In a The Economist
article titled “Beethoven with Your Beer,” writer A.T. shares the irony of heading out to a dive bar to hear extraordinarily talented classical musicians play while scarfing down hot dogs and chugging beer.
“The idea for the sextet -- piano, flute, oboe, violin, viola and cello -- to perform at the bar came from a meeting of minds," the article states. "Joshua Smith, principal flautist at the orchestra and lead member of Ensemble HD, had long been interested in reaching out to people who don't go to classical-music concerts; and Sean Watterson, owner of Happy Dog, is similarly interested in mixing high- and low-brow culture.”
The first performance of the ensemble occurred in June 2011. There was concern and low expectations but as it turned out, patrons were lined up down the block.
“They stayed for the entire three-hour performance; a hush falling over the usually noisy space. Then at one point a group of bearded hipsters wearing flannel shirts raised their lighters and chanted "Beethoven! Beethoven!" in appreciation.”
Enjoy the complete article here