Rose Blooms in Unlikely Place

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The Boston Herald
T. J. Medrek
January 7, 2005

"Is that a conductor's baton or a divining rod that Gil Rose waves around in front of the musicians of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project?

. . .Thanks to a combination of Rose's savvy programming and the notable skill of the orchestra's musicians, BMOP is in its eighth season of orchestral concerts. But that divining rod keeps taking Rose and BMOP down even more unusual paths.

On Tuesday, for instance, you can sample the latest event in what Rose jokingly called "another insane venture": a series of miniconcerts in the cabaret-style Moonshine Room at Club Cafe. Now in its second year, the concerts are part of Rose's ongoing attempt to demystify contemporary classical music. "It's a social environment," Rose said of the venue, with a small stage at one end and a bar at the other, inside the popular South End gay bar and restaurant.

"It's for people looking to do something that doesn't involve sitting quietly in a concert hall seat and knowing something about music," he said.

. . .the series "just grew into its own little thing," according to Rose.

And a successful thing at that. Though there might be those who find it amusing that a classical music group's idea of outreach includes performing at a gay bar, Rose reports that of the four Club Cafe concerts to date, three have been filled to capacity and one was just a bit under. "For the last one (in November), we had to turn people away," he said. In other words, it's working."

- T. J. Medrek