What we are

Groupmuse is a worker- and musician-owned cooperative seeking to uplift artists and strengthen broader community bonds through live, intimate performances of historically-rooted music.

At first glance, Groupmuse is an online platform where hosts and musicians organize concerts (which we call "groupmuses") in non-traditional spaces, such as living rooms, backyards, church basements, and public parks.

But ask any long-time groupmuser, and you’ll learn that Groupmuse is about so much more. It’s about building real, in-person community. It’s about bringing friends along and making new ones. It’s about giving and receiving gifts seen and unseen. It’s about closing your eyes and being transported during a particularly powerful passage of music. It’s about feeling connected to yourself, your local community, and the world.

What’s “historical music?”

For much of Groupmuse’s life, our focus was exclusively on western classical music. After George Floyd’s murder in 2020, we decided to broaden our focus to encompass all historical music traditions of the world. After all, a groupmuse is powerful not because the music comes from Europe—but because it’s music that has been handed down through the generations, too powerful, too beautiful, too alive to be lost to time. It’s through the connection to humans in space (packed together on a living room floor) and through time (maintaining glorious centuries-old musical traditions) that Groupmuse’s wholesome and transformational community-building power shines.

We define historical music as:

  • Rooted in a tradition than can be traced back at least 100 years.
  • Performed by artists making a lifetime commitment to this tradition.
  • Intended for performance at an intimate scale.

Why cooperativism?

Integrity for us starts from the internal structure of our company and propagates out. Our small team of core staff are organized as worker-owners in a cooperative. We collectively decide our own leaders, we determine our budget collaboratively and transparently, and we work through hard decisions together.

We recognize that musicians are inherently community builders, that Groupmuse depends on them to develop our shared cultural infrastructure. As such, we needed a structure that invites, meaningfully rewards, compensates, and celebrates our own exquisitely skilled practitioners of these ancient arts. In 2021, we invited a Council of musicians to develop our internal structure for musicians, the keystone organizers of our community. In October 2021, the Council launched our musician-ownership program in the coop, and we welcomed our first ten musician-owners. (You can learn more about that in our article "Become a Musician-Owner at Groupmuse".)

When we dream, we dream of a massive network of Groupmuse cooperatives, each run locally by musicians and hosts, federated into a global ecosystem for live art, all depending on shared infrastructure built and maintained by a central administrative and product team. We’re not there yet, but we have the vision, and the structure as it ripens into reality.

Our values

At Groupmuse, we use these three values to guide our work. By talking about these values and reinforcing them through our work practices, we hold ourselves in alignment around the way we want to show up in the world.

  • Listening: To oneself; to others; to the world. Presence, availability, and connection.
  • Heart: Manifesting love, thought, care, empathy, and honesty in your work and relations.
  • Impact: Commitment to cultural transformation on every scale, from the smallest to the most grand.

Origin story

Groupmuse's origins can be traced back to the Boston apartment of pianist Cristian Budu, in 2010. There, musicians from the 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, developed the idea while working for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and put on the first groupmuse in 2013.


Groupmuse is organized into two distinct legal entities:

  1. The Groupmuse Cooperative is a worker- and musician-led business entity which carries out our daily operations supporting musicians and hosts, delivering successful events, growing the community, and developing revenue streams. It supports itself through event income, community revenue, ticketing partnerships with other concert presenters, and more (and was profitable until the pandemic hit). If you’re interested in investing in the Cooperative, we offer preferred stock in the form of Investor Shares with limited voting rights and capped returns. If you're interested, please contact [email protected].
  2. The Groupmuse Foundation is our parallel 501c3 nonprofit, stewarded by a generous board of arts patrons, which fundraises and supports much of the musician-first work we do. Compensating musicians for their performances and administrative labor is important to us, so initiatives that are musician-first are funded by grants from the Foundation. Anyone can support Groupmuse’s model of keeping live music accessible while guaranteeing musicians a minimum payment, by making a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation. If you’re interested in getting involved with the Foundation, please contact [email protected].

