It felt strange, wonderful, and hopeful. The New York Philharmonic was among the first to perform at New York City’s cavernous Shed venue for COVID-tested, vaccinated, masked, socially distanced audiences in April. Philharmonic musicians performed on two evenings for a reduced audience of 150 people, who listened to Caroline Shaw’s Entr’acte, Sibelius’s Rakastava (The Lover), and Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen, A Study for 23 Solo Strings, led by guest conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. These were the first indoor performances for an in-person audience by the orchestra since the pandemic began in 2020. Introducing the concert, Salonen said, “No single program can even begin to sum up our feelings and emotions after these months; instead, we should see tonight’s concert as a new beginning … filled with music and other things that give meaning to our existence in this troubled world.” Outdoor concerts have not gone away: the Philharmonic launched the second iteration of its Bandwagon concerts this spring. Last summer and fall, musicians performed throughout the city’s five boroughs from a pickup truck; this time around, Philharmonic musicians and community groups are performing from a mobile shipping container.