What is Concert For One?
Concert for One will pair individual listeners with solo musicians for 60 seconds of focused live performance and concentrated listening, fostering intimate connections between performers and audience members.
Concert for One is based on a concept by violist and New England Conservatory graduate Rayna Yun Chou. Rayna created the project in Taiwan in 2016 in an effort to address concerns that classical music had become laden with the notion that it is inaccessible and that musicians are increasingly isolated from the people for whom they play.
What kind of space will Concert for One performances take place in?
Both at Chin Park on Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway and in Cambridge at the Harvard Science Plaza, performances will take place inside a temporary art installation featuring two specially outfitted shipping containers.
One container will serve as an interactive lobby and one as a performance space. The performance space will have just enough room for two chairs, two people and an instrument. One musician will perform for one listener for one minute at a time.
Can I make a reservation or sign up for a specific time slot?
Concert for One is free and open to the public, no reservations or tickets required. All patrons will wait in line. Watch our Twitter feed or the Harvard Science Center Plaza’s webcam for the latest available information about wait times.
Will you publish the artists’ performance schedules?
Details of the performance, including the performer's name, instrument or what music they will play, will be unknown to listeners until they step into the space.
Can you explain some of the accessibility components of the project?
Concert for One takes places inside two specially outfitted shipping containers. The exterior length of the performance container is 20 feet, but inside it is divided in two by a wall, so the actual space experienced by an audience member is 10 feet x 10 feet. Within this space, there is just enough room for a piano and two chairs, to create the atmosphere of an intimate concert for two people, a one-on-one concert.
There is a 10 inch high step up to enter each container. Concert for One staff can install a portable ramp for accessibility upon request. The ramp is 8 feet long by 28.7 inches wide, and can accommodate up to 600 pounds of weight.
The container in which the performance takes place is entered via a hinged door. The doorframe is 36 inches wide and considered a standard door accessible by standard wheelchair. A Concert for One staff member can remove the audience chair to make room for a wheelchair , and an aide can accompany a participant if needed.
Service animals trained to do work or to perform a specific task to assist an individual with a disability are welcome in the container.
Will project materials be translated into other languages?
Printed materials on-site will be translated into Chinese in the Chin Park location. Also in the Chinatown location, in addition to Concert for One staff, there will be community facilitators affiliated with the Pao Arts Center that can aid in translation to Mandarin and Cantonese.
How will I know whom to ask for help?
Concert for One project staff will all be wearing bright blue T-shirts with Concert for One logos and can answer any questions on site. There will be two docents and a manager on duty, as well as a stage manager to assist the artists.
What can I expect before, during, and after my concert?
When you first arrive at the event, you might be able to go right into the shipping container for your musical concert, or you might have to wait in line. There are no reservations, so you will stand in the line and wait your turn. There might be large crowds at certain times of day; we expect the most listeners will attend at lunch time and at the end of the workday.
You will be welcomed by a Celebrity Series staff member in a bright blue shirt. Please ask them if you have any questions about the project, the organization, or what you can expect. As you wait, you may interact with the exhibit in the lobby container. You can touch the musical instruments that are in the exhibit and you can learn about the creation of the project and about the Celebrity Series of Boston. There is a 10-inch high step to enter this exhibit, and a ramp is available.
When it is your turn, someone in a blue shirt will let you know, and will ask you to enter the performance container to experience your concert. There will be one 10-inch step up into the container, and a ramp is available (see physical accessibility information above). Even if you came with others, you will experience your concert alone unless you require assistance.
The room where you experience your concert will be very small: only 10 feet x 10 feet (3 meters x 3 meters). There will be a piano in the room, and seating for you and for a musician. The room is designed to feel very intimate: you will be very close to the performer and many instruments’ sounds will be quite loud in the small space.
Celebrity Series has not decided how the musicians will greet you, what they will play, or whether they will ask for your musical preferences. When this project was done before in Taiwan, some musicians asked listeners how they felt, what they liked, or what they wanted to hear, but others simply played a piece of music picked by the performer. Individual musicians will handle their sessions differently, and it’s hard to predict what you will encounter in your concert.
