San Francisco’s Mission District

USA94102 San Francisco



"Standing room only on Monday nights is par for the course at this café/bar in San Francisco's Mission district, because on Mondays, the café hosts live chamber music. The musicians, a mix of freelancers, conservatory students, and techies who play on the side, are volunteers with Classical Revolution, a program that brings high-level classical music into intimate public spaces....

The easy exposure to classical music, up close and casual, is exactly what Classical Revolution is shooting for, says Charith Premawardhana, the group's 36-year-old founder, a violist himself. The reason that more young people aren't interested in classical isn't the music, he explains, but the setting: tickets are expensive, and you have to dress up and be quiet for hours. "It's restricting for a lot of young people." His goal for Classical Revolution is simple: "It's high art, but it's not high brow. We're taking it seriously and playing passionately, but we're taking out all the other stuff that you get in a normal classical music setting: the formal dress, the formal attitude, the stuffy environment. The music is kept at a high level but the rest is chill."

Music Program