Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 10, 2011.


Tertulia, the Spanish word for an intellectual, salon-style social gathering, is the name of a new chamber music series here in NYC.

Final stretch, friends! Thank you SO much for all your support. Let's get to $15k!

Kickstarter Goal: Help us fund *5* Tertulias between September and the end of 2011. Thank you for all your support! Click here to view our rewards!

Tertulia: the Spanish word for a salon-style social gathering, where intellectuals meet to discuss trends in art, music and literature.


Tertulia is the name of a new chamber music series here in NYC. Tertulia hosts classical concerts in boutique venues, and we present performances in a way that allows audiences to enjoy food, drink, music and conversation. Here, we remove the sacred wall of formality between performer and listener and instead invite lively musical and social interplay between them. This fresh approach offers listeners a social, casual and inexpensive alternative to a traditional classical concert.


Tertulia preserves the atmosphere New Yorkers already love: a great vibe, delicious food and cocktails in boutique-style venues like a wine bar, cafe, restaurant, or gallery. Tertulias last two to three hours, with live performance on and off throughout. The program is traditional chamber music repertoire with a unique presentation. We embrace a vibrant, casual setting while preserving some concert etiquette basics. See below.


It isn't the music that's the problem, it's the atmosphere we associate with classical music. There is no magic formula for why this music has survived for hundreds of years: it's incredible! So the solution we propose with Tertulia is to invite this music into our spaces, instead of assuming we have to seek out a music space. Jazz did it a long time ago; why can't we?


In elite culture’s reverence for the master composers, in our distance from the great performers, it is easy to forget why these works were written; to be played and to be heard. It is Tertulia’s mission to bring performance opportunities to emerging, professional musicians, and a more relaxed, festive experience to concert-goers. Lastly, we hope that Tertulia will remind listeners that chamber music was once the pop music of its day, oftentimes a scandal for supposedly inciting passionate urges in its followers!


Our goal is to host 5 Tertulias between September and December. Each event costs several thousand dollars to produce. Our chamber musicians are paid professionals, and venues ask for minimums or fees in order to host semi-private events. Build in printing and design costs for programs and marketing material to maintain our professionalism and credibility, and it’s no small bill. So, that’s why we’re asking for your help. 


MEET TERTULIA MUSICIANS - Artist Bios / Future Performers

The music in our Kickstarter Launch video is a live performance of Brahms Clarinet Quintet from our last event. A very special thanks to the musicians:

Hilary Castle, violin
Monica Davis, violin
Marc Sabbah, viola
Isabel Fairbanks, cello
Alucia Scalzo, clarinet


Tickets to our September Tertulias are now on sale at We will see you there!

Check us out on Facebook, read our blog and follow our tweets @tertuliaNYC.


  • Yes. We perform three or four sets of 10 - 15 minute movements from all kinds of chamber music rep. For example, we've performed a Ravel duo for Violin and Cello, the Brahms Clarinet Quintet (which you hear in the video), the Boccherini Fandango (with castanets!), and the Debussy String Quartet, just to name a few. After each set, we invite the audience to eat, drink and socialize in "extended intermissions." Click here for a sample program:

    This allows audience members to interact with each other, as well as with the musicians. It's a give and take -- a time for artist, a time for audience.

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  • Here's where you can buy tickets to the next Tertulia:

    We offer 4 ticket levels. General Entry, Reserve a Seat, Reserve a Seat for dinner, and Support Tertulia for a small perk (best seats, complimentary glass of wine) and a big thank you!

    Please see our events calendar at for Tertulias through October. Nov and Dec TBA soon!

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  • Well, I'm a lucky gal, and with all of the orchestras I've played in, and festivals I've attended... I've met some of the most talented young professionals in ALL of NYC (and well beyond). Tertulia musicians have budding careers. They are the promising talent of the future, and it's our goal to help them get the kind of exposure they deserve. And have fun at the same time!

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  • There are many different factors that contribute to how we choose our music. Right now, we're sticking to well-known chamber music composers. Brahms, Ravel, Schubert, Borodin, Beethoven, Mozart, Glass, etc. As audiences learn more about chamber music, we want to challenge them with more contemporary and experimental rep. All in due time! For now, we introduce a composer we feel is less known to amateur audiences, a Romantic giant (Brahms, Schubert), and a fun, lively, party-appropriate selection of all of our choices. The musicians play what they love, and the audience has a fun yet rewarding listening experience.

