Free classical music
Fancy music for absolutely nothing.
Mon Mar 29 2010
McCullough Sons of Thunder at Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concert Series
Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concert Series
These diverse events, featuring classical as well as other genres, bring performances by Carnegie Hall--caliber groups to libraries, schools and cultural centers around the city. True to the neighborhoods themselves, there's often an international bent. Various locations throughout the five boroughs (carnegiehall.org). September--June.
Classical fans pack the Brooklyn Public Library's small auditorium every week to hear chamber and solo recitals by local luminaries and music-school graduates. Sometimes partnering with groups like the Concert Artists Guild or Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, the series presents a range of styles. Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch, Dweck Center, Grand Army Plaza at Flatbush Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-230-2100, brooklynpubliclibrary.org/events/culturearts/). Sun 4pm. October--May.
Concerts at One at Trinity Church
For more than 40 years, Wall Street lunchers and tourists alike have found respite in this weekly series, held in the 19th-century church. Shows tend toward classical chamber and recital music, but might also include contemporary artists like Itsnotyouitsme and Imani Winds. Trinity Church, 89 Broadway at Wall St (212-602-0800, trinitywallstreet.org/music/concerts/). Thu 1pm. September--May.
The Juilliard School
With nearly all of its 700 yearly performances free, the storied music school is ground zero for highbrow thrift. Student recitals feature virtuosos who might go on to the Philharmonic, while guest conductors like Alan Gilbert lead some orchestra concerts. Most shows require free advance tickets, available at the box office two weeks beforehand, so be sure to call and check. In addition to the events on campus, the school also presents a weekly series called Juilliard Artists at 180 Maiden Lane, in which one or two students give an hour-long lunchtime recital at the South Street Seaport (Tue 12:30pm), no tickets necessary. Various locations (212-769-7406, juilliard.edu/calendar). September--May.
Manhattan School of Music
Besides 400 annual student and faculty recitals, the diverse free programming here includes master classes with professional artists, like opera singer Marilyn Horne, and the popular Spring Chamber Music Festival. Various locations (msmnyc.edu/calendar). September--May.
Mannes School of Music
Mannes groups put on shows almost daily, whether they're a string quartet, percussion ensemble or full orchestra. Held at the school's uptown concert hall and downtown student center, with occasional nights at Lincoln Center, most performances require no tickets. Various locations (newschool.edu/mannes/concerts). September--May.
Until recently, this popular and generous series was held weekly at St. Bartholomew's Church. Now that it's on the Upper East Side, the name may change, but the offerings remain the same: 30-minute concerts of early music on Wednesdays from September to May. Immanuel Lutheran Church, 122 E 88th St at Lexington Ave (212-967-9157, midtownconcerts.org). Wed 1:15pm. September--May.
The Movado Hour
The Baryshnikov Arts Center's highly popular series of six to eight concerts a year is curated by pianist Pedja Muzijevic, and presents chamber music in an informal, salon-style setting. Check out the calendar to see why reservations fill up almost immediately: Past performers have included Philip Glass, Gidon Kremer, the Brentano String Quartet and So Percussion. Baryshnikov Arts Center, 450 W 37th St between Ninth and Tenth Aves (212-868-4444, smarttix.com). Reservations required and taken one week in advance through Smarttix.
Music in Midtown
This chamber music series features current CUNY doctorate students, as well as heavy hitters like the New York Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet, the Eroica Trio, and Paula Robinson with Frederic Hand. Online reservations, taken at the beginning of the semester, are claimed quickly, but standby seats usually open up. Elebash Recital Hall, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave at 34th St (212-817-8215, gc.cuny.edu/musicinmidtown.htm). Select Thursdays 1--2pm. September--May.
Now in its seventh season, this chamber-music series fosters young talent, including internationally known groups like the Daedalus Quartet. A free wine-and-cheese reception follows each concert, allowing audience members to mingle with the musicians. Advent Lutheran Church, 2504 Broadway at 93rd St (212-665-2505, musicmondays.org). One Monday per month 7:30pm. September--May.
Nicholas Roerich Museum
This museum's active cultural calendar includes almost weekly chamber concerts, held in intimate galleries hung with paintings by Russian artist Nicholas Roerich. Programs usually focus on traditional composers like Beethoven, Debussy or Schubert. 319 W 107th St between Broadway and Riverside Dr (212-864-7752, roerich.org). Sun 5pm. October--May.