Stravinsky on the sofa

In the age of Uber, Amazon Now, and hundreds of instant-access, instant-delivery services, it perhaps comes as no surprise that you can now use technology to order up a chamber ensemble to perform right in your home.  

At least that's what Sam Bodkin was hoping when he created Groupmuse, “an online social network that connects young classical musicians to local audiences through concert house parties” and in so doing, eliminates cost and access barriers that may prevent young, millennial audiences from engaging with this art form. 

Sounds like the perfect opportunity to create connections through creative expression, no? Even their messaging is spot-on with the research we conducted around public values:  

“Share the great masterpieces of music with old and new friends — in your living room and throughout your city. Because art is better with your friends. Because music can't hear itself. Because we need to feel together. Groupmuse. Be Alive.” 

The nitty-gritty:

  • Who: 1,200+ young classical musicians play small concerts in living rooms across the country

  • What: Each performance consists of two 25-minute sets: the first set is always classical with the second up to the performers.

  • Where: Around 20 Groupmuse performances happen every week: find one near you

  • When: Groupmuse launched in 2013 and is growing

  • How: Suggested fee is for each attendee is $10; musicians go home with an average of $160

But will Groupmuse take audiences away from the larger, more traditional concert halls? 

Actually, the hope is that it will have the opposite effect by piquing new interest in classical music and converting participants into returning listeners. Enterprising organizations such as Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic have already begun to take advantage of this new audience potential, offering discounted tickets for Groupmuse attendees. 

Be the talk of the water cooler.

Good news. Groupmuse is not just for house parties anymore. “Groupmuse at Work”  lets you host an ensemble in your office, offering a chance for employees to connect and share creative experiences together. That sounds a whole lot more fun than the standard staff meeting, but you may want to try it to see if we’re right.