We all crave shared experiences with real people, in real life, offline. Groupmuse is a platform enabling communities to come together around great art; an online social network that connects young classical musicians to local audiences through concert house parties. Share the great masterpieces of music with old and new friends — in your living room and throughout your city. Because art is better with your friends. Because music can't hear itself. Because we need to feel together. Groupmuse. Be Alive.
Groupmuse’s origins can be traced back to the Allston apartment of pianist Cristian Budu, in 2010. There, 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 concerts, refined the idea while working for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and put on the first groupmuse in January of 2013.
Every week, the Groupmuse platform brings hundreds of new listeners to classical music. With over 300 events in the last year, we’ve been featured in TIME, the Guardian, the Boston Globe, NPR, and many others. It’s always free to host a groupmuse and we can adapt to any size space. Just set the number of guests you’d like to have over, reserve some spots for your friends, and our platform connects you to area musicians. Our new program, Groupmuse at Work, provides an exciting opportunity to infuse any company’s culture with the great masterpieces of art. Like all groupmuses, these experiences are characterized by warmth, depth, and inspiration. They help employees engage and bond as only profound and shared experiences can.
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.
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.
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.