The Music Society started as a series of concerts in Kirkcaldy organised by Kirsty Adam of the" Arts in Fife", a department of the then Fife Region. They were funded by an Arts Council grant.
The success of these concerts led her to gather a group of interested people to help her to run a further series. This became known as the" St Peter's Support Group" after the church in which the concerts were held.
The earliest record of concerts is for the season of 1979/80 and includes such illustrious names as the New Vienna Trio, the Scottish Baroque Ensemble, the Edinburgh Quartet and John Wallace! There were concerts in October, and November 1979, and in January and February 1980.
It is interesting that in the 1980/81 season the Scottish Saxophone Quartet and "Equale Brass" appear along with more traditional chamber music groups. The 1980/81 season had six concerts which included the Bochman Quartet, Steven Isserlis with Peter Evans and Sioned Williams. A concert by Alan Silleto and Anthony Goldstone planned for January was postponed due to snow and given on the 5th of May!
The earliest surviving minutes are from 1982 when the support group considered their duties should be to choose programmes, to act as reception at concerts, to arrange publicity, to distribute season tickets and to give occasional hospitality. The first bank account was opened in November 1982.
In 1983 the ticket prices were £2.50 for adults, £1.00 for children and subscription tickets for 6 concerts were £12 for adults and £5 for children!
By 1985 we had funds amounting to £47.67 but even then attendance was 56 to 99 averaging 71 people and moves were afoot to establish a St Peter's String Quartet with all those interested asked to leave their names after the next concert.
The society 1986/87
In 1986 a Constitution was written and accepted. The Music Society as it now is, was born around 1987/88 when Kirsty Adam persuaded the support group that it could become the committee of a society independent of Fife Region but still receiving a grant (and guarantee against loss for a few years). In May 1987 Kirsty Adam left Fife and the society was really on its own under the chairmanship of Jack Boase and changed to its present name of Kirkcaldy Music Society.
In the 21st Century
The Society continues to go from strength to strength with superb recitals given by young vibrant artists who inspire our audiences and the list of artists who have played for us and gone on to great careers is quite startling.
The Nash Ensemble, the Coull Quartet Steven Osborne, Benjamin Grosvener and the Vanburgh Quartet to name but a few. After several years when the quality and expense 0f pianos hired for recitals in St. Peter's Church had become highly problematical, and after a trial period, the Society moved to the Old Kirkcaldo of Kirkcaldy for all its recitals. Audiences have appreciated the the improved comfort and amenity of the new venue and prtformers have repeatedly praised is acoustics
While classical chamber music remains at the heart of our programming, a degree of diversification in instrumentation and repertoire has proved popular in recent seasons. The Society is active in reaching out to schools and sponsers performances and master classes in primary and secondary scools. School pupils have free entry to concerts when accompanying adults.
In these difficult times the Society also gives recitals from time to time to raise money and finds sponsors to support our aim to continue with the high standards we have set. This website has been in operation for 6 years with the hope that it is bringing our existence to the attention of a wider audience.
Looking forward to the 2017-18 Season with a few words from our President, Mairi Rolland
The passing of summer means we are approaching the new season of the KMS concerts and we have an exciting and varied programme waiting for you. It's difficult to follow our marvellous finale to last season with two quartets and the fabulous programme of Mendelssohn's octet and and a couple of sextets but we think you'll like the interesting and slightly different range of artists we have lined up for you. The famous Doric String Quartet come first on October 4th with a lovely programme of Haydn, Britten and Mendelssohn. The Haydn quartet op 20 no4 comes from the famous set of 6 quartets which gave Haydn the title of the Father of the modern string quartet. Full of new techniques and ideas these quartets were worshipped and studied by Mozart and inspired him to dedicate his set of six Quartets to Haydn known as the "Haydn" Quartets. The Britten quartet no 1 opens with shimmering high strings over a pizzicato cello but soon turns into energetic and rhythmic figures. Britten wrote this when he was in America and he confessed that he was feeling homesick and longing for England. Mendelssohn's last quartet is a wonderful piece of music written after the death of his beloved sister Fanny and two months before he himself died. It is a hugely dramatic piece full of anger and emotion and I'm sure you'll love it if you don't already know it. So I'm looking forward to seeing you all again in the Old Kirk on 4th October at 7.30pm for some great music and some happy conversation over a glass of wine.