A Few Words about the Classical Program
Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous was devised as a developer of performance infrastructure aimed at joining folk music artists with smaller communities across the entire country. We were only operating for a few years when we were first approached by classical musicians looking at our model as a potential method. Even before we were approached we had come to understand that almost all genres of music would work as house concerts. Before we got started we did some investigation about the classical music world because it was new territory for us and so we operated mostly on the side of caution. What we found is that the university music schools are producing hundreds of highly trained great players but there are very few music jobs in the real world. As far as we can see, outside of the symphonies, Chamber Orchestra’s and a few classical music societies, the classical music scene is a social-economic disaster. Many of the finest graduate musicians Canada produces are teaching, driving cab, selling insurance or waiting tables. As music lovers we feel a sense of real solidarity with all musicians. In the words of Duke Ellington “There are two kinds of music, the good kind and the other kind”. We stand with the Duke… equally with folk, classical and all players of every genre. Our efforts are aimed at helping them all.
Over the last couple of years we have been operating a very small classical circuit in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. This has produced some wonderful shows but because of funding issues we have been unable to devote the staff time we need for this project. That’s changing. We’ve come to realize the depth of the hole. With the end of CBC as a cultural animator within the classical music world, it is harder for everybody. Folkies we are but we are committed to “the good kind of music” and we love the arts in general. We want to build the classical side of Home Routes/Chemin Chez Nous to rival the folk side. So we need your help.
Foremost we are looking to recruit volunteer hosts for classical music concerts everywhere in Canada. To create a logistically and financially functional classical music circuit takes eight locations within three to four hours driving time from each other. Parallel to our direct organizing campaign, we want to hear from you no matter where you live in Canada. When an area reaches close to the mark, we’ll get a classical music circuit happening. If this is of interest to you or if you know someone who is culturally gregarious, loves music and is community minded, please get in touch. Sometimes, two homes partner and each takes half the season, two of the four shows a year.
The best way for this program to grow is to have a dedicated full time person working on the entire project. Home Routes Classical needs to become someone’s mission in life. The task is to lead the process of expanding this idea to its extraordinary potential within Canada. This project needs someone whose knowledge supports the work of the Artistic Director by carefully expanding the social base specifically to work with folks who love music. This is on our radar.
Message from the Artistic Director
Home Routes Classical is a new idea born of old roots. The classical music home concert was first popularized in the 19th Century when the development and mass production of the piano meant that everyone could have a piano at home. During the 1820’s, the great Austrian song composer Franz Schubert would try out his new songs at a patron’s home in the company of friends, food, and wine, everyone infused by the famous Viennese spirit of “gemuetlichkeit”. Chopin did the same in his many piano soirees in 1840’s Paris. In addition, the huge 19th Century proliferation of sheet-music publication meant that all the latest popular hits could be enjoyed by friends and family in the parlour after dinner.
Home Routes Classical now brings world class artists physically into the familiar surroundings of your parlour. Artists like nothing better than sharing their art with listeners. At close quarters the experience takes on a new intimacy with performers just a few feet away. My job as Artistic Director is to create a balanced selection encompassing the wide range of music that we refer to as “classical’.
~ Artistic Director Mel Braun