Founded in 1977 by Olga Bloom, Bargemusic is a distinctive chamber music series in large part due to its singular concert venue—a small barge dating back to 1899 and formerly used to transport coffee. Now moored to a dock, the “floating concert hall” is the site of over 200 concerts per year, and affords its audience members with picturesque views of lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge.
The stylistic scope of the series is also breathtaking: performances devoted to jazz, Japanese music, and Renaissance music in the Sephardic Jewish tradition (to name just a few), as well as modern classical works are regularly given in addition to concerts of art songs and standard chamber music repertoire by the likes of Mozart, Schubert, and Mendelssohn. The juxtaposition of seemingly incongruous genres and time periods are made more immediate during “Here and Now” concerts, in which “new works” are given hearings alongside the influential “classics” that came before.
While the gentle rocking of the vessel and the accompanying creaking sounds may be outside the norm of concertgoing experiences, Bargemusic is ideal for chamber music devotees, or just those in search of something musically—and scenically—different.
- Public Transportation: Good (accessible by subway lines A or C at High Street; the F at York Street; the 2 or 3 at Clark Street; and by bus B25 at Furman Street)
- Performances/Programs: Bargemusic presents 220 chamber-music concerts annually—four days a week, 52 weeks a year—and offers free tickets to a variety of groups every week, plus a monthly free concert open to the community
- Ticket Prices: $35, students $20, seniors $30 on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.