about Music in Familiar Spaces
Music in Familiar Spaces (MFS) is bringing the classical music experience at its highest level to new places and new audiences all across Europe and North America. Some of the world’s leading classical musicians have come together to form the Music in Familiar Spaces Artist Collective, all with the aim of reaching out to new audiences through innovative and accessible concerts. Music in Familiar Spaces also equips young professional musicians in presenting engaging concerts through its educational resources and advising.
Members of the MFS Artist Collective organize concerts using what is known as the Music in Familiar Spaces Model, a model for organizing and promoting concerts that was developed by Steuart and Michelle Pincombe, the founders of the MFS movement. Steuart and Michelle spent one year traveling North America in their vintage trailer bringing classical concerts to breweries, cafes, bookstores, homes – any place where people felt comfortable to engage with this often-unfamiliar art form (you can read about their tour here). They built up an arsenal of resources including a detailed how-to guide, relationships with “familiar” venues who want to continue hosting classical music concerts, and creative program ideas that engage with particular spaces (for example, “Bach & Beer”). These resources are shared with – and expanded by – members of the Artist Collective, equipping each musician to present their own grassroots MFS concerts.
There are a few key elements that make Music in Familiar Spaces concerts unique. First of all, unlike many concerts-outside-the-concert-hall, MFS concerts are presented by well-established professional musicians at the top of their field. This allows concert-goers to experience classical music at its highest level! Secondly, the concerts feature innovative and engaging programs that are specifically designed to appeal to a wide audience. And finally, the concerts use a new financial model that minimizes ordinary concert overhead costs and asks concert-goers to “name-their-own-ticket-price”, paying only what they can afford. The musician keeps 100% of the ticket revenue, often making a very good concert fee, and the concerts are affordable to anyone.
Music in Familiar Spaces is the first network of its kind. It is classical musicians joining together, pooling resources and sharing advice, all with the aim of expanding the classical music audience. Importantly, the interests of the musicians are also at the heart of the organization: Music in Familiar Spaces allows its members to organize well-paying, meaningful concerts on their own terms.
about the founders
We are Steuart and Michelle Pincombe. We're passionate about connecting to people through music. We spent four years living in the Netherlands where Steuart has established a career as a leading cellist while Michelle worked for an international court in The Hague. Our time in Europe was full of amazing opportunities and incredible people. Motivated by a desire to connect with audiences and to present innovative, original programs, we decided to move back to the U.S. and embark on our next adventure: Music in Familiar Spaces. We sold or gave away most of our things and bought a 19-foot travel trailer from 1959 - this served as our home for the year. We traveled North America for 13 months, presented over 60 concerts and had a pretty amazing time! (You can read about our tour here.)
We decided to take everything we learned and gathered and pass these onto other musicians. We wanted to maintain the standard of sharing classical music at its highest level so we established the Music in Familiar Spaces Artist Collective. We are thrilled that these amazing musicians are building on the work we started.
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