The Concert Response Essay is due at the final exam:

  • F1: Monday, May 22
  • F4: Thursday, May 25

You may, of course, choose to hand in this essay at any point in the semester before its due date.


Assignment description

For this essay, you must attend a concert of classical music, write a one-page reflective essay on one aspect of the concert experience that you found to be the most interesting or surprising, and attach the program from the concert to your essay.

Below are descriptions of venues and the kinds of classical concerts that take place in the New York City area. At the bottom of the page is a calendar populated with several professional concerts–it does not include the numerous student recitals that take place daily at the music conservatories and music schools in the area. If you want to attend a concert that is not included in this list, you must email me ( and check that it is acceptable to use for this assignment. The concert you attend must be of classical music; some of these venues also stage plays and other artistic presentations, and while these are great and equally worth attending, they are not acceptable for this assignment.

Essay prompt and rubric: 04-concert-response-essay

New York City venues for professional classical music

New York City is home to some of the best music making in the world, and there are several venues that present classical music concerts, often with low prices or student discounts. Each has a different mood or vibe, but all of them present great artists playing great music.


Carnegie Hall. Located at 57th and 7th Avenue just sound of Central Park, this hall has been a feature of New York City since 1891 and hosts a range of excellent performances. Some events have student tickets available for $10.

Le Poisson Rouge (NoHo on Bleecker Street, Manhattan). This is a nightclub-like venue and many events are 21+ and require the purchase of drinks.

Lincoln Center. This campus is home to the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Chamber Music at Lincoln Center. It is located on the West Side of Central Park (66th Street at Broadway). Student discounts (50%) are available for all Chamber Music Society concerts; $10 rush tickets are available the day of the performance, pending availability. For the Metropolitan Opera, discounted tickets are available at 10 am the morning of a performance (weekday $25, weekend $35). Discounted student tickets are also available for the New York Philharmonic (

Miller Theatre at Columbia University. Broadway at West 116th Street.

The New York Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center hosts free chamber music performances on Saturday afternoons and some weekday evenings.

Spectrum (Lower East Side, Manhattan). This is a small venue that only hosts new and experimental classical music. The performers are usually young professionals just out of school who can easily book this venue but might not have the notoriety to be able to book some of the bigger venues on this list yet.



Bargemusic (Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn). This is a former barge converted into a chamber music concert space on the East River at Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn. Student tickets are $20 (some performances are $25 if they have an extra lecture or an especially large number of performers).

National Sawdust (Williamsburg, Brooklyn). A new venue that was started as a collaborative between artists, National Sawdust hosts some of the best contemporary classical music and mixed media performances in the city.

Roulette (Brooklyn, near Barclays Center). Music at Roulette is often experimental or cutting-edge; don’t expect to hear pieces or even sounds you’ve heard before. Student tickets are generally $15.

Scholes Street Studio (Williamsburg, Brooklyn). This is a small, intimate space where you’ll be only a few feet from the performers. As with Roulette, the music programmed is often new and experimental, although there are some more traditional chamber music performances. Nearly all the performers are young professionals (under age 35). Most events have free admission but a suggested donation of $10.


Long Island

The Tilles Center for Performing Arts (Brookville, Long Island) has several classical performances with $20 student tickets.


Student Recitals

Student recitals at one of the music conservatories in the city are often of excellent quality and always free of charge. Each of the following schools will also offer orchestra and opera performances by its students; these will likely not be free but will still be quite inexpensive (around $10). If you attend a student solo recital, be prepared for the fact that there may only be a handful of people in the audience.

  • SUNY Stony Brook (eastern Long Island): calendar
  • CUNY Queens College (Flushing): list of events
  • Adelphi University (Garden City, Long Island): list of events
  • CUNY Graduate Center (Manhattan, 5th Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets): list of events
  • Manhattan School of Music (Upper West Side, 122nd St at Broadway; also has a pre-college program of students aged 10-18): calendar
  • Juilliard (at Lincoln Center; also has a pre-college program for students aged 10-18): list of events
  • Mannes (The New School, West Village, 13th St at 6th Ave): list of events
  • Brooklyn Conservatory of Music (Park Slope, 7th Avenue at Lincoln Place):