Concerts for Seniors, Students & Everyone
By Gordon Gilbert
The Strathmere Ensemble
St. John’s in the Village
Saturday, January 18, 2020
What a pleasant surprise to learn about the abundance of music being presented each month at St. John’s in the Village!
This January, there are about two dozen events scheduled in the church itself or in their Revelation Gallery, and three-fourths of them are music, with many of them free or at a reduced price for seniors and students.
I recently attended the Strathmere Ensemble’s concert, along with a senior friend, and gratefully made a donation, although for a senior like myself, it was free. The church has wonderful acoustics, and the Telemann and Vivaldi selections were beautifully presented with both passion and precision. Afterwards, there was wine in the Revelation Gallery and an opportunity to mingle with the musicians and St. John’s Rector, Father Graeme.
I am already eager to learn of the music planned for February!
The Rosamunde Quartet
New School Concerts
January 26, 2020
On a Sunday afternoon in late January, I attended for the first time the monthly Schneider Concert Series, this one featuring Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No. 6 in F Minor, Kevin Puts’ Credo and Schubert’s String Quartet in A Minor.
Looking around before the program began, I noted that most of the audience looked to be the other side of fifty, like myself. Then I saw an old friend come in, and we spoke briefly. My friend has been going regularly to these New School classical concerts for some years. He says it is wonderful entertainment for a very low price! (Later, on the New School website, I learned that a full price ticket is $18, but for seniors it is only $16. Students, if 30 or under, can get standby tickets for only $5. And if you get a season subscription, it is only $80 for all six concerts, or $56 for four of the six!)
This concert series is in its 64th season. The Rosamunde String Quartet was founded in 2015 so that its members could pursue their passion for the string quartet repertoire. Its members include young stars from three of the world’s greatest orchestras: Noah Bendix-Balgley, 1st concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic; Shanshan Yao (violin) and Nathan Vickery (cello) of the New York Philharmonic; and Teng Li, principal violist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
It was indeed quite an entertaining performance, as the audience showed with their enthusiastic applause after each of the three pieces played by these fine young musicians. Afterwards, there was wine and cheese in an adjacent alcove, and I talked with my friend some more before leaving. As a very accomplished musician himself, he was more critical than I of the performance we both had just heard, but nonetheless, he remains enthusiastic about these concerts, and intends to continue subscribing to the full series each year, as he has in the past. For me, a long time West Village resident, it is always a pleasant surprise to learn of something else that happens in my neighborhood but of which I have been until recently unaware. To an unnamed friend, my thanks so much for the tickets! And kudos to the New School for supporting this series, and to those who help fund it, for keeping the cost for us older folks low enough to be affordable!