This dual-structure path was carved through many years of challenges and exploration. Groupmuse has always operated along an awkward middleground between a non-profit and a for-profit entity, making it difficult to find aligned capital. In the arts world, we didn’t follow the traditional arts non-profit playbook and structure. In the for-profit world, we weren’t interested in extractive capital. However, with a small seed round in 2014 and a successful community Kickstarter campaign in 2015, we were able to develop a sustainable business model by 2016. With the launch of the Groupmuse Foundation in 2020, we’ve been able to source different capital from different sources, each aligned with the work they’re funding.

Staff / Worker-Owners

Sam Bodkin

Foundation and Steering Committee
Washington, DC Area

Kyle Schmolze

Product and Steering Committee

Scott Garlinger

Partnerships and Event Production

Christos Vayenas

Musician Development

Bexx Rosenbloom

Accounting and Event Production

Mosa Tsay

Foundation and Steering Committee
New York

Alexander Dubovoy


Adrienne Baker

Muser Experience
New York

Katherine Kyu Hyeon Lim

Musician Relations, In-Person Concerts
New York

Musician Council / Musician-Owners

Adrienne Baker

A socially conscious artist, Adrienne strives to use her voice to help others find theirs. From her earliest years, crawling around her mother's feet under the piano while she practiced, music has been an extension of her being. The intersection of community and commitment with their accompanying values was a foundation of her upbringing and seeps into her creative process and output.

Through her collaborative duo with saxophonist Seychelle Dunn-Corbin, NorthStar Duo, they work to promote and expose audiences to works for winds. Previous commissions include Spirituals for Wind Duo, an arrangement of negro spirituals by composer Anthony Green. Their most recent commissions include a premiere in Boston of Aaron Jay Meyers' You Save One You Save the World Entire and Liz Gelinas' The Sky Is Green. Adrienne looks forward to continuing to explore their unorthodox instrumentation. Their current passions involve commissioning new works and championing pre-existing works by composers of color and women.

A dedicated educator, Adrienne teaches privately - flute, voice and piano - to students of diverse musical backgrounds and ages. There is no greater joy to her than to simultaneously foster a life long love of learning and appreciation for music. A certified Suzuki instructor, she seeking a doctorate in musical arts from Rutgers University and expects to graduate in 2022.

Cristian Budu

"A stunningly original pianist with musical insight and maturity that could inspire envy in colleagues twice his age." (Gramophone) Young Brazilian pianist with Romanian parents, Cristian Budu got international attention when he won the Grand Prize (+2 extra) at the prestigious Clara Haskil Competition (2013). Later on, his first solo album got "Editor’s Choice" by Gramophone and "5-Diapasons" by Diapason, and he recieved many other prizes such as "Best Concert of the Year" (2016, 'Guia da Folha', Brazil) and "Best Instrumentalist" (2017, Association of Art Critics of Sao Paulo). By the end of 2017, his recordings entered Gramophone's list of "Top 10 Chopin Recordings” and ” Top 10 Recent Beethoven Recordings”, and most recently, the historical "Top 50 Greatest Chopin Recordings" of all time.

Recent and future engagements include solo recital at Verbier Festival, duos with Renaud Capuçon and Antonio Meneses, solos with Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and chamber music with musicians from Berlin Philarmonic Orchestra. Cristian has already performed with orchestras such as Orquestre de la Suisse Romande, Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, has appeared as soloist at important venues such as KKL, Jordan Hall, Liederhalle, Bucharest Athene, and has played and taught at many festivals like Klavierissimo (Zurich), Les Grands Interpretes (Geneva), Rockport Music Festival (USA), among many others.

While stydying in Boston, Cristian hosted meetings that inspired Sam Bodkin in his creation of Groupmuse. In Brazil, Cristian's love for chamber music and social-engagement values made him create Pianosofia, a project that promotes local musicians while recovers

Dara Hankins

Dara Hankins is a bold, innovative artist with a social conscience. She believes in promoting equity through music and is an advocate for social justice. She has performed nationally and internationally with renowned artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis, Joshua Bell, Kirk Whalum Lalah Hathaway and many others. Dara is active as an orchestral musician, soloist, chamber musician, and teaching artist. She welcomes collaboration with artists from diverse disciplines.

Ms. Hankins earned her Bachelor of Music degree from New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts. She went on to earn her Master of Music degree from Manhattan School Of Music in New York City.

