New Year, new leaf -- nice idea. But when you're an established New York institution, it can be a tricky proposition.
This month, museums, galleries, dance companies and concert halls are doing their best, introducing new programming and exhibitions across the board.
Take MoMA, which recently acquired John Cage's "silent" score, a piece of music denoted by vertical lines rather than notes. To celebrate, MoMA is starting off its 2014 season with a series of performances related to Cage's work. The first will by by the artist Eszter Salamon, who is performing her piece "Dance for Nothing," which uses Cage's "Lecture on Nothing," on Jan. 15 and 16.
The International Center of Photography, 40 years old this year, will open a sweeping exhibition, "Capa in Color," a survey of the photojournalist Robert Capa's little-seen, little-known color photography. Capa is famous for his black-and-white photos of the Spanish Civil War and World War II. With this show, made up of prints from the ICP's own collection, his reputation is about to change.
If you're into photography but don't want to pay admission, why not try another august New York institution, the for-profit Marian Goodman Gallery, only five years younger than the ICP. An exhibition of the blockbuster art photographer Thomas Struth runs through Feb. 22.
Across the park, the New York City Ballet will perform "New Combinations," a program dedicated to new works. It will offer the debut of a dance by the choreographer Liam Scarlett, to be performed in a concert that also includes the ballet "Spectral Evidence," which premiered at the NYCB this fall. The first performance is on Jan. 31.
There's another premier further downtown: Today, the superstar pianist Yefim Bronfman will perform "Passions, Reflected," a piece written specifically for him by the composer Marc Neikrug. The work is part of the New York Philharmonic's "Contact!" series, a program devoted to new music. If you can't make it, don't worry -- it will be streaming on WQXR's website for 30 days after the performance.
Many of these are well within the institution's comfort zone. But it’s new material that promises to be engaging, and a good start to 2014. Here's to keeping it up for the next 11 months.