As New York’s vanguards of classical music struggle to retain relevancy, a new generation of innovators steps forward to fill the void.
The last time I played my flute for money was on a New York City subway platform a little over a year ago. It was in the middle of the summer on a particularly hot day. I wore a short blue sleeveless dress that hugged my thighs almost inappropriately considering where I was. Almost, but not quite.
I was playing directly below Carnegie Hall, on the downtown platform of the yellow line’s 57th Street stop. Had I been magically elevated just a few stories above ground onto the hall’s grand stage, I would surely have stood out amid its tuxedo-and-gowned elite, a hot and sweaty spot of blue in an assembly of black and white.
It was so hot underground that I was ready to go home after just an hour of reiterating the same three Telemann solo flute pieces. Feeling my fingers tire, my tongue lose its popping specificity, my arms and shoulders weaken from keeping a taut but relaxed-looking posture, I remembered a younger me who practiced her flute every day in the pursuit of…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial