New York Daily Photo Analytics

Monday, February 02, 2009

Click of a Mouse

I am always surveying and scanning for photo opportunities and stories as I travel this city. While driving across 57th Street on Sunday, my eye caught Steinway Hall at 109 West 57th Street. Looking more closely it appeared that even though it was Sunday, there might be activity. My companion was unfamiliar with the building so I now had a dual motive. However, as every student of the murder mystery knows, there must not only be motive but also opportunity. So the thought of us both investigating was purely academic, as the prospect of finding a legal parking spot at 57th Street and 6th Avenue is all but impossible. I intended to make a quick jog across the street, leaving my friend to mind the car while I investigated. Forces were with us, however - there was a legal spot right across from Steinway Hall. I made a quick trip across the street alone and found a performance being held on the ground floor. A sign indicated that entry was allowed during breaks - I ran back to my car, fetched my fellow traveler and returned with perfect timing between music pieces, to enter the Steinway Hall rotunda. A flight of stairs took us to a balcony for an excellent view of the performers and audience. Various individuals were taking both photos and videos, so I snapped away - see here for some additional photos of this magnificent room.
I learned that the Greenwich International Conservatory of Music had scheduled a recital on December 19, 2008 which had been cancelled due to snow and rescheduled for February 1, 2009. The director told me that Sunday performances were not typical here. Apparently I was being gifted with a fortuitous string of events to see this so easily.
The place was abuzz with virtuosic children and their attentive, beaming parents. I have played some music off and on both as a child and an adult - I am awed by the enormous talent and work needed by classical musicians to hone their craft. The competition is absolutely fierce, the standards are impossibly high and the nuances extraordinary.
I only began listening to classical music very late in life - the genre was completely unknown to me growing up, so I am both surprised and pleased to see young children listening and observing so attentively as this young girl in today's photo. The program had 39 student performers with a repertoire that included works by Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Bach, Beethoven, Fauré, Schubert, Smetana and of course, Chopin.
Very few will join the ranks of professional musicians, but no matter. The focus and discipline learned will go far in any endeavor. Most importantly, children will learn that not all good things are subject to immediate gratification or can be had with the click of a mouse ...

Note: Steinway & Sons is one of the most remarkable businesses and fascinating stories in the history of New York City. Steinway pianos are still being made in their factory in Queens. I will do a story on them at a later time.


Kate said...

Hi There!

My name is Kate and I just found your blog a few weeks ago. It has already become one of my favorites! I love seeing the city through your eyes and I've already found a few places I want to visit in person in this amazing city of ours, thanks to your photos. Keep up the good work!


Pete said...

I love this photo and your interesting commentary, thank you :)


Brian Dubé said...

Kate - thank you very much.

Pete - To see a young girl like like this so engrossed in a classical concert is very heartwarming.

Mo said...

A superb capture.

Paul - leeds daily photo said...

Really good photo, always nice to see someone so young with an interest outside of games and TV.
We have all heard of Steinway, but thanks to you know a little more, beautiful room.

Annie said...

wow..what a beautiful room..thank you so much for those extra photos! I am coming to NY shortly to visit family, so looking forward to fitting in some of the places you have mentioned here..since I have already seen quite a few of the usual spots!