Queensland Conservatorium graduates Eddy Chen and Brett Yang have already reached their target just days after hitting the streets to kick start the world’s first crowd-funded classical music tour.
Known as TwoSet Violin, the pair has committed to busking around the clock and sleeping on the streets in an effort to reach their target of $50,000 within 30 days.
The goal was achieved in under a week and their total now stands at $56,000.
They are performing across Sydney, from the Pitt Street Mall to Circular Quay and Hyde Park.
“It’s pretty crazy – I just hope we can keep the momentum up,” Eddy said.
“We are both exhausted already – I think the hardest thing is the sleep deprivation!”
The pair has attracted crowds of fans – many of whom have brought their instruments to jam with the duo.
“We’ve had people playing jazz and tango music with us, one guy even brought his harmonica,” Eddy said.
“It’s been great to meet our young fans – people have told us that we’ve inspired them to start practicing their instrument again, or get up the courage to take up an instrument.”
The young musicians played in the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra for several years after graduating from the Conservatorium. However, six months ago, they decided to strike out on their own – launching a series of social media posts that combined classical music and comedy.
They now have more than 250,000 followers on social media and their videos have gone viral, attracting 70 million views worldwide.
“We are young and we wanted to take risks – an orchestra isn’t the right environment to do that,” Eddy said.
“We started making these videos for fun, but they really took off, so we decided to take the leap and make this our career.”
On the back of their social media success, the duo performed sold out shows in Brisbane and Melbourne, and made their debut at the iconic Sydney Opera House.
They decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign to take their show global, with a wish list that includes London, New York, Paris and Berlin.
“In recent years, decreasing funding has resulted in many orchestras and musicians struggling to survive,” Eddy said.
“We believe crowdfunding may be an important solution for the future of classical music.”
Eddy said the campaign was part of their mission to make classical music relevant to young people.
“We want to knock down the wall that separates classical music from mainstream culture,” he said.
“If we can introduce one more person to the world of Mahler, Brahms and Beethoven, we will be over the moon!
Follow the live stream on their Facebook page or make a donation here.