Throughout the summer, as they have been doing for the past 43 years, the greatest orchestra in the world is offering free concerts to the public. Last night, I saw the first of the “Concerts in the Parks” series in Central Park, Manhattan, New York City, presented by the New York Philharmonic. The weather was perfect for an outdoor concert.
The “Concerts in the Parks” series consists of eight dates throughout the summer, in venues across New York City and New Jersey, in which the New York Philharmonic presents at least two different programs. Last night, the program included Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, three Sousa marches, and a surprise encore of Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze. The concert was followed by a fireworks presentation.
If you’re looking for something free to do this summer — my only expenses were the $13 round trip New Jersey Transit train ticket to Manhattan from my office, $4 for the subway, and $10 for food and drink — consider taking a few friends or your family and attending one of these concerts. Bring a blanket to sit on and have a picnic before the concert begins, socialize with your friends and meet new people, enjoy the amazing music, and stay for the fireworks (at some of the venues).
By the way, if you have young children who are not quite ready to sit still for hours, this is a great way to expose them to excellent live music outside of the concert hall.
Here is the Philharmonic’s schedule for remaining free concerts this summer:
July 8: Richmond County Bank Ballpark, Staten Island
July 9: PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, New Jersey (I will be here)
July 10: Cunningham Park, Queens
July 11: Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
July 12: Heckscher State Park, East Islip, Long Island
July 14: Prospect Park, Brooklyn
July 15: Central Park, Manhattan
If you make it to the free concert on July 9, look for me. As I usually do for the New Jersey summer concert each year, I’ll be volunteering/working for the Philharmonic before the concert begins.
Published or updated June 25, 2008.