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Well-Being Concert with Joshua Roman
Photograph: By Fadi Kheir / Courtesy of Carnegie Hall | Well-Being Concert with Joshua Roman

These new concerts at Carnegie Hall combine mindfulness, meditation and music

Recline on floor mats, enjoy breathing exercises and experience music in a totally new way.

Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Written by
Rossilynne Skena Culgan

Forget the gown, tux, and fancy shoes. For this new concert series at Carnegie Hall, stretchy pants, cozy sweaters, and comfy footwear is welcomed. 

The iconic venue is hosting five intimate concerts this winter that combine elements of mindfulness and meditation with world-class musical performances. These hour-long Well-Being Concerts cost between $15-$30 and run through April.

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During the show, audience members are encouraged to get comfortable while reclining on floor mats and cushions. A host will share prompts, lead breathing exercises, and ask guests to share thoughts and reflections with their fellow audience members. Guest may even be encouraged to sing. 

Well-Being Concert
Photograph: By Fadi Kheir / Courtesy of Carnegie Hall

The unique series comes after a decade of Carnegie Hall working in diverse and high-stress public spaces (like hospitals, senior care centers, and schools). Carnegie Hall staff work with scholars to explore the relationship between music and health in real time.

The performance series was also sparked by findings that many Americans who suffer from anxiety and depression don't receive care due to a variety of barriers, including the costs and shortage of behavioral health providers. This disparity disproportionately effects people of color. Inspired by evidence that music can help people heal and thrive, the Well-Being Concert series was born. Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute first piloted the program last season.  

Music can be a powerful tool to support connection, wellness, and joy.

Some shows in the series aspire to generate feelings of connection, while others explore concepts of self-care. At some performances, the audience is even invited to sit on all sides of the musicians. The lineup features kora, trumpet, clarinet, and percussion, to name a few. 

Each performance strives to amplify the social, physical, and emotional benefits of music in its many forms.

"We are thrilled to present this special series of soul-nourishing concerts this season," Sarah
Johnson, Chief Education Officer and Director of Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute, said in a press release. "Music can be a powerful tool to support connection, wellness, and joy. ... Given everything that people are navigating in today's world, we wanted to intentionally craft a communal musical experience to maximize the health benefits of attending a performance." 

Well-Being Concert
Photograph: By Fadi Kheir / Courtesy of Carnegie Hall

Upcoming well-being concerts

Tuesday, January 16, 6:30pm

Explore music's ability to bridge cultures, expand traditions, and connect individuals with Senegalese kora master and djeli Ablaye Cissoko and French accordionist Cyrille Brotto. This intimate performance in the Resnick Education Wing aspires to generate new feelings of connection and make a long-lasting, uplifting impression on the audience. Tickets cost $15.

Sunday, February 4, 6pm

Get up-close and personal with improvisational jazz in this performance at Zankel Hall Center Stage, an intimate setting that invites audiences to sit on all sides of the performers. Renowned trumpeter, composer, bandleader, and educator Sean Jones leads his NYO Jazz All-Star Quartet in this performance that focuses on concepts of self-care and mindfulness through music. Tickets cost $30. 

Sunday, February 11, 5pm

Clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and his genre-crossing CityBand create a dynamic blend of classical music, jazz, and the music of his homeland, Syria. Expect masterful improvisation and elements of interaction with the audience for an especially powerful communal experience in Weill Music Room. Tickets cost $15. 

Friday, March 15, 6:30pm

Hear from Grammy-nominated performer Nathalie Joachim who works in genres of pop, electronic, classical, and beyond. She imbues her work with a commitment to storytelling, human connection, social change, and cultural awareness, inviting audiences to forge powerful connections and find musical nourishment. The show's in the Weill Music Room. Tickets cost $15. 

Sunday, April 14, 5pm

With her Quartetinho band, Anat Cohen invites three genre-crossing musicians to explore new musical worlds across numerous global traditions in the Weill Music Room. In addition to Cohen on the clarinet, hear from Vitor Gonçlaves on keys, James Shipp on percussion, and Tal Mashiach on bass, with Ian Koebner as host. Tickets cost $15.

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