, Cello
Theodor Uppman, Baritone
Leontyne Price, Soprano

Goya and Matteo, Dancers
Orchestra San Pietro of Naples
Russell Oberlin, Counter Tenor
Seymour Lipkin, Piano
Anna Moffo, Soprano
Jaime Laredo, Violin

I Solisti di Zagreb Chamber Orchestra
Victoria de los Angeles, Soprano
Rosalyn Tureck, Piano
Goldowsky Grand Opera: "Rigoletto"
George London, Baritone


Paris Chamber Orchestra
Grace Bumbry, Soprano
Ruggiero Ricci, Violin
John Browning, Piano
Richard Tucker, Tenor

Brian Sullivan, Tenor
Societa Corelli Chamber Orchestra
Byron Janis, Piano
Teresa Berganza, Mezzo-Soprano
Zara Nelsova, Cello

Igor Oistrakh, Violin
Ezio Flagello, Basso
Moura Lympany, Piano
Goldowsky Opera: "La Boheme"
Solisti Veneti Chamber Orchestra

Regine Crespin, Soprano
John Browning, Piano
Bach Aria Group
Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
Henryk Szeryng, Violin

Vladimir Ashkenazy, Piano
Western Opera: "Barber of Seville"
Thomas Paul, Bass-Baritone
Austin Reller, Violin
Gary Graffman, Piano
Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia

Oakland Chamber Orchestra
Roy Bogas, Piano
Benjamin Britten's "Curlew River"
Young Uck Kim, Violin
Rosalind Elias, Mezzo-Soprano
Raymond Lewenthal, Piano

Brussels Chamber Orchestra
Gerard Souzay, Baritone
Western Opera:
  "The Medium" (Menotti)
  "Gianni Schicchi" (Puccini)
Wiliam Masselos, Piano
Zara Nelsova, Cello &
Grant Johannesen, Piano

Alicia de Larrocha, Piano
Mary Costa, Soprano
Martha Graham Dancers
Itzhak Perlman, Violin
Hamburg Chamber Orchestra

Garrick Ohlsson, Piano
James McCracken, Teno
   and Sandra Warfield, Mezzo-Soprano
I Solisti di Zagreb
Chamber Orchestra
Julian Bream, Guitarist
Western Opera: "La Cenerentola" (Rossini)

Ah Ahk-Performing Arts of Korea
Garrick Ohlsson, Piano
Marilyn Horne, Soprano
Czech Nonet
Lilit Gampel, Violin

Los Angeles Chamber
Orchestra with Neville
Marriner, Conductor &
Christoph Eschenbach, Piano
Douglas Lawrence, Bass-Baritone
Valentina Oumansky
Dramatic Dance Ensemble
Gary Graffman, Piano
   and Leonard Rose, Cello

John and Richard Contiguglia, Duo-Pianos
Aman Folk Ensemble
Jean-Pierre Rampal, Flutist
   and Robert Veyron-Lacroix, Piano
Glenn Dicterow, Violin
   and James Field, Piano
Frederica von Stade, Soprano

Igor Oistrakh, Violin
Misha Dichter, Piano
Jeannine Altmeyer, Soprano
Netherlands Chamber Orchestra
Jose Carreras, Tenor

Ronald Turini, Piano
Eleana Obraztsova, Mezzo-Soprano
Yugoslav Folk Dancers
Storck Duo, Harp & Cello
Nina Bodnar-Horton, Violin

Pinchas Zukerman, Violin
Sherrill Milnes, Baritone
Ronald Turini, Piano
San Francisco Chamber Orchestra
   with Dave Abel, Violin
   and Paul Hersh, Piano & Viola
Craig Nies, Piano *

Kyung-Wha Chung, Violin
Pittsburgh Chamber Orchestra
Barry Tuckwell, French Horn
   and Andre Michel-Schub, Piano
Jean-Philippe Collard, Piano
Leona Mitchell, Soprano
Neil Rutman, Piano *

Grigory Sokolov, Piano
Donald Gramm, Bass-Baritone
Toulouse Chamber Orchestra
Stephanie Chase, Violin
Ruth Golden, Soprano *

Shlomo Mintz, Violin
Hermann Prey, Baritone
Southwest German
Chamber Orchestra
Murray Perahia, Piano
Judy Lin, Piano *

Jean-Philippe Collard, Piano
Ransom Wilson, Flautist
Swiss Chamber Orchestra
Elly Ameling, Soprano
Diane Hidy, Piano *

Annie Fischer, Piano
Scottish Chamber Orchestra
   and Jaime Laredo, Violin & Conductor
Nathaniel Rosen, Cello
New York Vocal Arts Ensemble
Ann Gresham, Soprano *

Evelyn Lear, Soprano &
Thomas Stewart, Baritone
I Solisti di Zagreb,
Chamber Orchestra
Uto Ughi, Violin
Alison Glass, Piano *
David Wehr, Piano *

Richard Stoltzman, Clarinet
Empire Brass Ensemble
Hâkan Hagegârd, Baritone
Babette Hierholzer, Piano
Mia Kim, Violin *

