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'Classical Keggers' Teach Millennials the Merit and Merriment of Classical Music

By Philip Trapp on May 10, 2016 10:42 AM EDT
Kregger A participant shows off his beer muscles after lifting a full keg of beer on a weight machine during a street party at the Staropramen brewery June 21 in Prague, Czech Republic. (Photo : Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Composer Nathan Felix takes a novel approach in displaying his symphonic works to the Millennial Generation. Armed with locally-donated kegs of beer, the Texas musician mounted his second "Classical Kegger" last weekend in San Antonio.

As he told KENS 5 Eyewitness News, the aim was to exhibit performances of live classical music to an age group typically unfamiliar with the genre:

"My goal was simply to present classical music to an audience that wasn't used to to going to the concert hall or doesn't really know anything about classical music."

The soirée was produced in association with the Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio's Millennial Committee, partnering with Felix to bring the event to the Alamo City after his first such concert in Austin. The Millennial Committee was established in 2014 in an effort to engage today's young people with the artistry of classical music.

Millennial Committee chair Natalia Martinez explained the organization's method in its youth music outreach program to the San Antonio Current:

"COSA's approach is intended to empower up-and-coming leaders by engaging them in our efforts to impact millennials, as well as future generations, in intellectually, and culturally enhancing activities."

The performance itself featured Felix's experimental multiple-piano formation, in which the audience is at the center of musicians playing six pianos simultaneously. The homemade surround sound technique offers a unique classical experience.

The artist's six-piano idea occurred to him while he was living in Los Angeles. Collecting six used pianos from classified ads, Felix told PBS of the project's nexus:

"I wanted to do something that was very bold and for myself, creatively speaking, I wanted to do something that was challenging," he said.

Serving as a benefit for the city's schools, even the pianos used for the concert were donated to local music education programs after the show.

What do you think of Felix's "Classical Kegger" idea? Would you be interested in attending a similar celebration? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, we'd love to hear from you.

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TagsNathan Felix, Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio