In 1973, Joseph E. Fischoff and fellow members of the South Bend Chamber Music Society sought an innovative way of encouraging young people to pursue chamber music study and performance. The idea of a competition arose, and that first year, six ensembles participated.
Little did the society members know how their idea would grow. Today, still at home in South Bend, Indiana, the Fischoff Competition is the largest chamber music competition in the nation and the world. Each year, an average of 125 ensembles, representing 22 nationalities, enter in either the wind or string categories of three to six performers. Fischoff is the only national chamber music competition with both senior divisions (ages 18-35) and a junior division (age 18 and younger). Since its founding, more than 6,600 musicians have participated, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in music performance and education.
Committed to music education, the Fischoff uniquely partners with competition alumni to bring free, innovative music programs directly to children in their own schools and community centers. Known as the Fischoff Arts-in-Education Residency, these programs have served more than 61,600 community children since 1995 and reach more than 5,700 underserved and at-risk young people every year. Additionally, Fischoff offers several programs to support and encourage area high school-aged musicians.