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  • Good question. It's pretty challenging to find a space that has the right vibe, the right acoustics, the right space, logistically, and the right price. There are so many venues in NYC that will be perfect for a Tertulia. The challenge (and the joy) is getting out and finding them! We're always open to suggestions.

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  • Tertulia plans to forge onward through next year with the boost we'll get from this fall season. With kickstarter's help, we'll work towards making a name for ourselves in the city and becoming a reputable, well-respected chamber music series. We're already excited to plan our spring season! Eventually (in the not-very-distant future) we'll be incorporating and establishing ourselves as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Exciting stuff!

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    Every little bit counts! For any reward level, starting with a pledge of $10 or more, we'll make recordings of live performances available for you to download. CDs will be available too, by request!

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    17 backers

    It starts to add up at this level. Pledge $25 and up, and we will print your name in the September program and / or on our website. Julia will also send you a personal thank you note in a program autographed by Tertulia musicians. We're also creating an invite-only "backstage pass" blog which will feature videos from rehearsals, interviews with musicians and a chance for you to give us your ideas (venues? rep? musicians? themes?) and even vote.The blog will be available for backers only.

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    11 backers Limited (9 left of 20)

    If you've ever wanted to learn a few things about the violin, now's your chance. Pledge at this level and Julia, violinist and founder, will give you (or your kiddo) a 30 minute violin lesson.

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    Pledge $75+ and we'll invite you to a private open rehearsal with Tertulia musicians and founder.....along with an invitation to a launch party with musicians, founder and fellow supporters. We'll also send you a canvas Tertulia wine tote as a thank you gift!

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    Musician? Band? Entrepreneur? Show your support for fellow musicians and a new venture in a big city, and we will list your gig, company or business in our program.

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    12 backers Limited (8 left of 20)

    Excited about getting tickets to a Tertulia? Pledge here and you're in. We're giving you 2 'General Entry' tickets to a fall Tertulia, PLUS a pass for the pre-concert open rehearsal (in the venue)! We will also send you an invitation to a launch party with our musicians, the founder and fellow supporters. Oh and of course, the canvas Tertulia wine tote, too.

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    3 backers

    Musician? Band? Business owner? Entrepreneur? Show us your support and we'll list your biz, name or logo on our website as a 'Friend of Tertulia' between now and the end of December 2011. We'll also print your biz name as a 'Friend of Tertulia' on all our posters and flyers (we print hundreds), which we distribute all around NYC.

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    7 backers Limited (8 left of 15)

    At this level, not only do you and your friend or better half have tix to a fall Tertulia, but you've got the best seats and dinner included. Then you both can arrive early with your free pass to enjoy a pre-concert dress rehearsal with musicians and founder in the concert venue over a glass of wine, sporting new Tertulia t-shirts..... You will also receive an invite to a launch party with Tertulia musicians, the founder, and fellow supporters.... and then we'll show our gratitude by printing your name in the program. Lastly, this level gets you and a guest a pass to *two* open rehearsals between now and December.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    See the description above (because you're getting all of that), and then add.... A pair of 'Support Tertulia!' tickets to all 5 Tertulias through December 2011. Season subscriber. Your name will be printed in all the fall season's programs, and will be listed on our website as 'Tertulia Patron.'

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    Season subscription, open rehearsals, tshirts, bags, etc. That's all yours, naturally. But when you pledge at this level, we will host a private Tertulia for all of your friends and family in the comfort and privacy of your home, or the venue of your choice. And you can personalize it by helping us pick your favorite repertoire. Your name will be listed in all our fall program's under 'Founding Patron.' Call me biased, but what could be better than good friends, good food and drink, and amazing chamber music? We love Tertulia! Note: please inquire about possible restrictions. Pledge amount does not include food and drinks for guests, venue fees, or transportation for musicians if event is out of town. Thank you so much for your generosity, and we can't wait to bring Tertulia to YOU.

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Funding period

- (30 days)