While many people still attend concerts in traditional halls, classical music is also being played in more informal settings - and in combination with different types of music. WRTI’s Susan Lewis investigates LiveConnections, which conducts programs at World Café Live in Philadelphia and Wilmington.
LEWIS: Hearing great music performed up close can be a life-changing experience. That’s the premise of LiveConnections, where Melinda Steffy is general manager.
STEFFY: We focus a lot on collaborations with musicians across genres and try to push the boundaries of music, so it's both very compelling and very accessible for a diverse range of people.
A Bach prelude, for example, might be played straight, then again in a jazz style.
LEWIS: This philosophy drives three programs: Bridge Sessions, in partnership with other organizations, presents interactive performances for adults with special needs and groups of students. ClassicAlive is a concert series for the general public with classical music performed with other genres in an intimate setting. Curator Mary Javian says the concerts expand the boundaries of repertoire, collaboration, and atmosphere.
JAVIAN: We’re bringing classical musicians of a very high level into a club. Asking them to perform while people might have a drink, or might have a meal. But what we find is that the audiences are extremely engaged, because they’re getting an experience they wouldn’t have otherwise.
LEWIS: A third program, Live Studio, aims to use state-of-the-art video technology to connect underserved populations who cannot make it to the venue.