Sometimes the thrill of great music can be discovered in the most unexpected of places.
On Wednesday night, I attended a concert produced by Stone Mason Projects in the Wilmer Jennings Gallery in the East Village. Named after a black printmaker from the 1930s, the gallery walls were hung neatly with photographs. Some plastic folding chairs were arranged in rows. Somehow, they squeezed in a baby grand piano.
Founded by soprano Pamela Stein Lynde, Stone Mason Projects is a small production company dedicated to promoting contemporary music, particularly for voice. The audiences at these concerts have so far been small—fewer than 50 people—most of whom seem to be friends or family of the performers. At first glance, one might think these concerts to be merely vanity productions, just a step above performing in one’s living room. But the singing was stellar, on par with anything I've heard recently at higher profile venues such as Zankel Hall or National Sawdust. These concerts deserve a wider audience.