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…