The 2015 Mozart Festival: This is what you’re doing on Sunday

Classical music can—and WILL, dang it—be cool again. For the second year running, Classical Revolution is taking over Carytown to bring you the magic of Mozart. And it’s free!

Classical Revolution has been gracing bars, cafés, and galleries with the presence of a Superior Music since 2012.1 Founded by Ellen Cockerham, a pro violinist with the Richmond Symphony, the group rounds up passionate musicians to show a new audience exactly how accessible classical music can be.

Encouraged by the group’s positive reception, Cockerham had the idea to show the film Amadeus at the Byrd last year. “I just thought that would be really cool to do one time, but when I realized what an ordeal it was turning out to be the Byrd for just one night, I thought, ‘We should probably just make this worth it and have a whole day of Mozart in Carytown.”


Easy to say, not quite as easy to do. Cockerham found herself with a feat as large and complex as the body of Mozart’s work.2 She and a few other musicians began coming up with the program and sending out feelers to merchants that might be interested in participating, but none of them were prepared for standing-room-only, come-back-later-for-an-encore-performance-we-just-scheduled-because-we-simply-cannot-accommodate-everyone situations.3

It turns out people enjoy a good day of Mozart as much as they should–or, at least, are curious about it.

“I don’t like the attitude that people need to support the arts like it’s some big disaster. I want them to know that it’s something they can enjoy,” said Cockerham in my favorite quote of the week. Mozart, just like much of classical music, is absolutely accessible and enjoyable, and there’s no reason why you can’t get into it right this second.


Should we expect a Beethoven or a Brahms fest on the horizon? She considered it, but not only are very few other composers as prolific as Wolfie, “there’s a lot of fun to be had with his person. The wig and all that.”

How to navigate that full festival schedule? Cockerham has basically too many suggestions:

“You can go in and out of both 10 Italian Cafe and AlterNatives during their music times (12:00 PM – 2:00 PM). You can go over to Plan 9 at 2:00 PM for Wolfgang 101 if you want to learn what the big deal is about Mozart, and you can stay at Plan 9 and watch operatic scenes with piano accompaniment. And then probably my favorite thing of the day is at Babe’s–the full orchestra and some chorus members from the Richmond Symphony Chorus, who will sing a few movements of the Requiem with us (4:00 – 5:00 PM). Then there’s a little break, so you can grab dinner somewhere (or wait to eat at Can Can if you can get a table). Then at 7:00 PM, there’s the arias at Can Can with full orchestral accompaniment. Last year, the restaurant was full to the brim and both aisles were packed with people. And then we’re going to cut loose and head over to Balliceaux.”


Have fun at the 2015 Mozart Festival, and enjoy the opportunity to get to know some real beauty in your life.

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Flyers courtesy of My Glasses Rule

  1. Word choice mine, not theirs. Or maybe it’s just fact. Classical music is superior and makes whatever tripe we’re listening to these days sound like children banging on toy instruments.) 
  2. Exaggeration. His catalog is immense for someone who died at age 35, and would be immense even for someone who died at 105. If you are approaching your 35th birthday, as I am, don’t think about it. 
  3. That happened with the Wolfgang 101 talk, which she expects to be just as popular this time around. 
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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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