New wave of classical concerts in restaurants, warehouses, living rooms

Posted on: January 11, 2017

At non-traditional venues in New York City, classical music “is thriving,” writes Rebecca Dalzell in Tuesday’s (1/10) Washington Post. “The current wave dates to 2008, when Le Poisson Rouge opened in Greenwich Village. It took the then-radical stance that Bach and beer could coexist, hosting string quartets in a cabaret setting… National Sawdust, an artist-run nonprofit venue … opened in fall 2015 in Williamsburg….  The level of musicianship is also high at Tertulia, a group that brings chamber musicians to restaurants. Julia Villagra, 33, started organizing the occasional concerts in 2011 [which have attracted] members of the International Contemporary Ensemble [and the chamber ensemble] Decoda…. Last year, the New York Philharmonic launched an itinerant series called ‘Off the Grid,’ hosting free concerts in unconventional locations. Its ensembles have played at a used bookstore, a rooftop bar and an Indian restaurant…. Funded by an audience-building grant from the Wallace Foundation in 2015, the series began as an experiment, but [Philharmonic President Matthew] VanBesien says that it is likely to continue.” Also covered are Groupmuse, which hosts chamber-music house parties nationally, and Loft Opera, which performs in Brooklyn warehouses. 

Posted January 11, 2017