Entrées, sides & concert

It is a dilemma that divides all music lovers in New York, a perpetual interrogation among socialites: shall one eat before or after a concert? Knowing that in NY most shows begin at 8pm, having dinner before is irrefutably too early (no way – even though US restaurants start to fill at 6pm). And eating after brings the risk of having bags under your eyes for the rest of week.

Julia Villagra found the solution. This vivacious thirty-year-old, who graduated from Boston University with a degree in music and is now working for a quantitative trading firm on Wall Street, launched Tertulia in 2011. Tertulia is a regular music series that transforms various NY restaurants into concert venues for an evening. It is chamber music in the intimate setting of a restaurant – you feel like a VIP.
As it is (of course) inconceivable to have the cacophony of dishes clashing with a Bach movement, everything is smoothly orchestrated and music pieces are played between courses. You wait for the musicians with cocktails and an amuse-bouche. A Brahms sonata before appetizers. A Strauss concerto between the meat course and tiramisu. And you finish on a high note with a Mozart symphony.

At the end of the performance you can meet and mingle with the musicians around a nightcap. That’s the concept of Tertulia: creating proximity with the artists. The whole idea is to break the conformity and solemnity of elite concert halls (often too codified, fixed, rigid) and to make classical music more accessible. Julia Villagra and co-artistic director James Austin Smith have put together an appetizing program for this new 2016-2017 season. From the monuments of classical music to more contemporary compositions, from a violin solo to the performance of an opera singer: you will find something that sounds right to you in their eclectic program. A delightful way to get initiated to classical music.


September 12th 2016: Decoda
Venue: Cubana Social – 70 North 6th Street, Williamsburg

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