About Morrison Chamber Music Center

In Supporting education, Morrison and the School of Music develops new audiences, new activities and new music majors.

History and Philosophy

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.” Today, the Center continues to explore the connections between our world, its people and small ensemble music, engaging new audiences, creators and performers.

Morrison Chamber Music Center Timeline

1939 - May Treat Morrison Trust established.

1952 - Edward Hohfeld and Ferenc Molnar establish Morrison Chamber Music Center.

1956 - Morrison Chamber Music Center becomes permanent.

1970 - Andor Toth named artistic director.

1972 - Lazlo Varga named artistic director.

1989 - Alexander String Quartet named quartet-in-residence and Saul Gropman named artistic director.

1990 - San Francisco debut by Eroica Trio.

1992 - San Francisco debut by St. Lawrence String Quartet.

1995 - San Francisco debuts by Gilles Apap and The Transylvanian Mountain Boys.

1996 - San Francisco debuts by Palladian Ensemble (early music) and The Zephyros Woodwind Quintet.

1997 - San Francisco debuts by Wendy Cheng and the New Millennium Ensemble.

1998 - San Francisco debut by Trio Voronezh.

2000 - San Francisco debuts by eighthblackbird, Singphoniker, Thibaud String Trio and Vida.

2004 - San Francisco debut by FLUX Quartet.

2005-06 - 50th anniversary season.

2010 - Ronald Caltabiano named artistic director.

2011 - Richard Festinger named artistic director.

2018 - Cyrus Ginwala named Artistic Director

2020 - Morrison Chamber Music Center receives generous gift from the estate of Clement Galante; renames Morrison Artist Series "The Jane H. Galante Series of the May Treat Morrison Foundation"

The May Treat Morrison Trust and Jane Hohfeld Galante — An Appreciation

“If there is anything like the Morrison Artists Series in the world, neither I nor Google know about it. Imagine a rich program of prominent chamber-music concerts, complete with lectures, pre-concert talks, and master classes — all free. You don't need to imagine it, because San Francisco State University has been offering the series for six decades. As the longest-running chamber-music series in San Francisco and beyond, the Morrison Artists Series has presented more than 350 concerts, attended by an audience of some 100,000.”

— San Francisco Classical Voice

A native San Franciscan, Galante influenced the growth of the arts and chamber music in the Bay Area. A classically trained pianist, Galante performed across the U.S. and Europe during a performance career that spanned five decades. She was also a driving force for the Morrison Chamber Music Center and Morrison Artists Series, which provides the public with free access to world-class chamber music.

Galante's father, Edward Hohfeld, was administrator of the May Treat Morrison Trust, which was endowed by funds from the estate of Alexander F. Morrison and May Treat Morrison. In 1952, Hohfeld founded the May Treat Morrison Chamber Music Center at SF State with the goal "to offer the finest music in the most accessible way." He believed that students should have the opportunity to learn from master teachers and hear chamber music performed by world-class musicians.

The Morrison Artists Series at SF State debuted in 1955, allowing tens of thousands of students and music lovers in the Bay Area to enjoy free concerts put on by the world's finest chamber musicians.

The Morrison Chamber Music Center is possible because of the partnership with the May Treat Morrison Foundation, the College of Liberal & Creative Arts and the School of Music.