The festivities kicked off early Wednesday in honor of the 172nd season of the New York Philharmonic orchestra. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
Most Orchestras have a big opening night. The New York Philharmonic has opening night and opening Day. Starting before 5 a.m. classical music fans lined up at Lincoln Center for free tickets to an open rehearsal featuring cellist extraordinaire Yo Yo Ma.
"I'm excited to be here. I'm looking forward to having a good location to watch a fabulous philharmonic orchestra and Yo Yo Ma," said one philharmonic fan.
"This is like a dream come true for us, just because, ya know we've been able to hear him and watch videos but to actually see him and experience it live is just something completely different," said one Yo Yo Ma fan.
More than 1,500 fans filed into Avery Fisher Hall for the 10 a.m. rehearsal. Music Director Alan Gilbert - a star in his own right - understands the enthusiasm.
"You start to think, 'Okay, we're really popular.' And people show up and then Yo Yo comes around and it's another order of magnitude. He is a true superstar and deservedly so. A great friend and a great colleague," Gilbert said.
The people attending the rehearsal got to hear everything that's on the night program plus an added bonus: A tango lesson and performance on the plaza.
It's another way for the philharmonic to engage the community and attract new audiences.
The Empire State Building will also glow red Wednesday in honor of the new season.
For more information, visit nyphil.org.