Ivan Fischer brings autism-friendly concert to New York

This Sunday in New York, the Budapest Festival Orchestra is putting on a concert for children on the autism spectrum.

Ivan Fischer has designed a safe space for autistic children to enjoy music. His Cocoa Concerts address serious sensory issues, with special attention to the children’s sound and lighting needs.

It will take place in the Stanley Kaplan penthouse at Lincoln Center.


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  • Perhaps the article should have stressed that Fischer has done these concerts before (in Budapest, for instance). The Maestro also has a son with autism (that definitely should have been in the article).

  • It’s wonderful that this is done. Most classical music was originally done in homes and was meant to be soothing. Look at how engaged these autistic kids who are frequently “in their own world” appear.

    Has someone put together a CD of classical music that would be appropriate for people on the autistic spectrum?
    It would be a useful service for teachers and counselors in residences for autistic people worldwide.

    • Sharon writes: “Most classical music was originally done in homes and was meant to be soothing.”

      That is true for 18th century chamber music but really is not otherwise true for almost any classical music. The classical music written in the 19th/20th century was intended for the concert stage, and even orchestral music for the 18th century (and earlier) was intended for public performance.

  • What a magnificent, uplifting undertaking. We should all applaud Fischer’s generosity in sharing the magic of music with these challenged children and enriching their lives. They and their parents look delighted.

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