In 1898 a group of women musicians and music lovers founded the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto. Members performed for each other in weekly morning recitals. By 1919 the club presented professional artists such as Ernest MacMillan and Harry Adaskin as well as varied ensembles. During the 1930s a special series of three concerts grossed $772.37 – the root of a scholarship fund which continues today supporting undergraduate scholarships, a graduate fellowship, and the national $25,000 Career Development Award. 125 years later it still enhances the cultural life of Toronto, sponsoring a recital series and providing performance opportunities and scholarships for young Canadian musicians. Over the years it changed from a “women only” club to an arts presenter welcoming everyone.
Music in the Afternoon, an annual series of five chamber music concerts, showcases both established and emerging artists. International stars Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Andres Segovia, and Leontyne Price made their Canadian debuts. James Ehnes, Russell Braun, Glenn Gould, and Maureen Forrester are among the illustrious Canadians who have been presented. The History of Concerts and Performers of the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto is a complete searchable record of performers and repertoire presented from 1898 to 2022.