Hamilton students in the New York City Program concluded their semester with a second visit to Lincoln Center, this time to experience the New York Philharmonic. Prior to the show, the Hamiltonians gathered at Gabriel’s Restaurant to indulge in some of the finest northern Italian cuisine on the Island. Having completely satisfied their appetites with tender braised beef short ribs, homemade pastas and warm chocolate truffle cake, the students headed to Avery Fisher Hall for the performance.
Organized by American-born conductor Ureli Corelli Hill in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is one of the “Big Five” symphony orchestras in the United States. The Philharmonic is the oldest continuing orchestral organization in American history, having celebrated its landmark 14,000th concert in 2004. The New York Philharmonic was founded for “the advancement of instrumental music” ; to this day, the iconic orchestra serves its purpose with exceptional success.
The students were treated to the performances of several classical pieces composed by Oliver Knussen, Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky, and Igor Stravinsky. British conductor Daniel Harding elicited lively tempos and a playful mixture of light and heavy rhythms from the ensemble throughout the night. Solo violinist Joshua Bell also delighted the audience with a breathtaking performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35 (1875). For two hours, Avery Fisher Hall was bustling with passages of buoyant tranquility and ominous eruptions of chaos. When Harding silenced the Philharmonic at the conclusion of the performance, for just a moment, one could have heard a pin drop at Avery Fisher Hall. The Hamilton students rose in tumultuous applause with the rest of the audience; they even confessed their newfound fondness of classical music on the subway platform after the concert.
Their visit to the Philharmonic marked the students’ final group activity within the City. The participants of the New York City Program will most certainly return to the five Boroughs with their friends, families and fellow students to show them the great cultural treasures that the Big Apple has to offer.