Debra Fayroian, Executive Director, Chamber Music North

Debra Fayroian, Executive Director, Chamber Music North

Chamber Music North’s concert series hits its stride with A-list events May 4, June 22 and July 6. We checked in with Debra Fayroian, the group’s founder and executive director – and recently retired career cellist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra – to learn more about this new organization devoted to bringing world class chamber music to Northern Michigan. (And to get some superb chamber music picks to play when making dinner.)

Where did the idea of Chamber Music North originate?I was coming from a place where the arts are such an ongoing and integral part of the community, and being a performer in chamber music and knowing how wonderful it is for a community to have the arts, I just wanted to see that happen in my new community. And I still like to perform. I wanted some vehicle to continue my performing here instead of driving away to do it. So I was able to bring all of my experiences and my musical buddies to give some great concerts in Northern Michigan.

You know, Traverse City has a wonderful symphony, we have the film festival, a great museum in the Dennos, but chamber music was sort of a missing piece. And there is an appetite for chamber music here.

Tell us some of the successes from the past year.We started presenting concerts during the last year, but a lot of them have been smaller, private events in people’s homes, which has allowed us to get out into the neighborhoods, meet the community and inspire support. We’ve also teamed up with Jean Snow at the Community Foundation, which allows donors a tax deductible way to support us before we officially have 501C3 status. She has been a great advisor for us.

What can we expect in the future?We are putting the Village Series together, which would present concerts in our small towns, like Benzonia, Glen Arbor and Leland. And we’d like to be able to work with the schools to give master classes and clinics. But it all takes revenue, so those partnerships will happen as we grow.

Steer us to some right-on chamber music to put on when we are busy in the kitchen.
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 when you are preparing a large dinner for guests.
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 “Italian” when you are fixing a light supper for the family.
Beethoven Op. 18 or Op. 59 String Quartets when you are making a fancy lunch for friends.Chopin Preludes and Ballades for solo piano when you are creating a romantic dinner.

Catch Chamber Music North on the following dates at the “Sundays at Three” concert series. All concerts are in Milliken Auditorium (at Dennos Museum Center), Northwestern Michigan College main campus, 1701 E. Front St., Traverse City, and begin at 3:00 p.m. Buy tickets and learn more at
May 4: Prairie WindsA nationally renowned woodwind quintet based in Chicago, Prairie Winds will play selections from Aaron Copeland, Jean-Phillipe Rameau and Endre Szervánszky, among others.

June 22: Mendelssohn’s MelancholyDebra Fayroian teams with flutist Annie Chalex Boyle, pianist Steve Larson and soprano Nicole Philibosian for an afternoon of exceptional Mendelssohn offerings.

July 6: New Music DetroitNew Music Detroit plays chamber music works exclusively written from the late-20th century through today. Chamber Music North describes the group as performing “seminal new music ‘classics’ to innovative and genre-defying works written by today’s emerging composers.”