International Focus: New York Philharmonic

This week, we take a look at the New York Philharmonic (NY Phil), the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States.  Founded in 1842, NY Phil now connects with up to 50 million music lovers through live concerts, broadcasts and educational programmes in New York and around the world.  Led by Jaap van Zweden, NY Phil boasts well-recognised orchestral members including Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin, Principal Clarinet Anthony McGill, and more. 

One of the most exciting new projects NY Phil has recently launched is the Ellen Reid Soundwalk, a mobile application which combines the pleasures of music with the tranquility of strolling through New York Central Park.  Through this app, users have free access to a GPS-enabled work of public art in which music enhances the natural environment of the Central Park.  Upon arrival at the park, users can choose a route they wish to embark on, and each route will be accompanied by a different soundscape that harmonizes with the park’s landscapes and attractions, performed by the musicians of NY Phil, as well as Young People’s Chorus of New York City, the SOUNDWALK Ensemble and more.

Through this application, NY Phil hopes to encourage more individuals to step out and into Central Park, to enjoy the fresh air and immerse themselves in the calm and serenity of music and nature, while observing social distancing guidelines and keeping safe with masks on. 

Although NY Phil’s exciting line-up of events for the rest of 2020 has been cancelled due to the current pandemic, it is still working to bring live music to its audiences in New York through the NY Phil Bandwagon.  NY Phil Bandwagon rolls out concerts in all five boroughs of New York City, presenting outdoor “pull-up” performances by members of the Orchestra and special guests playing varied programmes, including world premieres written specifically for the truck.  All the performances are surprise appearances, not announced in advance so as to keep crowd sizes small.  Recordings and clips of the various performances can be found on NY Phil’s Youtube channel, so those who have missed out on their live stages can easily head over there to catch up ~! 

NY Phil Bandwagon has been performing every week since 28 August, and offers exciting programmes and sometimes, even collaborations which can be very rare to come by ~  Strictly adhering to safety recommendations in order to bring live music to the public, NY Phil Bandwagon is an initiative that is warmly welcomed by citizens of New York.

Beyond Ellen Reid Soundwalk and NY Phil Bandwagon, NY Phil has also been constantly active online, preparing podcasts and various forms of digital content, to make their music accessible to all, even beyond New York. 

Although we are currently tiding through a difficult time, it cannot be denied that with the pandemic came multiple innovations and new initiatives, all of which aim to overcome physical restrictions and to continue bringing communities together, with the shared passion and appreciation for the arts.  While various organisations around the world are finding their own unique ways to stay connected with their communities, Chamber Music and Arts Singapore is also doing so via our unique The Glasshouse, a brand new virtual sphere offering interactive chamber music and chamber arts content weekly for children & youths – specially created by our internationally-acclaimed musicians, our brilliant illustrators, and our leading art therapist. 

If you have yet to visit The Glasshouse, do drop by HERE to take a look at the 4 programmes on offer for children ages 0-6, children ages 6-12, children & youths with special needs, and youths & young adults ~ 

This is definitely a wonderful space for you to connect with chamber music and chamber arts, from the safety of your home and at any time of the day.  Our unique collections of Storyboards, Activities and Canvases specially created and curated for personal inner growth will surely be able to keep you company during these long weeks and months of physical distancing !

We look forward to seeing you in The Glasshouse ~! 

Fun fact:

Did you know that New York Phil was led by the American conductor Leonard Bernstein for more than a decade in the 1950s ?  The featured composer of this month within The Glasshouse ~ join us in our virtual sphere to find out more about this celebrated American conductor !