The festival is modeled after France's "Fê_te de la Musique," first held in 1982 in Paris and an annual event throughout the country ever since. Other cities which have followed suit with their own "Fê_tes" include Rome, Berlin, Barcelona, Toronto, Buenos Aires, Beijing, Tokyo and Sydney.
John Corigliano, who joined the New York festival's advisory board after experiencing it in Europe, said earlier this year, "Make Music New York is a grand celebration honoring all kinds of music. I witnessed such an event last year in Amsterdam, and it brought the entire city together in a wonderful way. Just think how fantastic it will be when it takes place in the greatest city in the world, New York!"
One highlight of the celebration is a free, two-hour concert by singers from the Metropolitan Opera and musicians from the New York Philharmonic, from noon until 2 p.m. at Lincoln Center's Josie Robertson Plaza. Singers and a pianist from the Met open the program with highlights from the company's upcoming season; musicians from the New York Philharmonic will then perform a pair of chamber works: composer Steven Gerber's Spirituals for clarinet and string quartet (2002) and Mozart's "Dissonance" String Quartet (K. 465 in C major). The string quartet will consist of violinists Michelle Kim and Minyoung Chang, violist Robert Rinehart and cellist Eileen Moon; clarinetist Pascual Mart‹nez Forteza will join for Spirituals.
Other classical events include Met Opera percussionist Greg Zuber playing contemporary works at 55 Water Street Plaza, the New York Consort of Viols playing Renaissance music at the West Side Community Garden on 90th Street, and the Williamsburg/Greenpoint Community Orchestra playing near McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn.
Other offerings in the first Make Music New York, which spans a huge range from Turkish religious music to underground hip-hop, include chamber pop at the Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn, Sacred Harp singers on the Lower East Side, hip-hop at Adam Clayton Powell Plaza in Harlem, Tuvan throat singers and teenage tap dancers in Chelsea, funk and reggae in Jamaica, indie rock on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, blues at the ferry terminal in Staten Island, an all-female Latin ensemble at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx and bluegrass on the Brooklyn Bridge.
A list of participating artists and concert sites/times can be found at www.makemusicny.org/listings.php.