Music Traveler. The start-up was launched in Vienna in 2017, by violinist, educator, director and comedian Aleksey Igudesman and co-founded by Julia Rhee, a classical pianist, who transitioned into asset management and venture capital. From the get go, Music Traveler has attracted musicians and creatives, like the percussionist Lucy Landmore, Sabina Hasanova, the pianist of Trio Klavis and film director and editor Diana Aminova; who instantaneously understood its vital role in the international lives of performing artists. Like so many ideas for great projects, the idea was born out of personal familiarity with the problem that inspired it. Igudesman shares, “I have been asked so many times by visiting musicians, if they could use my home to practice, or if I knew where they could find a place with a decent piano. Of course, I was happy to accommodate as much as possible, but I also realized there is a real market here, with a real need for many local and touring artists eager to be paired up with hosts. Alone in Vienna, there are 250.000 musicians and 400.000 households with musical instruments. With music traveler, we want to create connections, to make music for everyone possible.
Trying to get the word out there, celebrities like Billy Joel, John Malkovich, Adrian Brody, Sean Ono Lennon, Hans Zimmer and Yuja Wang have become ambassadors for Music Traveler. As of July 2019, there are ca. 5000 registered members – travelers and hosts – with a monthly average of ca.150 new memberships. Music Traveler is growing a network, geared to span the globe, finding a musical home away from home. Outside of Austria, Music Traveler has already built a presence in Germany and Switzerland. Next launches are planned for Italy (Rome and Milan) U.K.(London) Japan (Tokyo) and the US (New York, San Francisco, Austin Nashville)
Music Traveler offers automatic insurance, and enables music lovers to open their doors, and perhaps even Grandma’s grand piano which no one uses, to musicians.