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New York Classical Music: Classical Music in New York

Orchestras | Chamber Music and Choruses | Music Institutes | Special Venues and Presenters

by Classical and Opera Editor Daniel J. Kushner

If an intrepid music lover were so inclined, he or she would have no trouble finding a New York City classical music concert to attend 365 days a year. The scope of “classical music” styles and venues is truly astonishing: from world-renown orchestras at the largest Uptown performance complex to a world class soloist at the smallest café in Park Slope, Brooklyn, exhilarating live listening is available in abundance.

While the choices are seemingly innumerable, we’ve divided many of the more prominent options into more manageable categories:

  • New York-Based Orchestras: Everyone has heard of the New York Philharmonic, but New York is also base camp to a half-dozen other quality symphonic organizations, including the Orchestra of St. Lukes, the American Composers Orchestra and the chamber-sized Little Orchestra Society and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
  • Chamber Music & Choruses: Listening to chamber music by a top-notch New York ensemble can be both soothing and challenging at the same time, and chamber recitals are frequently very easy on the wallet. The city is also the proud home of several large professional choruses including Musica Sacra, Musica Viva and Voices of Ascension.
  • Music Institutes: New York boasts some of the best conservatories and music schools in the country, and with endless chamber music concerts, student recitals, and other performances, these are prime environments for discovering classical music’s future leading lights.
  • Special Venues and Presenters: Most of the major orchestras, from New York or elsewhere, appear at either Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. However, Gotham classical music enthusiasts can also be found at several smaller – but no less impressive – venues including the Frick Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the unique Bargemusic


Both Goldstar and TDF offer frequent discounts to classical music performances including the New York Philharmonic. Club Free Time is an excellent source for solo and chamber music performances – which are frequently offered in very interesting settings.