Our mission is two-fold:
A groupmuse is not just a chamber music house concert. It’s an experience that’s as social as it is musical and as convivial as it is stimulating. Moreover, it’s not a one-and-done thing. It’s a building block of a larger community of people who seek beauty and depth in a world where neither is particularly forthcoming. The purpose of a groupmuse is, in part, to relay moments of musical expression that have inspired people for hundreds of years, but it’s also to make you want to come back for more, because when the faces become familiar and your neighbors become your friends is when art is realizing its ultimate potential and reminding us all of our common humanity.
It’s a truism that risks losing its urgency by becoming a cliché but here goes: The powerful forces in our commerce-driven society are pushing us apart. Art brings us together. Come to a groupmuse. You’ll see what we mean.
Sam has been obsessed with classical music ever since he first heard Beethoven's Groβe Fuge, Op. 133, in December of 2008. He graduated from Columbia University in May of 2012 with a degree in political science, which he has known for a while would be useless, considering that he decided to devote his life to helping classical music find its footing in the modern world years ago. When he is not doing that, he is listening to absurd amounts of music, reading a composer's biography or two, and making his way through every word Thomas Pynchon has ever published.
Ezra is a composer, trumpet player, improviser and New England Conservatory graduate. Besides taking his talents to groupmuse, he writes classical and electronic music and performs in the Boston area. When he isn't doing his real jobs, he's probably exercising, playing video games, or reading Gene Wolfe (still his favorite author, but Sam is working on bringing him into the Pynchon cult). He also enjoys e-sports, boxing, being a novice programmer, and writing fugues. He does not like composers' biographies.
Kyle is a Tufts-graduated classical-music-loving bike-riding programmer who has known Sam since middle school. He watched Sam create groupmuse in the beginning of 2013, aggressively cheering him on all the while. Then, in the fall of 2013, he became so damn confident in Groupmuse's mission that he just had to join the team and build this fancy new-fangled website.
Groupmuse’s origins can be traced back to the Allston apartment of pianist Cristian Budu, in 2010. At Linden Hall, as the pad was known, musicians from New England Conservatory would gather for chamber music house parties that would rattle the rafters with the sweet sounds of Brahms late into the night. Groupmuse founder Sam Bodkin was lucky enough to be invited to these Linden Hall concerts and he was so taken with the experience that he decided this was the future of classical music. The rest will hopefully be history.
The painting that appears around the website, and in the background right now, is of Franz Schubert, one of the great artistic geniuses in human history, sitting at the piano, surrounded by human warmth. In the early 19th century, Schubert's friends, supporters and fans would gather in Viennese homes and listen to him and other musicians perform his compositions, interspersed with sounds of laughter, excited conversation, and glasses clinking and being refilled. Seem familiar? They called their evenings Schubertiads, and we totally ripped off their idea.
This tremendous masterpiece was painted by Gustav Kilmt, a great Viennese artistic genius of a century later. And here we are, a century after Klimt's Schubert at the Piano, keeping alive the vision of these two heroes of culture.
Special thanks to Ari Borensztein, Sebastian Bäverstam, Cristian Budu, Yannick Rafalimanana, Nicolas Hugon, and Brian Dixon for their assistance, and to Alex Hugon for building the original groupmuse website.