One of [le] poisson rouge‘s motto’s may be “serving art and alcohol,” but when Orli Shaham and company take the space over on Sunday, it’s only musical art being served, so bring your own . . . whatever. Not exotic cocktails but zippered plastic bags of Cheerios, fruit, and other treats will be in plentiful supply at the bring-your-own-snacks event. With the bar closed, might a thermos bottle of something stronger find itself lodged in amongst the juice boxes in the diaper bags? Don’t ask, don’t tell.
No matter what you’re (not) drinking, Baby Got Bach returns to lpr this Sunday morning at 11:00 AM. The wonderful carnival of musical exploration in the Gallery Bar space will once again precede an interactive concert in the main performance area. Orli, mother of pre-school twins, knows her audience–kids, parents, and grandparents alike–and puts on a fun, engaging event with top-level music.
I had a great time at BGB last April, even without kids in tow. (Hey, I just remembered who I know who has kids in the city–I’m going to email them. If I had kids (and we were in New York), I’d definitely be taking them this weekend to hear Orli and a woodwind quintet play music by Bach, Berio, Schumann, Ligeti and others. My youngest child is no longer a child (a college junior), and my oldest is teaching English to first and second graders in China. Were I in New York, I might show up anyway, just to hear that combination of musical voices, and take delight in the delight of the kids.
My friend Greg Sandow has written a series of posts (here, here, here, and here) criticizing aspects of the outreach/education imperative in institutional classical music. I’m just starting to wade through the discussion. One thing that’s clear to me, though,is that it’s OK to play music you love for as many types of audiences as possible.
And that’s one of the things I loved about Baby Got Bach when I attended an event last spring. It didn’t feel like some contrived let’s-do-an-education-project-to-get-a-grant thing. It’s a mom, who’s a fabulous musician, putting together concerts for kids, hers other people’s, and their parents. A terrific family event. In, of all places, a trendy Village venue.
Where, usually, “alcohol is our patron.”
But not for Baby Got Bach. Art isn’t free, and they aren’t selling drinks.
So if you’re in New York, take your kid or grandchild or niece or nephew, buy tickets (they aren’t expensive) have a great time, and think about making a donation. Because this is worth it, not so someone might one grow up and one day subscribe to the symphony (although they might, or help reinvent the symphony); because it’s just a great way to share music, and kids deserve that as much as anyone.