Baroque Brooklyn

Native New Yorker Kathleen McDonald, who has lived in Brooklyn Heights since 1989, heard her first period-instrument performance while studying at Stonybrook—a wooden flute, which had a softer, more muted sound than its silver sister, more appropriate for the chambers of 18th-century royalty than the cavernous concert halls of today. “My mission,” she tells us, “was to promote these concerts in historic settings. And what better place can accommodate this than a borough known as the ‘Church Capital,’ and in the historical homes and buildings of Brooklyn?” She started the “Bach at Zion” concerts at Brooklyn Heights’s Zion German Evangelical Lutheran church; partnered with the Brooklyn Historical Society in 2003, where she still gives two concerts a year; and formed her current group, BaroQue Across the River—“the capital letters being a play on subway lines leading you to Brooklyn, as reflected in our logo.” With free or affordable concerts (including at Borough Hall on the anniversaries of 9/11), she brings period music to Brooklynites, many of whom hear it, and the instruments, for the first time.

Photo Kirstin Roby

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