Well, I survived hosting my first Groupmuse concert here in New Orleans and, I must say, it was an overall wonderful experience.
If you haven’t read about Groupmuse before, see my post to learn a little about it. Groupmuse is a platform that connects people who wish to host classical music recitals in their home (or office) with performers and concertgoers. Now that it is in New Orleans, I’ve attended two Groupmuse events, one held by the President of the New Orleans Opera and the one I hosted myself.
So far, I’ve had a blast both as an attendee and as a host. At the first Groupmuse I attended, the concert was given by a clarinetist, bassoonist, and pianist. At my Groupmuse, I hosted a violinist, Eva Liebhaber, and a cellist, Rachel Hseih. Both musicians were members of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and drew audience members therefrom.
Not to downplay the truly lovely performances I’ve so far seen, I wanted to talk about how much Groupmuse appears to be creating a vibrant community of classical musicians and lovers. At my Groupmuse, I met many LPO members, interested future hosts, local composers, singers, conductors, avid fans, and all around interesting and good people. As a pianist, which can often be isolating, it was really lovely to spend time talking with other musicians of different disciplines. We even spoke of collaboration in the future!
I also appreciate the community Groupmuse fosters by providing more intimate, relaxed, classical concerts in a salon-like atmosphere. New Orleans is not a city with a huge chamber music scene (although there are Birdfoot Festival and Friends of Music), and this makes that music more available to New Orleans concertgoers who have an especial interest in this music. Lastly, I love that Groupmuse will provide a new outlet for classical musicians to perform in this city. In a city with a million jazz clubs and blues dive bars, it can be hard to participate in the vibrant musical culture as a classical musician because there just aren’t as many less-formal environments in which to perform as there are with other genres. I think the accessibility of these concerts will encourage and even drive more classical musicians to share their solo or chamber works and make the community that much better.
With that said, it’s time to schedule my next hosting event!