Sunday, 16 November 2008


"the principal draw is the intimacy of the performance

Magic, absolute magic. An evening of fine music, usually chamber music but quite occasionally jazz, performed in the intimacy of a converted barge at the foot of Brooklyn Bridge with the backdrop behind the performers, a view across the East River, passing river craft and Downtown Manhattan. As the natural light fades away, the lights of the Financial District appear behind the musicians, creating an effect far more mesmerising and spectacular than anything the 'special effects wizards' of the Broadway stage industry can engineer.

"interval refreshments can be taken on deck and the view enjoyed"

Olga Bloom, gave up her career as a violinist in 1976 to found Bargemusic and for her "floating concert hall", she chose a 100-foot steel barge built in 1899 that had served much of the last century as a working vessel in the New York harbour, delivering hand-loaded sacks of coffee for the Erie Lackawanna railroad. Back then it was a sombre railroad green; now it is painted white, and the last vestige of its prior life hauling coffee is the "EL 375" embossed in the diamond plate steel deck facing the East River.

Olga discovered the barge moored near the Statue of Liberty and a tugboat captain told her about the free slip at Fulton Ferry Pier, that still houses the barge

"an evening of superb jazz with Ken Peplowski (clarinet) and Greg Cohen (bass)"

To make this unique musical experience available to as many people as possible, Olga presents 220 chamber and jazz concerts annually - four days a week, 52 weeks a year - with ticket prices at a very reasonable level.

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