Dara currently resides in New York City.

Kiyoshi Hayashi

Kiyoshi Hayashi is the founder and violinist of the award-winning Rasa String Quartet, Co-Artistic Director of the string ensemble and nonprofit organization, Palaver Strings, and has a personal mission to use music as a means to catalyze global social change.

Kiyoshi has won top prizes in various competitions around the US including the Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, Music Teachers National Association Chamber Music Competition, and the Midwest Young Artists National Concerto Competition. He regularly performs with many renowned ensembles around the New England area including Palaver Strings, A Far Cry, Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra, and Phoenix Orchestra.

Kiyoshi’s principal teachers include Nicholas Kitchen and Almita Vamos and he received his B.M. from the New England Conservatory of Music in 2016. Since graduating, he has become very passionate about using music as a means to foster community, to heal and positively uplift people’s lives, and to inspire social change. He has served as Director of Community Engagement for Palaver Strings and worked as a teaching artist for the Revolution of Hope’s Roxbury Youth Orchestra and the Boston Philharmonic’s Crescendo! nonprofit organization.

Aside from music, Kiyoshi is very passionate about wellness and personal development. He is a certified personal trainer and integrative nutrition health coach and is the founder of his personal health and life coaching business, Train From Within.

When he isn’t playing music or coaching, Kiyoshi can be found going on a morning run, playing basketball, tennis, or soccer, practicing yoga, listening to a podcast, hanging out with his dog, Rusty, or exploring the outdoors.

James Jaffe

Cellist James Jaffe has a special love for chamber music. He has performed at the Robert Mann String Quartet Institute in Manhattan, in Switzerland and France on concert tours, at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music, at dive bars in Canada, on top of Aspen Mountain, and once for stranded traffic during a January mudslide on Highway 299. His chamber music performances have been streamed live from the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and broadcast on Cleveland’s WCLV 104.9, Virginia’s WVTF 89.1, and San Francisco’s KDFC 90.3. He has also performed over 120 Groupmuses to date, including a sold-out performance of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden at San Francisco’s first Massivemuse.

Recognizing the immediate need for musical connections during the pandemic, James participated in quarantine-era projects with many longtime friends and collaborators: livestreams with the Sierra Quartet, violinist Mélanie Clapiès, and visual artist Peggy Gyulai; hybrid events with Classical Revolution and the Trinity Alps Chamber Music Festival; live outdoor performances with Concerts in the Park; and new video projects with One Found Sound.

Aside from his role as performer, James serves as Artistic Director of Festival Rolland, a summer chamber music festival in Burgundy, France. He has also taught chamber music at the Northern Lights Chamber Music Institute, the Crowden School, and Baldwin Wallace University.

James spent summers studying at the Aspen Music Festival, [email protected], and the Banff Centre. His chamber music mentors include members of the Juilliard, Cleveland, Takács, Tokyo, Vermeer, Emerson, Brentano, and Kronos quartets.

Sooyun Kim

Praised as “a rare virtuoso of the flute” by Libération, Sooyun Kim has established herself as one of the rare flute soloists in the classical music scene. Since her concerto debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra at age ten, she has performed with orchestras including the Bavarian Radio, Munich Philharmonic, Munich Chamber, and Boston Pops orchestras. She has given recitals around the world including the Kennedy Center, the Louvre Museum, Seoul Arts Center and Franz Liszt Hall in Budapest. A winner of the Georg Solti Foundation Career Grant, she has received numerous international awards and prizes including the third prize at the ARD International Flute Competition. Her summer appearances include the [email protected], Spoleto USA, Yellow Barn, Rockport, Olympic, Charlottesville, Ravinia and Tanglewood festivals. Her special interest in interdisciplinary art led her to collaborate with many artists, dancers, and museums around the world such as Sol Lewitt, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Glassmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark. She choreographed and performed in dance works for Chamber Music Northwest and the Tivoli Dance Troupes in Denmark. An alum of The Bowers Program (formerly CMS Two), she celebrates her 10th season with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as Artist Member. As an educator, she has given masterclasses and lectures around the world including the Cleveland Institute of Music, Mannes School of Music, Sibelius Academy in Finland and Seoul National University in Korea. She teaches summer courses at the Orford Musique and is on the faculty at Longy School of Bard College. Ms.Kim studied at the New England Conservatory under tutelage of Paula Robison. In addition to her musical training, she studied Baroque Dance with Melinda Sullivan. Praised for her tone that “shone like bright jewel” (San Jose Examiner), Ms. Kim plays on a rare 18-carat -gold flute specially made for her by Verne Q. Powell Flutes.

