Classical music is fun: new venues bring new accessibility

On 2 August 2015, at 3:00 PM in Kirkland, Washington, the ensemble Grand Cru Baroque (my band) is giving a concert. A formal concert with programs and program notes but not in a venue that is typical of chamber music recitals. We are playing in a place called Northwest Cellars, a wine tasting shop that accommodates larger groups of people for special events, with and without catering. The use of, for me, an unusual venue reminds me of a first-class concert series based in Los Angeles called Chamber Music in Historic Sites. No, the tasting room is not an historic site, and the reminder of the LA series is connected to an idea a colleague of mine had once upon a time, of producing discriminating, elegant, and cultivated music events in a counter-culture setting. He wanted to have a series called Chamber Music in Odd Places, and that the inaugural concert take place here.

Thanks to the dedicated and entrepreneurial work of my friend and colleague, harpsichordist Henry Lebedinsky and his Early Music Underground organization, classical music lovers in the Pacific Northwest may now experience high-quality performances in unusual and relaxing settings. It is also a way to bring in new audience members, people who did not realize that classical music, in particular so-called Baroque music, was accessible to them and that they could enjoy fine wine or craft beer in the process. In other words, classical music outreach is fun.

While our venue on 2 August is not as exotic as a high-rise fast food restaurant in the Mid-Wilshire /Koreatown district of Los Angeles, it does provide an elegant, intimate space for enjoying music, wine, and a conversation about how the two types of events go together.

Our event has fine wine but no catering. The wine will be served in conjunction with the program. The program, in fact, is somewhat designed to go with the wine offerings. The music is thus paired with the wine. Below is the description of the program on Facebook:

Sample the exceptional Reserve wines of Northwest Cellars and enjoy live music by Bach, Blavet,  Jacquet de la Guerre, and more performed by Grand Cru Baroque (Kim Pineda, baroque flute; Gus Denhard, lute and theorbo; and Henry Lebedinsky, harpsichord). Baroque music blends the energy of Bluegrass, the soul of R&B, and the intellectual depth of Classical music. Early Music Underground’s Tasting Notes programs are the perfect way to enjoy great wine and great music, an unforgettable way to experience the finer things in life.

Tickets are $25.00 and may be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets.

If you live in the greater Seattle area please consider sharing your Sunday afternoon with us.

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