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Harmonix Co-Founder Juggles "Rock Band" and Chamber Music

Posted by Scott Kirsner  November 10, 2009 07:30 AM

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Last month, I was chatting about music with Eran Egozy, the co-founder of Harmonix Music Systems; they make a little video game called "Rock Band," and earlier they created "Guitar Hero."

Egozy handed me a business card with a great color photo on it. It wasn't a card for Harmonix, the Cambridge company that is now owned by MTV Networks, but for the Radius Ensemble.

I knew that Egozy plays the clarinet, and I asked whether everyone in the chamber music group also has day jobs. Nope, Egozy told me, he's the only one. (That's the Radius Ensemble at right, with Egozy in the blue shirt on the right side.)

They've got an incredible Web site -- a real model of how performing artists can spark an interest in their work and build up a fan base. There's an e-mail list, a Facebook fan group, and a podcast where you can hear the group in action. They also sell tickets online (you get a $2 discount for buying that way) -- and take donations via PayPal.

This week, they're playing two concerts, one on Thursday at Rivera Hall in Weston, and another on Saturday at MIT. (Their next public performances aren't until March 2010.)

You can get a sense for how Egozy's clarinet playing connects to his work at Harmonix from this great "Office Invasion" video by Ann Silvio, D.C. Denison, and Carolyn Johnson.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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