The Chamber Music Network

Floryse Bennett (1946 – 2020) – a remarkable ACMP member!

Floryse Bennett (1946 – 2020) – a remarkable ACMP member!

Floryse can best be described as a super active and international amateur chamber musician with endless energy and keen interest in promoting the goals and objectives of ACMP. She 

often quoted Yehudi Menuhin: “I would prefer to be an amateur, who, as the word means, loves what he does, often in contrast to the professional musician”! For over eight years she was the Chair of the International Advisory Council - IAC of ACMP and also member of the Board.  She loved to travel and actively sought out members of IAC, played music with them, listened to how they promoted playing chamber music and ACMP in their respective countries, and provided wise and experienced counsel on alternative ways to advocate ACMP.

She successfully organized three face to face meetings of the IAC in beautiful venues, conducive for the good interaction of the members, alongside plenty of chamber music playing of course! She was known to many, many musicians, amateurs and professionals alike. The workshops, play-ins and meetings she organized brought many musicians together to enjoy and improve their playing. Her personal engagement ensured the creation of wonderful personal and musical harmonies among the participants. I personally am so grateful to have had Floryse as my friend and personal counselor; in 2017 she handed over the Chair of the IAC to me but always stayed close by, by phone, email or during my regular professional visits to Geneva. She would do everything within her capacity to organize a chamber music session for me in Geneva. In the end, I became acquainted with many of her friends and felt musically very at home in this  somewhat introverted city.

Even when she was faced with the knowledge of her terminal illness, she continued to carry out her commitments as organizer and played in workshops and at the homes of her friends. Her positive energy enabled her to effectively fight the disease and live far beyond  medical expectations. In October 2019 she traveled to The Netherlands and attended the IAC meeting. Her active participation, with her excellent overview of the history of ACMP - and the role of IAC in the organization, undeniably contributed to the success of the meeting. I shall never forget how she quite simply invited an IAC member to dance between the dinner tables!  

 On 18 July 2020, she passed away peacefully in a room with a view of Lake Geneva and the Mountains while swifts sang and circled outside. ACMP is so grateful for her contributions to the organization and will remember her dearly.