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The special nature of chamber music lies in ability to bring a group of individuals together in perfect harmony. Contrary to the myth that it is esoteric and elitist, chamber music is truly an egalitarian medium. It touches people across all categories of culture and educational sophistication. Interpreted by small ensembles whose members contribute their personal perspectives to a musical whole that is always greater than the sum of its parts, and enjoyed in venues that are intimate enough to invite a strong sense of audience engagement and participation, chamber music epitomizes the central human values of communication, collaboration and democracy; indeed, it has been called “the most perfect form of human behavior.” Sensing that San Francisco State was a kindred spirit in pursuit of egalitarian and collaborative ideals, Edward Hohfeld, the executor of the May Treat Morrison Trust, chose to create the Morrison Chamber Music Center as a vital center for the study, preparation and dissemination of this important art form. A mere decade after the center’s founding, the Rockefeller Foundation, in its 1966 annual report, described the Morrison Chamber Music Center at San Francisco State in these terms: “It is the only program which gives admission-free concerts of top caliber to the community and represents the largest private gift on record for promoting excellence in chamber music.”
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