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About us

The Chamber Music Society of the Carolinas (CMS Carolinas), formerly the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival, was founded in 1970 by Lili Kraus, one of the foremost pianists of the time. 

CMS Carolinas is a beloved chamber music festival fostering shared experiences of joy, creativity and transcendence through world-class chamber music. In a series of twelve concerts during the month of July, CMS Carolinas is pleased to share exceptional classical music performances with a wide audience in three magnificent venues - Asheville, NC; Waynesville, NC; and Greenville, SC. 


CMS Carolinas is able to welcome widely beloved and internationally acclaimed musicians from all over the world to its annual four-week season. These musicians come to the mountains of North Carolina each year to collaborate with each other and share their passion with the audiences.

Performers have included  Van Cliburn competition gold medalists, Tchaikovsky competition silver medalists, Grammy winners and Grammy-nominated ensembles, and concertmasters/principals of major US orchestras. 

CMS Carolinas is as proud of the high caliber of musicians in residence as we are of our unique approach to performance. Taking place in small venues, the festival is able to foster an intimate, welcoming interaction between performer and listener cultivating a shared love of music.


The Chamber Music Society of the Carolinas is a program of  Warren Wilson College. Located in the scenic Swannanoa Valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the festival is proud to call the college its home. 

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