Uto Ughi, Violin
Victoria de los Angeles, Soprano
Music from Marlboro
Jean-Bernard Pommier, Piano
Robert Swensen, Tenor *

Leontyne Price, Soprano
Misha & Cipa Dichter, Duo-Pianos
Hermannn Prey, Baritone
Carter Brey, Cello
John Sutherland Earle, Piano *

Jeffrey Kahane, Piano
James Morris, Bass
Cleveland & Meliora Quartets
Annie Fischer, Piano
Julius Baker, Flautist &
Norma Jean Hodges, Soprano
Marvis Martin, Soprano
Lisa Smith, Guitarist *

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano
Budapest Chamber Orchestra
Anne-Sophie Mutter, Violin
Yo-Yo Ma, Cello &
Emanuel Ax, Piano
Neil Rutman, Piano
Derek Anthony, Bass *

Hambro Quartet of Pianos
Eugenia Zukerman, Flautist
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano
Thomas Allen, Baritone
William Kanengiser, Guitarist
Quink Vocal Ensemble
Bryan Verhoye, Piano *

Santiago Rodriguez, Piano
Dawn Upshaw, Soprano
Camerata Musica of Berlin
Alicia De Larrocha, Piano
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Violin
   and Cecile Licad, Piano
Qi-Xin Pu, Violin *

Grant Johannesen, Piano
Beaux Arts Trio
Itzhak Perlman, Violin
Jorma Hynninen, Baritone
Empire Brass
Earle Patriarco, Baritone *

Anne Akiko Meyers, Violin
Lynn Harrell, Cello
Frederica von Stade, Mezzo-Soprano
GuildhaIl String Ensemble
   and Richard Stoltzman, Clarinet
Yefim Bronfman, Piano
Mark Anderson, Piano *

Paula Robison, Flautist
   and Ruth Laredo, Piano
Ilana Vered, Piano
Pinchas Zukerman, Violin & Viola
   and Marc Neikrug, Piano
I Solisti di Zagreb Chamber Orchestra
Thomas Hampson, Baritone
Thorsten Encke, Cello *

Marilyn Horne, Mezzo-Soprano
Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra
Radu Lupu, Piano
Leonidas Kavakos, Violin
Krystian Zimerman, Piano
Cynthia Clayton, Soprano *

Midori, Violin
Sergei Leiferkus, Baritone
Emanuel Ax, Piano
Canadian Brass
Trio Fontenay
Yongmei Hu, Piano *


Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio
Misha & Cipa Dichter, Duo Pianos
Denyce Graves, Mezzo-Soprano
Joshua Bell, Violin &
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano
Abbey Simon, Piano
Andrea Plesnarski, Oboist *

Gil Shaham, Violin
Budapest Strings
Ben Heppner, Tenor
Matt Haimovitz, Cello
András Schiff, Piano
Lanya Chianakas, Mezzo-Soprano *

Sergei Nakariakov, Trumpeter
Beaux Arts Trio
Vladimir Feltsman, Piano
Cho-Liang Lin, Violin
Ruth Ann Swenson, Soprano
Heidi Hau, Piano *

Florence Quivar, Mezzo-Soprano
Hilary Hahn, Violin
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano
Moscow Chamber Orchestra
   and Justin Blasdale, Piano
Empire Brass
Felix Fan, Cello *

Bo Skovhus, Baritone
Arcadi Volodos, Piano
St Petersburg String Quartet
Munich Chamber Orchestra
Gil Shaham, Violin
   and Orli Shaham, Piano
Kenneth Goodson, Baritone *

Moscow Chamber Orchestra
Louis Lortie, Piano
Denyce Graves, Mezzo-Soprano
ltalian Saxophone Quartet
Dale Tsang-HaIl, Piano *

Stewart Goodyear, Piano
Sharon Isbin, Guitarist
Burning River Brass
Ruth Waterman, Violin/Lecturer
Emanuel Ax, Piano
Caroline Campbell, Violin *

Prague Chamber Orchestra
Christopher O'Riley
   and Fred Hersch, Duo-Pianos
Arnaldo Cohen, Piano
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Violinis
   and The Assad Brothers, Guitarists
Andre-Michel Schub, Piano
   and David Shifrin, Clarinet
Sonia Gariaeff, Soprano *

Mark Delavan, Baritone
David Finkel, Cello & Wu Han, Piano
I Solisti di Venezia
Frederic Chiu, Piano
Vienna Boys Choir
Beaux Arts Trio
Judy Huang, Piano *

Andrâs Schiff, Piano
Alon Goldstein, Piano; Amit Peled,
Cello; Alexander Fiterstein, Clarinet
Corey Cerovsek, Violin
   and Julien Quentin, Piano
Salzburg Chamber Soloists
Olga Kern, Piano
Katie Kadarauch, Viola *

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Chamber Ensemble
Lynn Harrell, Cello & Gavin Martin, Piano
Arnaldo Cohen, Piano
Janaki String Trio
John Williams & John Etheridge,
St. Paul Chamber Orchestra Ensemble
   and Reiko Aizawa, Piano
Brian Thorsett, Tenor *

