Introducing Kate Tribe – classikON Founder and CEO
Kate Tribe is the founder and CEO of classikON, one of the first marketplaces in Australia dedicated entirely to classical music events. It has since expanded to include new music, jazz and cross-arts collaborations.
“Why did I start classikON? Many people assume I’m a musician because they regularly see me at concerts, so I’ll start with a confession, I can’t read music. I had piano lessons when I was a child until the teacher told my mum she was wasting her money. I was happy with this outcome. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy music, I grew up surrounded by it and became a part of who I am.”
Kate is a supporter and appreciator of the benefits of being surrounded by music, particularly live performance. From a young age, jazz and classical music streamed from her parent’s speakers, they regularly went to concerts, and stories about the art and cultural life of Australia was discussed regularly at the dinner table, Kate became a part of the Australian music and arts scene by osmosis.
Ken Tribe – Kate’s Grandfather and Renowned Arts Administrator
In particular, it was Kate’s friendship with her grandfather, Ken Tribe who inspired and fostered her passion and appreciation for classical music the most.
Ken Tribe AC was a visionary who transformed the classical music landscape in Australia. Gentle, generous, and with unfailing common sense and wisdom. Ken was a philanthropist, administrator, and supporter of the arts. He commissioned many Australian composers, helped establish Musica Viva (joining them in 1949) and was an inaugural member of the Australia Council and chairman of the Music Board.
‘We had a great relationship. One of the things he showed me was how to focus on one thing at each concert we went to, which added incredibly to my enjoyment of music as an audience member. It might be the way a theme is repeated through a work, or how a conductor will influence the orchestra in a particular way.’
Ken participated, initiated, supported, and influenced a variety of organisations, not just in the arts, including the Deaf Society of NSW, Sydney University’s Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology, the Sydney College of the Arts, the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, Opera Australia, and many others. All of which was done in Ken’s spare time. In his other time, he pursued a busy legal career and family life.
Read more about Kenneth Tribe in the book More than music : the life and work of Kenneth W Tribe AC by Gwen Bennett.
The inspiration behind the creation of classikON
After Kate’s grandfather died, Kate created classikON. Equipped with her love of music and background in market research, she chose to continue what her grandfather had started. She is passionate about growing the audience of concert goers and fans by using research, data analysis, understanding stakeholders, implementing improvements, and identifying strategic opportunities. Like Ken, she is also doing this while pursing another career in a different field. Kate was a demographer, health and market researcher through her education and previous business, Tribe Research.
‘I wanted to do something to help continue what he did, but in my own way. I wanted to bust a few myths of my own.’
Myth: You need to play an instrument to enjoy and appreciate classical music
Everyone can enjoy classical music, jazz and new music. It might be a different type or layer of appreciation, but that is true of any complex thing. You can enjoy the output of a website, having no understanding of how it was created, but you can also be a coder who will look at it a completely different way. classikON hopes to create the same connection for musicians and audience, whether you have ever played an instrument or attended a concert like this before.
Myth: You need to get dressed up to attend a classical music performance.
Sometimes it is great to have a special occasion where you get dressed up, buy expensive tickets and go to a fancy venue, but you can attend concerts locally, in small interesting venues, at affordable prices, no need to get dressed up, and they are generally shorter concerts and you’ll hear something extraordinary.
Myth: Classical music is expensive
Classical music is not always expensive! Just like you can hear a great band in a pub (or could at one time in Sydney) and it is affordable and you can buy expensive tickets to hear a famous musician at a large venue.
We will continue to bust myths on classikON because it is part of the core of what we do.
I’m not sure when to clap either!
classikON has a dedicated crew of writers, front of house people, marketers, and business developers.
The music ranges from the baroque period to newly composed, new arrangements of older works, and acoustic to electric.
These soloists, small groups, and ensembles are the pub scene of the classical music world and we’re here to connect you to them.
classikON ran a competition for the phrase musicians and music lovers wanted to see on a t-shirt. The winning phrase ‘I’m not sure when to clap either’ is available on a range of items and regularly gets a laugh.
The team of classikON Ambassadors attend concerts and write about them on the classikON’s Music News blog, describing how they felt, what the crowd and venue were like, as well as the music. These factors impact your memory of a concert and will help you decide if you would go to the same venue or group again.
Kate created classikON to have friends to go to concerts with and address the misconceptions surrounding the classical music industry; promote and support entrepreneurs, musicians, and creators; and to illustrate that the this scene in Australia is alive, kicking, and totally accessible.
While Kate isn’t a musician, she is a keen cross stitcher and makes up her own designs while stitching, you can keep up with her creations on instagram. Kate coordinated a unique event combining her love of classical music and cross stitch, inviting artists to select and perform music that matched her artwork. She is supportive of innovative cross-arts collaborations and new music.