Last Saturday, I did my best to make the most of my day by getting around to places that I have meaning to go for a while. My list is always waiting to be chipped away at and sometimes, I really regret not going to one spot that time wouldn’t allow. This is how I have felt about Bargemusic.
What Is Bargemusic?
Bargemusic is a renovated coffee barge from the 1800’s that is now moored in Brooklyn Bridge Park right next to the Brooklyn Bridge, it is unassuming from the outside a white aging barge that looks nothing like the fast-moving ferries that dock near it to pick up park goers every couple of minutes.
Bargemusic was founded by Olga Bloom in 1977. And although it isn’t new, I feel that it is overlooked by all the newness of the construction that is ever-expanding up the piers surrounding the barge in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It is a jewel that not enough know about to appreciate. Here is an interview with the Artistic Director of Bargemusic, Mark Peskanov:
When Can You Visit Bargemusic?
On the barge, classical music concerts are held with the mission being to bring the appreciation of classical music to a larger audience without pretense. The concerts are held on mostly on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There over 200 concerts held on the floating concert hall yearly. There are different music series, a featured collection of modern composers in the “Here and Now”, and the traditional masters in the “Masterworks” series. This is outside the Music in Motions series which is announced at the concert before it begins.
My favorite part of all of this is that a ticket is low-cost in comparison to any famous concert hall in New York City. In fact, if you are lucky enough to get in on a Saturday afternoon for the 4 pm “Music In Motion series” concert, it is completely free but donations are suggested.
When I arrived there at 3:30 pm, a line was already forming. At precisely 4 pm the doors are opened. After walking the gangway onto the barge, you open a heavy metal door to enter the hull that is covered in the darkly stained wood along the walls and floor with rows of chairs. With the low lighting, you would forget that you aren’t in an intimate hall until you look outside the windows and see tourists taking selfies using the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.
What Did I Hear on My Visit?
Well, since I don’t usually listen to classical music, I knew that I would possibly hear pieces that I had never heard before. But since I am not a music snob, I was open to anything. I was there for the most part because of my admiration of how much talent and hard work it takes to play an instrument.
Upon entering Mark Peskanov, the Artistic Director of Bargemusic, was tuning up and even that sounded lovely. Mr. Paskanov is an award-winning Juilliard trained, a violinist who has played at Carnegie Hall and over fifty other concerts around the world, in other words, he is no slouch and I get to see him for free. I ask you seriously, where else could this happen?
The concert began and Mr. Peskanov began by playing Bach, Partita Gavotte No #3, then that was followed by a series of Duets by Mozart, with Margo Shohl on violin, and lastly Etude by Wieniawski.
If you aren’t a fan of classical music, you would be surprised about how many of these pieces you have heard before without even realizing it or knowing the origins. After about 45 minutes of music, the audience is allowed to ask whatever questions they like and one more piece is played. Mr. Peskanov was lovely enough to let me go live on Periscope with him playing for a couple of minutes. You can see that here.
Want to Visit Bargemusic For Yourself?
Bargemusic is located at Pier 1 near Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and check their website for the dates of upcoming concerts, music programs, and times. All the other concerts are priced at $40 and there are Senior and student discounts available to keep it affordable. Try something new! You won’t be disappointed.
Have you ever gone to see a performance of classical music? Are you a fan of classical music? What is your favorite piece of music? Tell me all about it in the comments below.
Until our next rendezvous…
17 thoughts on “A Rendezvous At Bargemusic”
How have I missed this?! I’m going to have to give this a try. I like classical music in general. It is such a vast field I tend to just listen and if I like it and investigate it further. Very cool program
See! That’s why I wrote about it! It’s such a great opportunity to expose yourself to the music while visiting the parks. The barge is so unassuming that I think people don’t see it in front of the Manhattan skyline.
Yes you are probably right about that! Now I know 😄
Yes, please go, it makes a perfect Saturday, photography and the music! We should meet up for that one day!
Sounds great! September!!
What a treasure! I love classical music, and so does John. He tends to listen to Renaissance and Baroque music. I like Renaissance to 20th century styles. His favorites are choral pieces, and I like the instrumental ones.
I’m so happy that you enjoyed this post. I hope that you clicked on the link to see Mr. Peskanov play for me, since I want able to film the whole performance.
Yes, I did listen to the video. It was fantastic.
My reply seems to have been lost. I clicked on the link and enjoyed hearing him play. What a musician! Thank you for writing about your experience.
I am glad that you got to see it, and that you came by!
Hey Trudy! Justin here. I would love this. And what a great area to hang out before and after. I, too, sort of eschew the fancy shows at the fancy venues. That’s probably why I haven’t explored classical music and opera nearly as much as I’d like to. The mission of fostering an “apreciation of classical music to a larger audience without pretense” really resonates with me. I’ll definitely have to check into this.
Hi, Justin! I hope that you do get to visit., it would make another great date for you two! I think, I may become a regular and annoy the musicians when I go. This park is definitely somewhere to make a day of, especially since they’ve just opened Pier 6, which I haven’t gotten to yet.
Ah, that’s right. I totally forgot about P6 opening. You know what we always do? We build up a “Brooklyn list” and then spend an exhausting day running around to everything. May have to be better about breaking up the itinerary. I doubt you would annoy the musicians, but it would be fun trying! 😛
I am the same way about North Queens because it is such a pain in ass for me to get to. I still have so much to see there. There is a lot to see in Brooklyn and unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it, I keep ending up in the same places. I think I need to plan better too. It would be fun trying wouldn’t it, lol!
Absolutely! (as in trying) Now, every time I go to Brooklyn I have fun. I do. It’s just like you said, though: that commute. And with all the transportation issues nowadays… Well, you know what I mean.
I understand all too well, but whenever you two are down, we can do a Brooklyn day. Sometimes depending on where I’m headed my commute is close to two hours and I’m drowsy by the time I get there. It takes a lot for me to venture to midtown or uptown on the weekends. Although, the additions of ferry lines make the views way more pleasant.
Sounds like a plan! 😉