Classical Revolution is a chamber music organization known for holding performances of classical music in unusual spaces. Charith Premawardhana founded the organization in 2006 at San Francisco's Revolution Café. As of 2013, the organization has 38 chapters in different cities in North America and Europe including London, Berlin, and Paris. The group focuses on accessibility to the audience and creating opportunities for local musicians to perform. Its tagline is "chamber music for the people".
Although there is no official audition process, participants in Classical Revolution are classically trained musicians of professional quality. News of the group generally spreads by word of mouth and networking. Most of the chapters have Facebook groups or websites for organizing events, recruiting, and advertising.
The musicians and their audience gather in non-traditional performance venues such as cafés, art houses, bookstores, and even sidewalks to play classical chamber music. The pieces played range from early music to newly composed works, and organizers attempt to tailor the program to the venue to avoid squeezing too many musicians into a small space or performing an intimate string quartet in an environment with loud background noise. The casual atmosphere tends to attract younger audiences than that of a symphony hall or other traditional auditoriums, and those younger listeners may be less familiar or less careful with traditional concert etiquette. The organization also encourages concerts in non-traditional formats, such as the open mic nights hosted by Classical Revolution New York. The overarching goal is to attract new listeners to classical music, and to make audiences feel involved in the experience. Although the new setting may inject more energy and enthusiasm into the performance, disadvantages to the informal atmosphere may include disorderly or noisy listeners and outside distractions from passers-by and from the venue itself.
Classical Revolution relies on funding from nonprofits San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music and Fractured Atlas as well as audience donations for its ventures. The use of non-traditional settings keeps costs low so that performing musicians may often split audience donations at the end of the show, much like a communal tip jar.