Free admission (all visitors, all hours)
Suggested donation of $40 for the entire season.
When it comes to making new, original art and entertainment during the pandemic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) leads the New York City field. With its current live-stream offerings, the orchestra – “a mainstay of New York’s classical scene” (New Yorker), long known and loved as the city’s “hometown band” (New York Times) – is blazing a trail in terms of quantity, frequency and production values. At the heart of OSL’s generous winter and spring lineup are the “OSLive Wednesday Night Series,” three series broadcast live from the orchestra’s DiMenna Center for Classical Music, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this March. OSL designed and built the DiMenna Center as its home and as the city’s only rehearsal, recording and production venue optimized for classical music. Today, the DiMenna Center is one of the busiest professional recording studios on the east coast and boasts new, state-of-the-art live-streaming and audiovisual production services, making it New York’s leading venue for recording and live-streaming digital performance. The three Wednesday night series were all conceived expressly for the online experience, and will be filmed under the superlative direction of Tristan Cook. David Hyde Pierce hosts the first series, “Sounds and Stories,” which comprises three interdisciplinary concerts created with guest collaborators Teju Cole, Anna Clyne, Jyll Bradley and Rita Dove, featuring world premieres, spoken word, light-based art and a new short film. Next, curated and hosted by OSL Principal Conductor Bernard Labadie, one of New York City’s foremost internationally recognized leaders in 18th-century repertoire and performance practice, “Baroque 2021” devotes three concerts to music of the period, complete with the conductor’s expert commentary. Finally, WQXR’s Terrance McKnight hosts “Sounds Like a Symphony,” three programs of Romantic repertoire that showcase the intimate ensemble’s unquenchably symphonic spirit, with guest appearances by Jeremy Denk, Augustin Hadelich, Tito Muñoz and Tai Murray.
To complement these ambitious new series, OSL offers a new season of “Composers of Note” at New York City’s Temple Emanu-El. Presented by the synagogue’s Streicker Center, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble performs music by composers ranging from Boccherini and Brahms to Gabriela Lena Frank, Iman Habibi and Marco-Adrián Ramos in three free concerts streaming live from the Streicker Center this spring. OSL also looks forward to continuing its acclaimed “Music in Color” programming initiative with two free narrative webcasts, both combining musical performance with compelling biographical content to celebrate the work of composer, flutist and educator Valerie Coleman. Scheduled to debut on April 23, the first webcast includes an educational narrative with accompanying study guides for K–12 students, and will be provided free of charge to schools as part of OSL’s Free School Concerts program. Geared to audiences of all ages, the second will feature Portraits of Josephine, Coleman’s tribute to Josephine Baker. Also free of charge, this will stream live on June 9, in collaboration with Manhattan’s New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Brooklyn Public Library, Queens’s Flushing Town Hall, the Bronx’s Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture and Staten Island’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center, OSL’s partner venues in the five New York City boroughs.