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The Orchestra Checks Its Email

A day in the life of a professional orchestra—coffee, practice, social media, tuxedo—leading up to a performance.

In The Philharmonic Gets Dressed, a 1982 children’s book written by Karla Kuskin with illustrations by Marc Simont, the members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra prepare for a performance. They bathe, put on underwear, do their hair, and get dressed for work. Their daily lives stand out—enough to entertain legions of kids (and their parents). 

More than 30 years later, we talked to a handful of professional musicians to see what’s changed.


At 8:00 a.m., the San Francisco violinist wakes up—unless he got back late last night from a performance. He needs coffee, stat—he’s cut down to one cup in the morning—and makes himself breakfast. 

The bassist wakes up between 6:00 and 6:30 a.m., thanks to his kids. He showers and grabs a bagel or cereal at home, plus coffee or espresso, two cups a day. 

For the violinist, sometimes it’s cereal or toast, but sometimes it’s bacon and an egg scramble. Every once in a while he’ll walk a few... Continue Reading

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Today’s Headlines

May 27
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