How do you make something old new again?
Take a composer who was big in the 1700s and put him on ice. Literally. To lure 20 and 30-somethings to Beethoven’s “Eroica” concert at the Merrill Auditorium this month, the Portland Symphony Orchestra and nearby mixology house Portland Hunt and Alpine club have teamed up for a twofer: Symphony and Spirits.
For a mere $20, the sector of the population that doesn’t normally dash out to the symphony, can sip a Beethoven-themed cocktail with contemporaries before heading to the concert on Feb. 17th.
“This is a social evening. This is going to break the walls down and create a sense of community,” said Lindsay Stanley, PSO’s development coordinator.
Stanley, 24 and Norman Huynh, PSO’s assistant conductor, who is 26, dreamed up the event to introduce their peers to this timeless music. “It’s live symphony, it can’t be recreated. It’s a once in a lifetime experience,” said Stanley.
The typical classical music aficionado is around 60, not 20. This will help extend the appeal to a new demographic, they hope.
Before the show, a happy hour takes place at the Hunt and Alpine Club on Market Street, where cocktail king Andrew Volk is hand-crafting an “Immortal Beloved.”
Consisting of cynar, cocchi Americano, sparkling wine with an orange twist, the libation should break the ice for first-time symphony goers.
“This is a chance to meet some really amazing people, drink some really amazing cocktails, be prepared to listen to some extraordinary music never heard before,” said Stanley.
So far tickets have been flying. “We may have to add more, which is really exciting. Very reassuring,” said Stanley. After happy hour the crowd will sit together at the theater to keep the party rolling.