by Peter Aaron
Hey, if it was good enough for Franklin Delano Roosevelt it must be good enough for the New York Philharmonic. Then again, the estate of Hudson River school painter Frederic Church looks pretty good, too. Huh? Well, it seems America’s oldest symphony orchestra is now eyeing both FDR’s beloved town of Hyde Park and Olana, Church’s former mansion outside Hudson, as its potential Upstate New York summer home.
The Hyde Park site being considered is a 339-acre parcel located on Route 9, across from the Culinary Institute of America and would feature a performance pavilion, a 150-room hotel, restaurants, residential property, and a small farm to provide food for the restaurants. It’s unclear what would be entailed if the orchestra was to utilize Olana as its seasonal residence, but reportedly the organization was attracted to the area because of Hudson’s vibrant music and arts community and Amtrak access. Also in the running is the Clermont State Historic Site, the opulent manor first established by the Livningston family in 1728, which is located just down Route 9G near Tivoli.
Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic performs nearly 200 concerts every year but lacks a summer residence. Here, in 2011, the outfit delivers a sweeping performance of the fourth movement of Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 (the composer’s famed “From the New World” symphony), which was originally commissioned and by the orchestra and premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1893:
Assuming the group selects one of the three possible sites for its warm-weather digs, the move would certainly be a boon for the Hudson Valley’s culture as well as its economy. Fingers crossed…
More information on the New York Philharmonic, visit http://nyphil.org/.