Cost of central stalls ticket for New York Philharmonic at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (programme - Elliot Carter, Michael Jarrell, Pierre Boulez - all premieres of some sort) - $20
Value of free admission to the Met all day on concert date, included in ticket price - $25
As the Met's Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium is not large, and classical events in New York this week have been few, I can't say for certain whether the packed-out concert hall was filled with Boulez-starved music lovers or impecunious beerhounds. They do tend to look kind of similar. But I ended up roughly $15 better off for patronising a concert I would happily have dropped $30-40 on, as did a couple from Brooklyn I met in the lager line. Not complaining of course, but if the NY Phil is trying to reinforce the popular perception that contemporary classical is the broccoli of the music world, they're doing a good job.
*UPDATE* - some photos of the event below.
The auditorium (purpose built for concerts and lectures) is smack bang in the middle of the Met's extensive Egyptian collections for some reason:
The stage is quite high and the stalls area has only a shallow rake:
Elliot Carter (centre below) applauds the world premiere of his Two Controversies and a Conversation, which comes to Aldeburgh soon:
It was the first time the New York Phil had played Pierre Boulez's ...explosante fixe... (performed in the revised 1993 version). Conductor David Robertson is on the left, and the three flute soloists centre:
Downstairs after the show, concertgoers mingled and enjoyed their ice-cold beers: