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  • Writer's pictureSOUNDWEAVERS

S2. EP.1 20 Years of Guiding Chamber Music America: Margaret Lioi

September 8, 2021


Margaret Lioi, past Chief Executive Officer of Chamber Music America, joins us to discuss the process of developing and realizing her vision for the small ensemble community and supporting this vision through strategic grantmaking and fundraising initiatives. She chats with us about the intersections between jazz and chamber music and how small ensemble genres and styles share more than they seem. We talk about how a person finds themselves deeply involved in arts administration, and about Lioi’s vision for the small ensemble community over the next twenty years.


Margaret M. Lioi has been Chamber Music America’s Chief Executive Officer since 2000, serving as the longest-tenured executive in CMA’s 43-year history. During this time, CMA incorporated jazz into its small ensemble portfolio, increased its grant-making to more than $1.4 million annually, established May as National Chamber Music Month, and ratified the organization’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, solidifying its dedication to equitable practices in every area of its operations.

After receiving a Masters in Piano Performance from New England Conservatory, Lioi was a collaborative pianist and vocal coach, working with regional opera companies and individual singers and instrumentalists. After 10 years as a performer, she returned to school to pursue an MBA with a concentration in arts management at Binghamton University/SUNY. She interned at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC, was subsequently hired as the Development Associate, and became the Director of Development six months later.

Following Spoleto, Lioi was the Executive Director of The Eleanor Naylor Dana Charitable Trust, and the Senior Director of External Affairs at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival prior to CMA. She serves on the Advisory Board of The Sphinx Organization, is a member of the Board of The Performing Arts Alliance, and is an adjunct faculty member in the MA in Arts Management and Entrepreneurship Program at The New School.


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2.1 Margaret Lioi Transcript
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