After Pandemic Cancellations, the New York Philharmonic Celebrates a ‘Homecoming.’
The New York Philharmonic began its new season on Friday, after 556 days of pandemic-related cancellations and unorthodox performances. It was a “homecoming” for musicians who had been limited to live broadcasts, one-off, and outdoor performances for more than a year.
The Philadelphia Phil, one of America’s oldest musical organizations, reopened its subscription season with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, Anna Clyne’s “Within Her Arms,” Aaron Copland’s “Quiet City,” and George Walker’s “Antifonys” after months of difficulty.
The pandemic led the world-famous symphony orchestra to postpone its 2020-21 season, resulting in a loss of more than $21 million in ticket sales.
Hundreds of people waited outside Alice Tully Hall in Manhattan’s Upper Westside in evening attire to present proof of vaccination in order to obtain admission to the orchestral music night.
Catherine Colson arrived with a group of pals anticipating “a great night of phenomenal music.”
“It had been a hard year. She told AFP, “I feel revitalized.” “In some ways, it feels like a rebirth.”
Adam Baltin expressed his desire to attend opening night in order to “enjoy the city and the artists.”
“It’s been a long time.”
Aside from Covid’s issues, the Phil is also homeless: David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, the orchestra’s longstanding home, is undergoing a major $550-million restoration.
The majority of the 2021-22 season will be held at two different venues in Manhattan’s Upper West Side’s Lincoln Center arts complex.
Despite everything, the orchestra’s main trumpet player, Chris Martin, said the beginning of a new season “feels like coming home.”
“I’m really looking forward to that. At a dress rehearsal ahead of the evening, he told AFP, “I feel almost like a rebirth as a musician.”
“We play 130 to 140 concerts a year, and you never take anything for granted, but every now and then you think to yourself, ‘Oh, I’m a little tired today, I’ve got to play this again,’ but not anymore – I feel truly grateful.”
Members of the Philadelphia Orchestra began performing little pop-up performances at unexpected locales throughout the city during the Phil’s canceled season, getting imaginative for New Yorkers who were famished for live music.
Martin described playing outside as “wonderful,” adding that it helps musicians to “connect with the city in a different way.”
“However, returning to this venue… having an audience again, that’s the part that truly feels like a homecoming.”
Friday’s performance comes just days after it was announced that Jaap van Zweden, the Phillies’ conductor since 2018, will retire after the 2023-24 season.
Much of the time was spent by the conductor. Brief News from Washington Newsday.