The Candlelight Concert Society is sporting a new name — Chamber Music Maryland — and the moniker reflects both a long-standing history and a new expanded repertoire.

The name “Chamber Music Maryland” made its debut on the May 12 season finale concert featuring Grammy Award-winning Imani Winds. 

The organization, now in its 52nd year, has grown up with Columbia and Howard County, noted Bryan Young, president. And it will still be headquartered there.

“In fact, part of our mission is to bring the best musicians in the world home to Howard County,” he said. “Over the last few years, we’ve been expanding our footprint at UMBC, and last year we added program in Baltimore City at the Peale museum.”

Music has also reached local radio waves, and its leaders wanted the new name to reflect a broader mission. 

“We think Chamber Music Maryland reflects who we are and who we are serving,” said Young. “It differentiates us.”

At this point, so many other groups — musical or not — are named “Candlelight” that the uniqueness of the name had evaporated, even though the audiences had grown.

“People were getting confused,” said Young. “When we started discussing it with our board — people who have been involved with the series from the beginning — we were worried about what they would think.” 

Imani Winds performed at the Candlelight Concert Society’s May 12 concert, in which the organization revealed its new name: Chamber Music Maryland (Submitted photo)

But they got a wholehearted green light. 

“Chamber Music Maryland really represents what we’re doing: music played by small ensembles, from a soloist to a chamber orchestra,” said Irina Kaplan Lande, artistic director. “We do a lot of chamber music of all kinds, from very early Renaissance to Baroque to contemporary crossovers.”

Back in time, this is where chamber music started — in intimate settings. “Our biggest hall — the Horowitz Center at Howard Community College — holds 425 people,” explained Lande. “Then another venue — the beautiful and acoustically perfect Linehan Concert Hall at UMBC — is even a little smaller, seating 375 people.”

At the Peale museum in Baltimore, music is offered in a still smaller yet highly unique gallery setting. “It’s very special and very intimate,” said Lande.

LIke Lande, Young also thinks about how the new name resonates with the rich history of chamber music itself. “This is very special music,” he said. “When composers were thinking about chamber music, from Beethoven to more modern composers, they saved their best music for chamber settings.” 

For the next 50 years and beyond, Chamber Music Maryland wants to give people the opportunity to enjoy that music in such a setting. 

The new name arrives with a new logo as well as a new website and a ticketing system. 

“The first season as Chamber Music Maryland is going to be our biggest season ever,” said Young. 

Check out next season at candlelightconcerts.org/.

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