What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of classical music: Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, boring? A majority of people, especially the younger generation, might cringe at the thought of having to attend a traditional performance of classical music. Well, no longer is this the case in San Francisco. Thanks to Groupmuse, people of every age can enjoy the works of classical composers in a modern setting: a house party. Groupmuse combines the love for chamber music with the comfort of being at home.
CEO and founder of Groupmuse, Sam Bodkin, fell in love with classical music after hearing Beethoven’s ‘Groβe Fuge, Op. 133’, in 2008. Realizing that not all his friends shared the same passion for classical music partly due to the traditional venues the music takes place in, he created a social network in 2013 known as Groupmuse, which combined traditional music with a modern setting. By removing the formal atmosphere usually associated with this style of music, Groupmuse creates a unique environment where young students and professionals of all ages can listen to great music in a more comfortable space. Groupmuse is essentially a small concert thrown at a person’s house, with talented musicians playing classical music, or in other words, a chamber music house party. These personal concerts take place nearly every day in Boston, New York, and San Francisco.
Participating in Groupmuse is fairly simple. The house parties are hosted by volunteers who live in the area, and anyone can attend so long as they RSVP before spaces fill up. Hosts do not need to provide anything except for the space for people to gather. Essentially, you show up to the event and socialize for an hour before the selected musician or musicians perform; then, you grab a seat on a chair or more commonly, the floor, and listen to each performer for less than 30 minutes. From living rooms to downtown offices and warehouses, people will congregate for a Groupmuse experience. Through donations, performers can earn anywhere from 50 to 500 dollars per showing depending on the size of the concert. People who attend Groupmuse events are highly encouraged to donate at least ten dollars towards the musicians.
To attend a Groupmuse event, simply sign up for one on Groupmuse’s website. Groupmuse provides a warm, friendly, and intimate atmosphere for both the musicians and the guests, without the formal etiquette expected at traditional music venues. Performers can feel the crowd’s energy, and the crowd can witness beautiful music up close. Hosts are paired with performers who want a similar atmosphere. Some hosts want a low key environment to enjoy the music without drinks, and other hosts encourage taking photos, clapping and whistling mid-performance, and having alcoholic beverages. Hence, there is a perfect setting for everyone to enjoy classical music. Not only is Groupmuse an amazing time for guests, but the event also provides musicians with an opportunity to practice their setlist in a comfortable space before another performance or simply to reach out to a wider audience for support of their music. Also, the event allows friends and family of both the host and the performers to listen to great music.
For more information, you can find Groupmuse on Facebook, their website, or see what events are happening near you in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can also sign up to host a Groupmuse and/or make a donation online.