Just in: New York Phil starts outdoor recitals

Just in: New York Phil starts outdoor recitals


norman lebrecht

August 26, 2020

Press release:

The Philharmonic makes its first official return to live, public performances with NY Phil Bandwagon. New Yorkers in all five boroughs will catch sight of NY Phil Bandwagon, a customized pick-up truck that will serve as a stage for “pull-up” community performances. Small
ensembles of the Orchestra’s musicians will perform on street corners, plazas, and sidewalks, playing varied programs across the city in a new, experimental concert format.

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo collaborates with the New York Philharmonic as the Producer for this project, launching Bandwagon on an eight-week run starting Friday, August 28, with performances by three Philharmonic string players. Each week will offer multiple
performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. To observe governmental health and safety protocols, masks will be made available to attendees and specific times and locations of Bandwagon “pull-up” performances will not be announced in advance to limit the size of crowds.

“At last the New York Philharmonic can start to emerge from our musical quarantine,” said President and CEO Deborah Borda. “Beginning this weekend, the Philharmonic launches NY Phil Bandwagon, a unique initiative to bring live music back to New York City, engaging new
audiences in all five boroughs. Through the Bandwagon project, Ellen Reid’s SOUNDWALK, and our various digital initiatives, we are providing new points of access to classical music as well as beginning a dialogue with communities across the city. The Philharmonic is poised to be on the cutting edge of what is possible in both live and digital performance as we work our way back to the stage.”

Leelanee Sterrett, horn; Fiona Simon, violin

Anthony Roth Costanzo, Producer & Countertenor

Photo credit: Erin Baiano


  • Rob says:

    Land of hope and hot dogs.

    • annnon says:

      At least we don’t have to SING nostalgically about ruling the waves, we actually do. And don’t forget, you’re still in the back of the queue for any trade deal (that must include chlorinated chickens)

  • William Safford says:

    I hope that programs like this continue after the pandemic has run its course. Outreach is a good thing.

  • Sharon says:

    This is wonderful. It will introduce classical music to people who have never heard it in their lives and may help create a new audience for the NY Phil especially if they drop off pamphlets at the places they play and have a discounted ticket initiative like they tried with NY civil servants two years ago.

    Some changes in the arts, like online live theater, or concerts with musicians in different locations playing live online, may become permanent due to Covid, and may actually increase the arts audience. It’s not a bad thing.

  • mary says:

    “Pull-up” performance is certainly better than a “pull-out” performance.

    I’d be seriously worried if I saw an oboist and his trumpeter sidekick pulled up behind me in a pick-up truck on a deserted NY street.

  • Nick says:

    This would have been really funny if it were not so sad. NYP started outdoor concerts when Manhattan is all but empty after “a different group of artists” – BLM and AntiFa – made their noticeable “performances” in New York. And not without an effect. 300 families are moving out of New York daily!! By this time more 400.000 well-to-do and middle class people already moved out of New York permanently, businesses are closed, some forever. And now NYP starts concerts in an empty city?!? “Concerts in vacuum” maybe. I am sure neither BLM nor Antifa have any interest in Beethoven and/or Brahms, i.e. in case they know what these words mean. I doubt it.

    • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

      No Aid to the Contras!
      (contra bassoons that is)

    • William Safford says:

      So let’s see. You observe that well-to-do people and middle class people are moving away from NYC.

      So, you say that therefore there will be an “empty city?”

      Couldn’t there possibly be anyone left to receive the serenades of the NY Philharmonic musicians?

      Here’s your tell: “I am sure neither BLM nor Antifa have any interest in Beethoven and/or Brahms, i.e. in case they know what these words mean. I doubt it.”

      Yup. You just showed everyone your true beliefs with your loud dog whistle. Got it.

    • PFmus says:

      SOckpuppets at wrok again I see. There is no “antifa.” Back to Moscow, comrade.

      • William Safford says:

        That’s not quite correct, but you’re close.

        There are protesters who label themselves “antifa.” They have done some property damage.

        That said, the number of murders performed by “antifa”: zero.

        “Right-wing attacks and plots account for the majority of all terrorist incidents in the United States since 1994, and the total number of right-wing attacks and plots has grown significantly during the past six years,” the Center for Strategic & International Studies concluded after examining terror plots in the United States from 1994 to May of this year. “Right-wing extremists perpetrated two-thirds of the attacks and plots in the United States in 2019 and over 90 percent between January 1 and May 8, 2020.”

        –Nicholas Kristof, New York Times

  • NY Pick-up Phil. says:

    This is about as pathetic as can be. A once great orchestra reduced to a pick-up truck and a countertenor. Where’s the orchestra? What about outdoor concerts? Where is the real leadership. This is a publicity stunt and the NYT picks it up and write a press release:


    This would be funny if it were not so sad.

    • Baron von Geffen says:

      All while Borda uses the pandemic to build a new hall more quickly for a career bookend while paying the musicians less in the process and laying off half the staff.

      Strange how no one is talking about building a 500-750 million dollar indoor arts space during a pandemic.

      • William Safford says:

        It’s sad. *Now* is exactly when Geffen Hall should be torn down and replaced.

        I know that these sorts of things can’t be done on short notice. But what a shame that it can’t be done now.

  • Manuela Hoelterhoff says:

    Stunning. A dinky bus with a few instrumentalists aboard chauffeured by a singer who has nothing to do with the NYPhil and whose strange voice will probably scatter the curious few who might gather at empty street corners? After five months, this is what a CEO paid two million dollars a year presents as a “unique initiative”? At least the Canio caravan had a few clowns.
    Manuela Hoelterhoff