This week Naxos of America’s new e-marketing manager, Taylor Vick, weighs in on the revolution taking place in the way we consume music.
Or at least, that’s what most of the media would tell you when it comes to classical music. But there is a classical revolution happening right in our back yard. As the older, traditional ways of performing classical music inspire less and less audience participation and subscription, newbies to the scene are bringing classical music to the masses. And not in conventional ways.
Take for example a great article on WBEZ. Lynette Kalsnes interviewed a group called Classical Revolution and asked them all sorts of questions about playing chamber music in bars and pubs in Chicago. One of my favorite quotes is from Mike Muszynsk, the group’s bassoon player,
“I remember the first time I played, there was some guys watching the Hawks game and they were getting pretty hammered. At the end of every movement that we played, they were the loudest people in the bar, showing their praise for us.”
Classical Revolution isn’t the only classical group bringing their music to the masses. Classical music is also beginning to dominate the New York Club scene. Take for example, Le Poisson Rouge. One of our Naxos artists, Ge Gan-Ru, performed there last night. And, another Naxos artist, Philippe Quint, had an wildly successful CD Release party at Le Poisson Rouge last month, primarily because of all his fans! There are tons of these small, intensely loyal classical music communities bubbling up in major metropolitan areas in the US as well as in the UK. In fact, one of my favorite classical newsletters comes from the UK: DilettanteMusic.
So my Top 5 Reasons for digging the classical revolution taking place in the US are:
- Combining 2 of my favorite past times: Drinking adult beverages & listening to great music
- Hanging out with people who also dig classical music in a relaxed environment
- Clapping, whistling and generally carrying on when a musician does something extraordinary
- Watching friends faces as it dawns on them that classical music is cool
- Meeting the musicians afterward and congratulating them on great performances!
Have you gone to any of these kinds of performances before? What was your impression? Would you go again? Who’s been your favorite performer to watch?
I wish I could’ve been at Le Poisson Rouge for Ute Lemper, or for either one of Peter Breiner’s CD release parties. One of my all time favs was the New Amsterdam/Non-Classical Records concert. Talk about wild! That party featured artists such as The Elysian Quartet, John Matthias & Nick Ryan, NOW Ensemble, DJ Gabriel Prokofiev and Sam Z. Solomon. Most of these guys also played at SXSW, which I got to see when I was there back in March. It rocked.
I think opening up classical music to the masses and making it accessible can almost be synonymous with making the Bible available in languages other than Latin. Exposing my friends and family to all the great classical musicians and composers is a great first step, but I’m hoping to turn them into lifelong devotees! Well, at least expand their horizons…for now.