Classical Revolution Brings Chamber Music to Your Local Cafe

Classical Revolution hosts a chamber music jam at Faire Gallery & Cafe on Monday, March 5, at 8 p.m. More details are available on the Classical Revolution event page. Parnassus Project and Classical Revolution present an evening of French chamber music at Cafe Cesura on Friday, March 9, at 7 p.m. More details are available on the Parnassus Project site. Both events are free and open to all.

Classical Revolution is a network of classical musicians devoted to the goal of making live classical music more accessible to a diverse audience. The group brings chamber music to the relaxed atmosphere of neighborhood cafes and gathering places. Born in 2006 at Revolution Cafe in San Francisco’s Mission District, Classical Revolution has since spread around the world, with active chapters in cities throughout North America and Europe.

A chamber music jam at Faire Gallery & Cafe (Photo: Brandon Vance for Classical Revolution Seattle)

The typical Classical Revolution event is a “chamber music jam”, where local musicians gather at a bar or cafe to play through well-known works from the chamber music repertoire. Pieces are chosen on the spot, depending on the instruments available.

Despite the fact that performances are mostly non-rehearsed, the caliber of playing is quite high. Most of the musicians are professionals or experienced amateurs who have a great deal of experience playing in chamber music ensembles.

Rather than emphasizing a formal, polished performance, Classical Revolution focuses on bridging the gap between musicians and audience members, bringing chamber music to a casual setting and building a community among local musicians.

The Seattle chapter of Classical Revolution was formed in 2011. The group holds free chamber music jams on the first Monday of every month at Faire Gallery & Cafe on Capitol Hill. The atmosphere is friendly and casual–performances are interspersed with chatting, banter, and coffee. It’s like a social hour for Seattle’s classical music community, providing a unique opportunity to mingle with local musicians and see them in action in an informal setting.

This month’s Classical Revolution Seattle event centered around the music of Felix Mendelssohn, in celebration of the composer’s birthday. About a dozen musicians gathered at Faire to read through some of Mendelssohn’s popular works for strings, including the Octet for four violins, two violas, and two cellos.

Next month’s gathering, slated for the evening of March 5, will focus on works by Debussy, Ravel, and Bartok. On March 9, the Classical Revolution chapter will team up with musicians from the newly-formed Parnassus Project for a concert at Bellevue’s Cafe Cesura. The event features a program of French chamber music followed by a chamber music jam.