There's no better way to celebrate summer than with an outdoor concert in the park and this week's annual New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Park series provides just that Ė an evening under the stars with world-class musicians, not to mention fireworks, and all for free!
The series kicks off at 8:00 pm on July 13th on the Great Lawn in Central Park. The opening concert celebrates the partnership between two great cities as the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra joins the Philharmonic onstage, the first time they have shared their stage in this summer series. The combined orchestras, conducted by Andrey Boreyko, will play a number of well-known and well-loved pieces, from Tchaikovsky to Ravel to Mozart. The concert will also feature special guest Lang Lang on piano, concluding the show with Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. Lang Lang has been called the "hottest artist on the classical music planet" by the New York Times, and you may remember him from his performance during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
July 14th's concert, also at 8:00 pm in Central Park, features special guest Branford Marsalis on alto saxophone and selections include Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. On both days, don't forget a blanket and picnic and arrive early to claim a spot on the Great Lawn. The concerts last approximately and hour and a half, and make sure to stay for the end, as you don't want to miss the fireworks show.
The Central Park shows may be the most famous, but the series is not only for Manhattan, and after Wednesday, the Philharmonic will travel to each of New York City's boroughs. July 15th finds them in Queens at Cunningham Park, and on July 16th they play in Brooklyn at the Long Meadows Ballfields in Prospect Park. Each of these free outdoor concerts will also be held at 8:00 pm.
Saturday, July 17th, the orchestra performs indoors on Staten Island at the Center for the Arts at the College of Staten Island/CUNY. Monday, July 19th, the final performance of the series takes place in the Bronx in the Main Theater at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture at Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College/CUNY. Please note that these two final concerts are held at 7:30 pm.