In Saturday’s (11/26) New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin writes, “If music can salve the soul, imagine hearing it accompanied by the balm of a river’s undulations, the twinkle of the Manhattan skyline, the soothing flow of river traffic. Audiences at Bargemusic, the city’s floating concert hall moored at Fulton Ferry Landing in Brooklyn, have that experience several nights a week. … That is thanks to Olga Bloom, a violinist and violist who 35 years ago converted a coffee barge built in 1899 into a performance space dedicated to chamber music. Ms. Bloom died at a Manhattan nursing home on Thanksgiving Day, said Mark Peskanov, her hand-picked successor as Bargemusic’s director. She was 92 and suffered from dementia and heart problems, he said. … Bargemusic now has around 220 concerts on its yearly docket, so no matter what the season, there is usually something going on at the barge. …Early on, Ms. Bloom’s motivation was more practical: finding a place for struggling musicians in New York to escape the rat race of making a career, what she called the ‘combat zone.’ ‘For me, chamber music is the epitome of civilization,’ Ms. Bloom once said. ‘I wanted to create a place for them to perform in an environment that would nurture, rather than destroy, their creativity.’ ”

Posted November 28, 2011