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, the Brodsky Quartet, the Mondrian Trio, Steven Isserlis, The Alberni Quartet, Malcolm Martineau, Peter Evans, Murray McLachlan, Lorna Anderson, Trio Sanderi, Emma Johnson, Steven Osborne, Benjamin Grosvener and the Vanburgh Quartet to name but a few. 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 two years and it is hoped that it will bring our existence to the attention of a wider audience.
In a review of the Carducci Quartet with Nicola Eimer, Conrad Wilson said, " ........in the sumptuous acoustics of St Peter's Church, whose whitewashed brick walls and sloping timbered roof spread an encircling glow over the music" and "In these intimate surroundings Kirkcaldy Music Society has built up sufficient local support to present seven concerts this season by the cream of young ensembles."