Katherine Kyu Hyeon Lim

Based in New York City, South Korean violinist/improviser/producer/teacher Katherine Kyu Hyeon Lim is a member of the Unison Quartet and Impromptuo, and co-founder of The Moving Orchestra. Lim has been presented by acclaimed organizations such as House of Yes, International Contemporary Ensemble, (Le) Poisson Rouge, Metropolis Ensemble, The Juilliard School, Prague Conservatory, and Music Technology at Mason Gross, as well as National Arts Diversity Integration Association, Fifth Wall Performing Arts, Current Showcase, Variousound Sessions 2020 Residency, and the Bushwick Improvised Music Series.

Lim’s early performing career, starting at the age of 10, mainly took place in South Korea, Czech Republic, Germany, and the UK. An avid chamber musician, Lim is a member of the Unison Quartet, who has previously participated in the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar and Perlman Music Program and has been chosen to participate at the Aspen Music Festival in summer 2021. As an improviser, she is co-founder of Impromptuo and The Moving Orchestra, both of which focus on performing free-form improvisation. Lim is also a loving teacher of 19 young violinists in NYC. Starting her teaching career at the Meadowmount School of Music in 2016, she is a faculty member at Opus 118 Harlem School of Music and New Amsterdam School. She is also a devoted musician/staff emcee at Groupmuse.

Lim holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from The Juilliard School and is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts.

Eric Silberger

Virtuoso violinist Eric Silberger is a prize winner of the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in 2011. His performances have been described by critics as “spine-tingling…astonishing” (The Guardian), “dazzling virtuoso playing” (The Washington Post), “impeccable level of playing, a wonderful musician” (Heather Kurzbauer, The Strad), and “ ….he has got everything in his favour, technique, composure and personality.” (El Pais, Spain).

Eric has performed as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States and around the world, including solo performances with the San Francisco Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonia, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Chamber Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, London Philharmonia, Danish National Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica de México, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, among others. Conductor collaborations include Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, Dimitri Kitajenko, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Donald Runnicles, Robin Ticciati, and others. An avid chamber musician, Eric frequently performs chamber music internationally.

Collaborators have included Itzhak Perlman, Martin Beaver, Elmar Oliveira, and Jake Shimabukuro. Eric is also part of the Mana Music String Quartet, Gloriosa Trio, Castleton Chamber Players and JP Jofre Hard Tango Chamber Band.

Eric received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Columbia University and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School. Mentors have included Glenn Dicterow, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Robert Mann, and Dorothy Delay, among others. He was also mentored by Maestro Lorin Maazel.

Eric plays on a rare J.B. Guadagnini violin from 1757 on generous loan from the Si-Yo Music Society Foundation Sau-Wing Lam collection. Eric is a Co-Founder of the Hawaii International Music Festival and Director of Strings at the Classical Bridge International Music Festival.

Staff emcees

These amazing people facilitate our virtual events week in and week out.

Dara Hankins

New York, NY

Alfredo Colon

New York, NY

Eric Silberger

New York, NY

Lily Press

Los Angeles, CA

James Jaffe

San Francisco, CA

Joey Chang

New York, NY

Simon Linn-Gerstein

Los Angeles, CA

Mann-Wen Lo

Los Angeles, CA

Katherine Kyu Hyeon Lim

New York, NY

Special Thanks

Emily Chiappinelli

Creator of the Massivemuse

Mike Gallagher

Special Adviser, New York City

Additional Thanks

  • Ben Miller
  • Emma Lynn
  • Ari Borensztein
  • Sebastian Bäverstam
  • Cristian Budu
  • Yannick Rafalimanana
  • Nicolas Hugon
  • Brian Dixon
  • Alex Hugon

Groupmuse would not have been possible without the help of these generous folks.

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?

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.