“On opening night at Lincoln Center, in 1962, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, joined by opera singers and a choir, performed music by Beethoven, Mahler, Copland and Vaughan Williams,” writes Jon Pareles in Thursday’s (3/28) New York Times. The Shed, a performing arts venue in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards complex, will open Friday with Soundtrack of America, celebrating “the heritage of African-American music across a broad historical and stylistic spectrum, from spirituals to hip-hop. Most of the crowd will share a dance floor…. It signals that the Shed, a $475 million arts center within the Hudson Yards development of luxury retail, name-brand architecture and multimillion-dollar residences, will welcome cultural events and audiences well outside the economic elite. As with all of its programs, some tickets … will be only $10…. Soundtrack of America, a five-concert series from April 5-14, is directed by the visual artist and film director Steve McQueen (‘12 Years a Slave’) and will feature 25 up-and-coming musicians, five per night, playing roughly 15-minute sets.” Said Alex Poots, the Shed’s artistic director and chief executive director, “I don’t view our first five concerts as the endgame. That’s the starting point. We could do this for years.’ ”

Posted April 3, 2019