The musician will play for 60 seconds. When they are finished, you may express your reaction in any way that is comfortable for you. Some listeners will clap, some will ask questions about the music that they heard or the instrument the performer played, some will say “thank you,” and others might simply leave.
As you exit the shipping container, you can decide if you want to complete a survey about your basic reaction to the concert. If you choose to take the survey, you will be asked to choose a sad (red) / neutral (gray) / happy (green) face on a scale of 1-5. You will be asked to enter your email address (optional) for a special thank-you message from the project’s creator, Rayna Yun Chou. There will also be reaction cards for you to write or draw your response to the concert. If you would like to share your reaction with other visitors, you may leave your card so that it can be displayed at the on-site exhibit.
As you prepare to leave, staff will be nearby to answer any follow-up questions. They will thank you for participating in the project.
We appreciate your interest in visiting Concert for One, and hope you enjoy your experience.
How do I get to the Concert For One Boston Location?
In Boston, Concert for One takes place in Chin Park on the Greenway right next to the Chinatown Gate. The address is John F Fitzgerald Surface Rd, Boston, MA 02111. If taking an Uber it's easiest to put in Chinatown Gate.
The nearest T stop is South Station.
Distance from Chinatown Gate to South Station: Total distance: 1,192 feet (363 meters).
There is limited street parking. The nearest parking garage is 88 Beach Street, Boston, MA 02111.
More information on the location can be found here.
How do I get to the Concert For One Cambridge location?
In Cambridge, Concert for One takes place on the Harvard Science Center Plaza in Cambridge, located at the major campus crossroad between Harvard Yard and the Science Center, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
Total distance from Harvard T stop to the Harvard Science Plaza: 1,242 feet (379 meters)
Parking is extremely limited around Harvard Square. There are metered parking spaces available around the square, though they are usually quite full. The link that follows includes listings of parking garages available. All garages are privately run (with the exception of the Broadway Garage).
Where are the nearest bathrooms?
The closest public restrooms are The Boston Public Library's Chinatown branch (961 feet / 293 meters from Chinatown Gate) and South Station (1,192 feet / 363 meters from Chinatown gate).
Boston Public Library- Chinatown: 2 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116
Monday-Thursday 10AM- 6PM Friday 9 AM- 5 PM. Wheelchair accessible stalls, gender specific bathrooms (two male stalls, two female stalls, no family bathroom). You do not need to use stairs to enter the building, but the bathroom restroom door must be buzzed open by a person at the desk.
South Station Train Terminal 700 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA 02110
Monday-Sunday 5AM- midnight. Train Station: Public restrooms are located in the Grand Concourse and on the mezzanine above the food court. Bus Terminal: Public restrooms are located on the third floor. All restrooms are gender specific.
Harvard Science Center, 1 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA 02138
Bathrooms are located in the basement of the Science Center, (accessible by elevator and stairs) adjacent to the Plaza. There is a map of Harvard located at the mid-wall of the Plaza. Total Distance from Plaza to Science Center: 421 feet (128 meters)
Harvard Square, 18 Brattle St #352, Cambridge, MA 02138
There is a public restroom located in Harvard Square. Total distance from Harvard Science Center Plaza to Public restroom in Harvard Square 617 feet (188 meters).
What about children or those who need assistance and cannot attend the performance alone?
This is a one-on-one experience - one musician, one listener, one minute. However, we will allow a parent or aide to accompany a child or anyone who needs assistance.
Is there security?
Celebrity Series is committed to the safety of all performers and audience members involved in Concert for One. Specific safety protocols will be assigned to both performance sites. To protect musicians, we will install a small security camera inside each container. To ensure public safety, all musicians have undergone CORI background checks.
If I have other questions, who can I ask?
Please email any questions you have to Amanda Ice, Public Performance Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org