Millennials look to reconfigure classical music experience

Posted on: April 9, 2013

In Saturday’s (4/6) Boston Globe columnist Renée Loth writes, “The decision last month by The Longy School of Music to end the music lessons for children and non-professional adults it has offered for more than 90 years has reignited laments about the ‘crisis’ in classical music. Concert attendance is declining, according to the National Endowment for the Arts. Audiences are aging, orchestras are struggling, classical radio stations are abandoning the format. Frustrated parents and teachers ask where future audiences will come from for the professional musicians whom Longy is training now if a love of classical music isn’t nurtured in community programs like the very one the school is ditching.” Sam Bodkin, 23, believes the solution must come from his own generation. “So Bodkin has taken the ethos of his generation—a mash-up of DIY business, couch-surfing, file-sharing, and beer—and created Groupmuse, a networking tool to create ‘organic social gatherings’ around classical music in radically different settings. The ‘happenings’ arranged by Groupmuse are low-cost (typically $5 or $10), often held in an apartment or church hall, and feature food, libation, and plenty of socializing. … Bodkin’s optimism is infectious. If his fellow millennials can just be exposed to great music in a welcoming atmosphere, he believes they’ll be hooked.”

Posted April 9, 2013