D.C.’s Gourmet Symphony, lowering barriers to classical music, while socializing with audience

Posted on: September 3, 2015

“Lots of Washington establishments carefully pair food and drink,” writes Mark Jenkins in Wednesday’s (9/2) Washington Post. “Gourmet Symphony, a local nonprofit group, was founded last fall to add a third element: classical music. More recently, the organization expanded into a different sort of food service. Thursday’s concert at the Hamilton restaurant will benefit Gourmet Symphony and three partners that feed low-income Washingtonians: So Others Might Eat, Bread for the City and Miriam’s Kitchen….’ [Co-founder John] Devlin is the executive director and youth orchestra conductor of the McLean Orchestra, as well as the assistant conductor of New Jersey’s Princeton Symphony Orchestra…. Gourmet Symphony’s first event was a Kickstarter-funded concert at the Atlas in February. Devlin said he was surprised to learn that ‘70 percent of the audience had never been to a classical music event before.’ … ‘The orchestra never performs on a stage,’ Devlin said. “We’re always in the middle of the audience…. The orchestra will come and eat and drink with the audience between pieces.’ … Gourmet Symphony will continue to perform in a variety of spaces and is scheduling a fall series of ‘saloon concerts,’ designed for 30 to 50 listeners and featuring mostly solo and duet performances.”

Posted September 3, 2015