You know what they say, if it's not Baroque, don't fix it! More then 327 years after legendary German musician and composer Johann Sebastian Bach came into the world, people are still celebrating his music. This week, Manhattan commuters got an earful of his works when classical musicians took to the subways stations throughout the city with a special birthday tribute.
“It’s a great opportunity to make people remember him,” said Kristin Olson.
Olson, an Oboe player, is a student at Julliard and she jumped at the opportunity to help celebrate the legendary composer’s birthday. Although, playing in a New York City subway station was a first for her.
“It’s out of the ordinary but I really like public displays of art and I like watching the reaction of the audience when they see live art.”
The classical medleys gave pause to some bustling straphangers as they stopped, looked, and listened. The rush hour became the hush hour as the onlookers stared on.
The idea came from Dale Henderson, a cello player, who started playing Bach in subways in 2009. When Dale asked for help, around 50 musicians volunteered to help commemorate the special day.
“There is an overwhelming burst of energy behind the project. All the momentum comes from the musicians and listeners. Thousands of people expected to get on the subway like any other day but today, there was Bach," Henderson said.
If you wanted to leave a small token to show your appreciation, you may have been surprised to find the musicians' instrument cases closed and leaning up against a concrete wall. That's right: They weren't accepting any donations. These musicians just wanted to you to listen and appreciate the gift of Bach.
“We do not want money, but simply ask that you listen and open yourself up to the power of the music,” said Henderson.
Because of calendar differences, Bach's official birthday is unknown, but is approximated to be March 21. Then again, when you're more than 300 years old, it's ok to fudge a little. Happy Birthday, Bach!