Monthly Archives: December 2013

Can You Say…Joshua Bell?


Joshua Bell, left, and Malcolm McDowell in a scene from ‘Mozart.’ Amazon Studios

Update: The pilot mentioned in the post below was released in February 2014 and can be viewed for free on by clicking this link: It was picked up for full series development, so you may be seeing more of NewWSO on your computer or TV screen.

Remember a few weeks back when we posted about our foray into acting in this blog post? And we mentioned that we shared the stage with a “very famous violinist” in the filming of the upcoming pilot “Mozart in the Jungle?” That violinist has finally been officially announced as none other than the great Joshua Bell!

It’s true. NewWSO formed part of the orchestra in the background and mimed the accompaniment to Joshua Bell’s signature performance of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. It was an amazing thrill for all orchestra members involved, and not likely something that will happen again any time soon. Our jaws also dropped when Bernadette Peters walked out on stage, unbeknownst to any of us in advance!

NewWSO is mentioned this Wall Street Journal article from December 6, 2013, the day after the entire cast was announced Here is an excerpt, full article available here and links to other articles at the end of this post:

The roughly 30-minute pilot wrapped up filming in Manhattan and Purchase, N.Y., in November, and will be released online in early 2014. On Thursday, Amazon announced its cast, which, in addition to Mr. McDowell and Ms. Peters, includes Gael García Bernal, Lola Kirke, Saffron Burrows and Peter Vack….

Various local musicians are also involved, including the actors’ coaches and members of the Chelsea Symphony and the New Westchester Symphony Orchestra….

In Mr. Bell’s scene in “Mozart in the Jungle,” he plays the end of Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto and bows while bantering with Mr. McDowell.

While this mimicked his regular routine—performing, bowing, post-concert chatter—it was nevertheless a rush.

“It gives me a little bit of the bug,” Mr. Bell said. “It makes me want to stretch a little bit, and try a couple more lines next time.”

More articles on the topic:

Entire Wall Street Journal article, Dece 6, 2013

Official Press release via, Dec 5, 2013

Article on Mozart in the Jungle on, Dec 5, 2013

Director Paul Weitz (American Pie, About a Boy) on the MITJ Cast, Dec 10, 2013 – Click here to “follow” the project on the Amazon Studios website. Be sure to view it and vote for it when it comes out in early 2014!


A Smashing Sing

On Sunday, December 8, 2013, NewWSO held its second annual Messiah Sing-Along at the Briarcliff Congregational Church. Despite the threat of stormy winter weather, a full house of approx 130 audience gathered to sing Handel’s great oratorio to the tune of New Westchester Symphony Orchestra’s accompaniment.


Singing and playing several arias and all but a few of the choruses, the audience and the orchestra filled the festively-decorated church with the sounds of true community-created music. Even those who did not sing enjoyed being enveloped by the sound, a change from passively observing a performance from afar. The “Hallelujah” and “Worthy is the Lamb” choruses were especially impressive and awe-inspiring.

If you attended this year’s Messiah Sing-Along, please let us know your impressions by taking this brief, two-question survey. It will help us make next year’s Sing-Along and all future NewWSO events even better.


In November 2012, NewWSO held its first Messiah Sing-Along at the Music Conservatory of Westchester with 60 audience members. We doubled our audience this year, and who knows how many will join us next year to sing, listen and join in what seems destined to become a new Westchester tradition? Check our website often and join our mailing list to stay informed of details on next year’s Messiah Sing-Along as well as all of our 2014 performances and events.