Music in Motion


New York counts a handful of sacrosanct music temples like Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center or the Beacon Theater. But also a plethora of intimate venues and confidential places where you can go and listen to music. If you have sea legs, we invite you to discover a hidden gem on the banks of the East River.

Bargemusic is a floating concert hall erected on a historical barge. Built in 1899, the barge had served much of the last century as a working ship in the New York harbor, delivering hand-loaded sacks of coffee. Moored at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, the 100-foot steel barge was converted into an auditorium in 1977 at the instigation of violinist Olga Bloom. The venue soon became a reference for chamber music. More than 200 concerts are held annually and major renowned classical musicians like Alisa Weilerstein, Gil Shaham and Jonathan Biss performed on the barge’s stage.

The decor is a tad rustic: cherry wood folding chairs lined up in the hold, a wood-paneled room and a tiny stage. It’s simple but has tons of charm. As there is no backstage, artists wander around and you can easily mingle with them during intermission or after the concert. The feeling is rather informal and authentic. And the view on downtown skyscrapers and the Manhattan skyline is breathtaking.

On board, the concert is starting. The velvet of the piano and the ardor of the viola intertwines with the rolling of the vessel. After the first notes of Sonata No. 2 by Brahms, you might wonder if it’s the music that makes you giddy or the swell that makes your head spin. A piece of advice: close your eyes and let yourself sway to waves’ rhythm and the soothing flow of Johannes Brahms’ notes.


1 Water Street, Brooklyn
Tickets at $35

Share This Story