Women in Music was founded in 1882 by a group of prominent Columbus women, fine musicians themselves, who wanted to bring the best in music to the city. They performed in their homes for each other, and required auditions to keep it serious but mostly brought the best from around the world to perform here in Columbus.
In 1895 they presented the American composer and pianist, Edward A. McDowell in the Y.M.C.A auditorium to a capacity audience.
In 1906, Memorial Hall was dedicated to honor Franklin County’s Civil War dead. The seating capacity was 4,200. It became the concert hall for future concerts. Later WMC purchased the $25,000 Felgemacher Organ for the Memorial Hall, and established the music alcove at the Columbus Public Library.
WMC was responsible for bringing outstanding musicians to Columbus to perform, among those were Percy Grainger, Jascha Heifetz, Frits Kreisler, Efrem Zimbalist, Pablo Casals, Vladimir Horowitz, Eileen Farrell, Yehudi Menuhin, Nelson Eddy , Jeanette MacDonald, Kirsten Flagstad and Kathleen Battle to name a few.
In 1946 Women in Music founded the Chamber Music Society, which continued until 1949, to meet the community’s need for chamber music. Today WMC continues to fill a unique niche in the musical community of central Ohio, supporting women musicians by providing networking and performance opportunities, promoting the work of women composers, and encouraging the performance and enjoyment of music by young people in our community.
Also, click here to read another brief but more detailed history (PDF).