400 Days Later, the New York Philharmonic Returns

The orchestra’s first indoor concert for a live audience in 13 months was a quietly joyful celebration

By Zachary Woolfe

Yes, that’s right: the New York Philharmonic, inside. Exactly 400 days after it last gathered indoors to play in front of an audience, the orchestra returned. As part of the series “An Audience With,” at the Shed’s cavernous McCourt space, about two dozen of the Philharmonic’s string musicians performed under a roof in front of a small, distanced, masked, vaccinated-or-tested crowd.

… Someone apparently realized that it was not a good look for the Philharmonic to return after the year we’d had — the uprisings for racial justice, the intensity of the suffering in New York City in particular, a heightened sense of awareness of our local communities — with three pieces by white European men, two of them dead since the middle of the 20th century and the other turning 86 in September.

… That is what the Philharmonic should reflect on in the wake of Wednesday’s sober, poignant performance. Not on commissioning a bunch of little pieces that fit into the old models, but on how the fundamental structures of its season, its concerts and its personnel must change to reflect its values — if diversity, in all senses, is indeed among its central values.”

Source: The New York Times