Open Data at the New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic played its first concert on December 7, 1842. Since then, it has merged with the New York Symphony, the New/National Symphony, and had a long-running summer season at New York's Lewisohn Stadium. This Performance History database documents all known concerts of all of these organizations, amounting to more than 20,000 performances. The New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives provides an additional interface for searching printed programs alongside other digitized items such as marked music scores, marked orchestral parts, business records, and photos.
In an effort to make this data available for study, analysis, and reuse, the New York Philharmonic joins organizations like The Tate and the Cooper-Hewitt in making its own contribution to the Open Data movement.
The metadata, which is released under the Creative Commons Public Domain CC0 licence, is located on the New York Philharmonic's GitHub page
Digital Archives GitHub
The Philharmonic subscriber database was developed by a team of sociologists, co-headed by Dr. Shamus Khan (Columbia University) and Dr. Fabien Accominotti (London School of Economics), with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This database contains the names, addresses, and seat locations for Philharmonic subscribers dating back to the 19th century. The research team is analyzing the relationship between the audience members' seat locations, on specific concert dates in various concert halls and where they lived. More than 500,000 subscriber records have been transcribed and are made available in these files. (To protect privacy, post-1953 subscriber names are not searchable.)
The data has been made available in two ways:
- the complete database in the form of a set of downloadable CSV files.
- a searchable subset of subscribers between 1883 and 1907 with links to the original documents (click here)
Subscriber Name Search
The Complete New York Philharmonic Subscribers Database
The four files included in the downloadable zip package are:
- NewYorkPhilharmonic_Subscribers_1997.csv (with historical data)
- The information contained shows the name or code identifier (that replaces redacted names after 1953), season and dates they bought tickets for concerts, address where the tickets were sent – presumably a home, but could be a work place as well.
- Some subscribers bought more than one seat, but it is not known who sat in the seats. It is not known if the particular subscriber actually attended the concert s/he bought the subscription for.
- The Archives contains additional records on ticket price, subscription series, and concert hall configuration. If you would like additional information or if information that has been redacted to protect identities would be useful in your research, please contact the New York Philharmonic Archives to discuss your project and how we might provide additional data for your study.
If you use this dataset, we would be very interested in knowing how you used it and what you learned. Thank you for sharing.
Download Dataset (.zip)