Overture and out! ‘Orchestra’ wants to play ‘1812’ as Kosciuszko comes down

Not real: An Photoshop artist's rendering of the Kosciuszko Bridge exploding as floating heads of Gov. Cuomo and Borough President Adams look on. Obviously, this was done by an amateur.
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It’s music to their ears!

Locals calling themselves the Kosciuszko Philharmonic Orchestra are petitioning the city to let them play Tchaikovsky’s famed “1812 Overture” during the planned implosion of the old Kosciuszko Bridge.

The Russian composer’s symphonic masterpiece and its traditional accompaniment of cannons have long been associated with acts of wondrous victorious destruction, and it, along with other appropriately apocalyptic tunes, would be the perfect match for the bridge’s final pyrotechnic bow, the petition states.

“How awesome would it be if an orchestra could play the ‘1812 Overture,’ … during the big event,” the petition reads.

The group also suggested playing “London Bridge is Falling Down,” or music from James Cameron’s cinematic masterpiece “Titanic.”

Gov. Cuomo announced in February that the aging span, which opened in 1939, would go out with a bang once construction of a new bridge of the same name is completed sometime this summer, according to state Department of Transportation Spokeswoman Tiffany Portzer.

The petition claims to represent a group of musicians — including some Grammy award winners — who are capable of coordinating the philharmonic arm of the bridge’s demolition, as long as the mayor’s office gives them the go ahead.

But the petition only has less than 100 signatures as of Thursday at 7:20 pm — a far cry from its 1,000-signature goal — meaning Tchaikovsky fans will have to act fast, as the bridge’s destruction is right around the corner.

Cuomo chose to detonate the span as opposed to dismantling it piece-by-piece as a means of saving time and money.

But its fiery mode of destruction is also eminently appropriate, as the bridge’s namesake, Tadesuz Kosciuszko, earned his reputation as a military engineer blowing up bridge for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, and the leader of his fan club are happy to back the plan — even if the group has never heard of the Kosciuszko Philharmonic Orchestra.

“The KF supports any initiative to commemorate Thaddeus Kosciuszko especially this year,” wrote Kosciuszko Foundation president Marek Skulimowski. “We do hope the event will stress Thaddeus Kosciuszko’s legacy as a man of liberty, American patriot and Polish national hero.”

Workers began construction of the first of two spiffy new Kosciuszko bridges in 2013, and will begin work on the second — expected to be completed in 2020 — once the original span has been turned into a smoking ruin.

The first bridge will boast five car lanes serving Queens-bound traffic, while the second bridge, but more important bridge will give drivers access to Brooklyn with four vehicle lanes, along with a bike and pedestrian path.

Messages left seeking comment from the Mayor’s office were not immediately returned.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Michael from Bay Ridge says:
Cute (ish), but why not write a new song about the bridge coming down? Playing an old used song that's vauguely related is ok. A new classical song would be really impressive and appropriate.
April 7, 2017, 8:29 am
Ralph from Rockingham says:
I'm OK with this, but would also include Super Freak by Rick James.
April 8, 2017, 9:42 am
ty from pps says:
can i bring my kazoo?
April 8, 2017, 3:11 pm
Art Garfunkel's Nephew from Brooklyn says:
Given the reputation of Newtown Creek, why not play "Bridge Over Troubled Waters"?
April 8, 2017, 5:55 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
No one wants to hear a new classical music song. If the Kosciuszko Philharmonic Orchestra stays in existence after the bridge is removed, I would love to hear them play Super Freak. I love everything about this idea.
April 10, 2017, 10:08 am

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