Music: Far from Mid-Manhattan

New York City's claim to being the music capital of the world centers on a handful of glamorous names—the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, the New York Philharmonic-Symphony. But the city's reputation also depends on the dozens of amateur, semiprofessional and modestly budgeted professional groups which every season present a staggering program of operas, concerts and recitals echoing every conceivable musical taste. Much of this music is performed in corners of the city far from the gaudy midtown entertainment axis.

Chamber music can be found in neighborhood churches or refurbished lofts; grand opera may...

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