In my last post I did a short brainstorm on a couple possible ways that a contemporary composer might be able to create some community through online social networks. I also said that I didn’t think a composer should classify themselves as classical, unless they have a sound that really imitates the classical period(s). Having said that, it’s apparent that I haven’t touched on the issue of community building, in our modern context, for people who actually play classical music and organize classical concerts.
One group that seems to have found a fairly successful solution is Classical Revolution. Here’s is a bit about them and what they do, quoted from their own website:
“Classical Revolution is an organization of musicians dedicated to performing high-quality chamber music in non-traditional settings. Founded in November 2006 at Revolution Cafe in San Francisco’s Mission District, we have two important objectives: to enrich the San Francisco Bay Area with accessible chamber music and to create a support network for local musicians.
Classical Revolution’s unprecedented success has inspired the creation of over 30 chapters across the United States, Canada, and Europe. In San Francisco, musicians have performed in more than 800 music events in 90+ different Bay Area venues. Classical Revolution’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, and other leading media publications. Classical Revolution is fiscally sponsored by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music, and Fractured Atlas.”
And here is a manifesto from the website for their Portland, OR chapter:
“We love classical music.
We love playing classical music.
We love listening to classical music.
We are tired of the elitist and inaccessible nature of the classical world.
We believe that there are many that would enjoy classical music if they could access it in a setting that is comfortable for them.
We believe classical musicians should be allowed to perform in a setting that is more casual - where the audience is allowed to have a drink, eat a scone, laugh a little, and clap a lot.
We believe everyone can enjoy the music that we love.”
They have chapters in several major cities and I was involved with the Portland chapter for a bit when I lived there. I’ve found what they do to be quite impressive. They really have been able to draw quite a diverse crowd and I think that owes a lot to their choices of venues and laid back approach. Here are a few web addresses for them.
I know that there have been efforts to start a chapter here in the Boston area but it hasn’t taken off yet, so far as I know. I wonder if there is an equivalent sort of effort going on here from some other group. If not, I certainly hope that they can take root and thrive here eventually.