From shops and restaurants to dance classes and theater workshops, pop-up events are becoming ubiquitous features of New York life. Since last year, Miller Theatre has been following this trend by offering informal and intimate concerts. On Tuesday, a new series of free pop-up concerts begins, showcasing some of today’s hottest contemporary classical performers.
The Miller website encourages patrons to “bring a friend” and “grab a drink,” and, from what organizers hope to accomplish, they may be seeking an audience that would be more comfortable at 1020 than at Lincoln Center.
“These concerts are a great way to experience live classical music in an intimate, comfortable setting,” Melissa Smey, executive director of Miller Theatre, said. “We invite the audience and performers to sit together on the Miller stage. There’s mingling before and after the concert, and a chance to talk with the performers. It’s like the best combination of a private salon concert and a small jazz club.”
In addition to the atmosphere, the lineup also features notable groups. On the first night, experimental New York collective Ensemble Signal will be debuting new works by Mexican composer Hilda Paredes, including the world premiere of her 2009 piece “Paráfrasis” and the U.S. premiere of “Chaczidzib.” Some pieces will even feature the seldom-heard solo trombone and solo piccolo.
Music students may spot one of their instructors onstage on Oct. 29, when cello professor Raman Ramakrishnan performs as part of the Horszowski Trio. The group will make its Miller Theatre debut with renditions of Joan Tower’s tribute to her late nephew, “For Daniel,” and the more playful piano trio “Short Stories” by John Harbison.
Nov. 19 will see Miller play host to the Catalyst Quartet, performing pieces by composers including Tower and Philip Glass, while avant-garde group Yarn/Wire will bring a blend of piano and percussion to the theater on Dec. 10.
The first Miller Theatre pop-up show is Tuesday night. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for all shows, and admission is free and given on a first-come, first-served basis.