Frederica von Stade, Mezzo-Soprano
   and Jake Heggie, Piano
Philharmonia Baroque
Alexander String Quartet
Gil Shaham, Violin
   and Akira Eguchi, Piano
Michael Roll, Piano
Ivan Zenaty, Violin & Paul Hersh, Piano
American Brass Quintet
Altenberg Piano Trio
Elizabeth Schumann, Piano *

The Romeros Guitar Quartet
Adaskin Trio & Tom Gallant, Oboist
Takâcs Quartet
Hans Boepple, Piano
Voices of London
Bennewitz String Quartet
Triple Helix & Paul Hersh, Viola
Yefim Bronfman, Piano
Dana Booher, Saxophone *

Academy of Saint Martin in
the Fields Chamber Ensemble
Alexander Quartet & Eli Eban, Clarinet
Susan Graham, Mezzo-Soprano
   and Malcolm Martineau, Piano
Menachem Pressler, Piano
   and The American String Quartet
Gustavo Romero, Piano
Albers String Trio
Timothy Fain, Violin
   and Cory Smythe, Piano
Rossetti String Quartet
Devon Guthrie, Soprano *

Angel Romero Guitarist
   and Nefretiri Romero, Mezzo-Soprano
Gryphon Trio
Misha & Cipa Dichter, Duo-Pianos
Soloists from Opera San Jose
Lynn Harrell, Cello
   and Jon Kimura Parker, Piano
Janina Fialkowska, Piano
   and The Chamber Players of Canada
Bennewitz String Quartet
Allan Vogel, Oboist
   and The Wind Soloists of New York
Tanya Gabrielian, Piano *
Irene Kim, Piano *

Nobuyuki Tsujii, Piano
Gryphon Trio
Astrid Schween, Cello
   and Gary Hammond, Piano
Frederica von Stade, Mezzo-Soprano
   and Kristin Pankonin, Piano
Israeli Chamber Project
Garrick Ohlsson, Piano
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Violin
   and Anne-Marie McDermott, Piano
Pavel Haas Quartet
Jae-in Shin, Violin *

Lynn Harrell, Cello
and Jon Kimura Parker, Piano
Jeffrey Kahane Piano
Los Angeles Piano Quartet
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
   with Elizabeth Blumenstock, Violin
   and Nicholas McGegan, Conductor
Hans Boepple, Piano
Opera San Jose
Takacs String Quartet
Lydian String Quartet
Clarissa Lyons, Soprano*

Winner, 2013 Cliburn Competition
Brentano String Quartet
Opera San Jose
Elizabeth Wallfisch, Violin
   and David Breitman, fortepiano
   (two concerts)
The Gryphon Trio
   and James Campbell, clarinet
Musica Pacifica Baroque Ensemble
Louis Lortie, Piano
David Finckel, Cello
and Wu Han, Piano
Michael Noble, Piano*

The Romero Guitar Quartet
The Hagen String Quartet
Philharmonia Chamber Players
  led by Elizabeth Blumenstock, Violin
Opera San Josë
Jon Kimura Parker
  and James Parker, Piano Duo
Noel Wan, Harpist *

New York Chamber Soloists
Hans Boepple, Piano 
Sean Chen, Piano 
Wu Han, Piano, Philip Setzer, Violin,
  and David Finckel, Cello,
Biennial Piano Competition

Romero Guitar Quartet
Frederica von Stade, mezzo-soprano
   with Jake Heggie, piano
The Chamber Ensemble of the
   Academy of St. Martin's in the Fields 
Jean-Philippe Collard, Piano 
Wu Han, Piano, Philip Setzer, Violin,
  and David Finckel, Cello,
Man-Ling Bai, piano *

Orion Weiss, Piano
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
   led by Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin
The American String Quartet  
The Israeli Chamber Project
Jeremy Denk, Piano
Biennial Piano Competition

Manuel Barrueco, Guitar
Yekwon Sunwoo, Piano
  (2017 Cliburn Competition Winner)
Daniel Hope, Violin
   (with an ensemble of six)
Wu Han, Piano
Brentano String Quartet
Kevin Lee Sun, winner of CMS 2018 Piano Competition

Olga Kern, Piano
Modigliani String Quartet
Philharmonia Baroque Chamber Players
  Nicholas McGegan, Conductor
  with Sherezade Panthaki, Soprano

The two final concerts of the
2019-2020 season were canceled
due to the viral pandemic:

Benjamin Grosvenor, Piano  
Daniel Hope, Violin,
  and Vanessa Perez, Piano   

George Li, piano
  co-sponsored by the
   2021 Carmel Bach Festival

Dover String Quartet
Ilya Yakushev, Piano
Manuel Barrueco, Guitar  
Olga Kern and Vladek Kern, Piano
Israeli Chamber Project
The Quartet from the Chamber
   Music Society of Lincoln Center


* denotes CMS Competition winner

This page was updated in June, 2021.

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