A report Monday (3/11) on The Economist online states, “Performing classical music at a dive bar that serves beer and hot dogs is an unusual concept. But Ensemble HD, a group of musicians from the Cleveland Orchestra, is packing out the city’s Happy Dog bar at their monthly live shows. The idea for the sextet—piano, flute, oboe, violin, viola and cello—to perform at the bar came from a meeting of minds. Joshua Smith, principal flautist at the orchestra and lead member of Ensemble HD, had long been interested in reaching out to people who don’t go to classical-music concerts; and Sean Watterson, owner of Happy Dog, is similarly interested in mixing high- and low-brow culture. After leaving his finance job in New York following the financial meltdown in 2008, Mr Watterson moved back to Cleveland and transformed this rust-belt bar into a hub of cultural programming. … Last autumn Mr Smith and Mr Watterson successfully raised $15,000 on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site, for a project to record Ensemble HD playing two live shows. … Cleveland Orchestra is not affiliated with Ensemble HD, but, to coincide with the group’s album release, the orchestra is holding a residency from May 13th to 19th in the up-and-coming Gordon Square neighborhood, home to the Happy Dog bar.”

Posted March 12, 2013