Yesterday I attended the New York Philharmonic‘s Open Rehearsal at the Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. I am not a big fan of classical music. I want to preface this post with the fact that I know next to nothing about composers and classical music history. That being said, listening to classical music can really relax me.
I learned about the open rehearsal through a great Twitter account, pulsejfk. If you are into Twitter and you feel like signing up to follow good New York activities they are a great place to start. So I saw on their post that the Philharmonic was doing this open rehearsal thing and that tickets were relatively cheap ($18!). I live pretty close to Lincoln Center and I didn’t have any day plans, so I decided to give it a shot.
I bought my ticket online, but I think I could have bought it at the door (because I don’t think it sold out) and saved myself the two dollar service fee. The seating is all General Admission. The first twelve rows the hall are roped off, but otherwise seating was fair game. I got a great seat in the fourteenth row, right in the center. You get the program for the show that night and an insert about the Open Rehearsal where they ask you to be quiet and warn you that the program might change.
The music sounded amazing and I thought it was really cool that the conductor, Alan Gilbert, would occasionally stop and instruct the group to play slightly differently, then they would try it again. I also enjoyed watching the musicians scribble intently on their sheet music during the rehearsal. The house lights stayed up the entire time, and some of the glamor of a classical concert was missing. But the unique opportunity and the insider feeling (along with the drastically reduced ticket price) made up for that.
All in all, I thought it was an amazingly unique opportunity that I would recommend to anyone, of all ages. I had a great time and the rest of audience also seemed to enjoy it. The New York Philharmonic seems to do Open Rehearsals for a lot of their performances, so if you are looking to go too, just check out their website to see when the next one is coming up.