Nerd alert!!! I freakin’ love classical music. I hear a lot of “I just don’t really get iiiit” or “but there’s no siiiinging” when talking about it with friends who prefer to listen to bands in ratty clothes who learned to play three chords on a guitar last year and started a band (OK, sorry – snob alert!). I respect that everyone likes a different kind of sonic tea, but believe everyone should still go see a live classical performance at least once before making up their minds. And the New York Philharmonic, one of the greatest symphonies in the world, is thankfully making this very easy to do.
The luckiest of us are those with student ID’s – a magical wand of discounts at cultural institutions all around the city. The NY Phil has a “Student Rush” program in which top tickets go for $12.50– and I’m talking seats where everyone but you is wearing fur or holding a notebook for their Times review. You can get 2 tickets per ID, and I’ve even heard that sometimes they don’t even check your student ID if you get there right before curtain for anyone who likes to live life on the cultural edge.
Another great way to see premier performances is the Open Rehearsals, which begin at 9:45AM and go until noon or 1PM. You can see the pieces evolve in this “behind the scenes” look for just $18 – less than an IMAX movie, folks! Plus, you can walk around all day after with the arrogance of having done something incredibly cultured before most of us finished our morning coffees.
For those of us who already know we enjoy a good Charles Ives piece as much as a Radiohead concert, there’s the My Phil option for folks age 17-35 (I guess by 35 you’re supposed to have your act together and buy full priced concert tickets). By purchasing tickets to 3 of over 75 options of concerts, tickets are just $32.50 each. Switching concerts is doable via phone and discounts to Lincoln Center and area restaurants come with the deal.
And of course, there’s always the free concerts that take place every summer in parks around the city. The schedule is usually announced in the spring, and you can picnic, talk, and even accidentally clap between movements without everyone glaring at you… which, please note, will definitely happen if you do it in any of the aforementioned situations.
New York Philharmonic
Avery Fisher Hall
10 Lincoln Center Plaza (at intersection of Columbus Ave and Broadway)
Photo Credit: Broadway World