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Orchestra takes performances to street corners

orchestra playing music
Posted at 10:46 AM, Dec 07, 2021

BOSTON, Mass. — Two years into the pandemic, some musicians are continuing to take their talents into neighborhoods away from prestigious performance halls, in an effort to make music accessible to everyone.

Kevin Owen is a French horn player with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and spent the morning playing for an audience of strangers on a street corner in East Boston.

"It’s great we’re up close. They can see how we do it they don’t often get that chance," he said.

On this day, Owen and his colleagues were taking their music outside, playing in front of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.

"How wonderful to have live music back," explained Steven Snyder with the center.

But this is about more than just one street corner or one performance. The Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the most prestigious in the world. But being shut down by COVID has taught them a lasting lesson of importance.

Taking music outside of their prestigious performance hall has been incredibly important.

Equity and access to music, orchestra members say, shouldn’t just depend on whether or not you can afford a ticket to a performance.

"While we love welcoming people to the symphony hall, it’s not always possible for people to get there, so whenever we can we want to bring our music to the places where people work and live, we feel like it belongs to everybody," said Leslie Wu Foley with the Boston Symphony.