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.
CEO, New York City
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.
Web + Mobile, San Francisco
Kyle is Groupmuse's technical lead, handling everything from the website to the mobile apps. He's been close friends with Sam since middle school, and was inaugurated into the wonderful world of classical music shortly after the "Groβe Fuge Incident", geeking out with Sam ever since. Other obsessions include bicycles, chess, and ultimate frisbee. Groupmuse is his second startup since college, and it has pretty thoroughly taken over his entire life from cyberspace to meatspace. He is pretty happy about this.
Community + Sustainability, Boston
A lifelong musician/advocate hybrid, Hailey worked as a community organizer at a political non-profit before following her musical heart and jumping on the Groupmuse train. She's witnessed the power of music communities to heal and inspire, and believes that raw, honest expression via the arts can be as powerful a tool as any to change the world. If she's not Groupmusing, Hailey's probably engaging strangers in conversations about gender justice, quoting Lord of the Rings, or campaigning in favor of the Oxford Comma.
Internal Ops, Boston
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.
Communications + Massives; Part-Time
Ben is a writer and researcher based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn who likes telling important stories well, fixing what's wrong with arts marketing, and making interdisciplinary performances happen. When he's not Groupmusing, Ben writes short fiction, reviews books, reads Tolstoy, researches queer histories, and geeks out about Beethoven performance practice.
The painting that appears around the website 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 Klimt, 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.
These awesome people made Groupmuse happen: