New York Philomusica

The Philomusica Concept

While New York Philomusica’s mission is to explore and present the widest spectrum of chamber music, it is the concept of how the ensemble brings together composers, performers, and the audience that is unique. The ensemble’s programs have evolved over the years, but the goal has always remained the same: to create an experience that is well-rounded, informative and enjoyable to the inquisitive listener. One need not be knowledgeable about classical music to enjoy the Philomusica experience, only curious. The Philomusica concept is illustrated by the organization’s model, the first of its kind, created by Founder and Artistic Director Robert Johnson at the ensemble’s inception in 1971:

The Living Composer Gets Involved. New Music is Made Familiar.

Mr. Johnson created the first composer-in-residence program by a chamber ensemble, entitled Featured Composer, so that New York Philomusica could contribute to the way in which chamber music evolves. By giving the music of a living Featured Composer sustained exposure over a period of years to audiences—through performances and recordings of commissioned and existing pieces—new music is provided its best chance for being understood. The composer is invited to participate in the preparation of his/her work, and is encouraged to speak and write about it for the public.

Emerging Talent is Cultivated.

New York Philomusica’s "Young Master Chamber Players" program (later renamed Associate Artists) for more than a generation has added talented, young performers as guests whenever possible. The coaching and performance experience has helped secure their talents for the musical arts.

Educational Aspects are Introduced to Concerts.

New York Philomusica has always involved its audience through participatory forums. In 1971, the ensemble’s "Instrumental Conversations" program placed musicians, with their instruments, out in the hall before the concerts for discussions with the audience.

Our Model Evolves.

A comprehensive description of how this model has evolved can be seen in our Activities.

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