WTC @ WTC: The Well-Tempered Clavier at the World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial Plaza

It’s that time of year where we want to feature each of our Special Projects so that you, the Make Music New York community, can have a better understanding of the many great ways to enjoy Make Music New York on Thursday, June 21st (mark your calendar!). Look for regular blog posts outlining events across neighborhoods and boroughs, featuring amazing and engaging musicians from the New York area.

This week, we’re talking to Jenny Undercofler, creator of the special project: “WTC @ WTC: The Well-Tempered Clavier at the World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial plaza.” Our Executive Director, James Burke, took a few minutes off of his busy schedule to ask her a few questions!


James Burke: Hi Jenny! I’m thrilled that WTC @ WTC, which debuted as a highlight of our 2017 season, will be returning as part of the Make Music New York celebrations on June 21st this summer.  What was your inspiration in creating the concept?

Jenny: Well, partly it was just playing with names – I am a pianist and I was writing “WTC” for some program or other – and I thought “wow, playing the Well Tempered Clavier on the World Trade Center Memorial Plaza would be epically cool.” And, because it’s Make Music New York, epic things can happen!

JB: Make Music New York is all about uniting New Yorkers in our shared social spaces through the power of music and no public space is more essential to the city than Memorial plaza. How is the program integrated into the layout of plaza itself?

Jenny: The project integrates four pianos into the Memorial Plaza space – one at roughly each “corner”. What is lovely is that at that time of day – from 5 to 8 PM – there are so many different reasons that people are wandering through that space. People commuting home from work; tourists visiting the city; families who live nearby, with their children and dogs….

JB: What are you most looking forward to in the second incarnation of WTC @ WTC?

Jenny: Really, just more of what I enjoyed the first time. I get to see many of my pianist friends and colleagues, and they bring their students and friends, and we get to “nerd out” with JS Bach for a few hours, in public, without the constraints of the concert hall.

JB: How can Make Music New York fans best enjoy the performances and what should they expect?

Jenny: Really, just pick a time and enjoy one of two ways: either camp out at one piano for the time you have; or divide it up between multiple pianos. Last year, we had pianists ‘cycle’ from one piano to the next, but this year we’re going to have the pianists stay in place, just to make everything a little bit more relaxed.

Thank you so much to Jenny for her time, and we look forward to another great WTC @ WTC!