To the Supporters and Friends of New York Philomusica
The long-running cultural presence of the entity we know as New York Philomusica has decided its future will have to be listened to and felt through the many recordings of its concerts during its 39-year life. It is not a sad day. Rather it is a day for reflection about what has been accomplished since those first concerts in Town Hall in September of 1971, preceded by a Festival of History and Music in Tappan, New York, jointly produced with the Tappantown Historical Society to bring the community’s attention to the need to raise money for a town park. That festival was an experiment to see if the case could be made for permeating a locale with music coming from every window and street corner, porch and hillside. The case was not only made but put into practice in Dartmouth in the summer of 1973, in the Metropolitan New York region from 1977 for two years, and again for two years, in New York’s Capitol Region with support from the first grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to the field of chamber music.
The resulting subscription concerts, sustained in New York City during all this time, and in Rockland County from 1979 with the support of the Orangetown Friends of Philomusica will, we hope, live on in the memory of the many hundreds of people who have been present for those programs. In the Tappan Memorial Park which the organization helped to spawn, summer concerts were given every year until 2007. That experience too is well marked in the consciousness of the community.
The model these initiatives provided has been widely emulated, testifying to the validity of the original concept. That legacy should be a source of lasting pride for all who played a role in bringing the ensemble’s musicality to the public it served. The recordings and several DVDs produced along the way will be available for downloading and for purchase through the New York Philomusica website: www.nyphilomusica.org It is our hope that those of you who knew of the quality of programming and musicianship on display during this era will want to share as much of the experience as possible with your family and friends through these documents. The website includes critical responses that are so praising that had we spent millions to bring attention to our work, we could not have gotten better notice. It was the playing of the superb artists who accomplished this. Their voices will long be celebrated by everyone who loves the musical arts.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, to the many individuals whose untiring efforts helped to make this long run so successful.
A Robert Johnson
Founder and Artistic Director