A Classy Revolution

Classical Revolution - Mattie Kaiser

Original Photo by Mollusa — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Do you like to hang out with the band? Now a music network has made it easy — for classical music.

After thousands of years, it was not until the 20th century that recordings created such a strong separation between the creative musician and a receptive audience. In most music genres, especially rock and hip-hop, recorded music has driven an increase in the live performance business, especially at festivals. However, classical music is the one area which has lost live audiences. Now, a new generation of entrepreneurial players and producers is changing that.

The Classical Revolution started in a San Francisco Mission District bar as a regular Monday night event. The idea was simple: if audiences aren’t coming to the concert hall, bring the music to where they are gathering. The group organizes evenings of music as festive, relaxed, and social as a bar.

Classical Revolution’s start has become a trend. The CR network now has chapters in North America and Europe. Along with similar groups, such as New MUSE (New Music Everywhere), CR combines the kind of musical intimacy of the 17th century’s approach to secular music played in private homes (“chamber music”) with our expectation of the best kind of jazz club.

Classical Revolution’s first international gathering is coming up at the end of the month. As founder Joshua Feltman told The Economist, the push is to make “listeners feel involved in the experience.”

The goal is to create a new fan base by moving out of the high art and high expense concert halls and connecting directly with audiences. Who ever thought classical music could be so much fun? Amazing what can happen when you mix talent and fans in a social setting.

If an art form ever needed a revolution, it’s classical music. The music is too good, too powerful, and the talent too amazing to be preserved in our concert halls.

Go grab a friend, buy a drink, and re-discover why this old art form has a present tense impact.

- Bill Reichblum

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