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New York Philharmonic Kicks off 2013 Concerts in the Parks Today


The 2013 New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, will return for the 48th season with five free outdoor concerts, conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert, in Prospect Park, Brooklyn (today, July 10); Cunningham Park, Queens (July 11); the Great Lawn in Central Park, Manhattan (July 13 and 15); and Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx (July 16). In addition, the New York Philharmonic Brass will give a Free Indoor Concert at the Center for the Arts, College of Staten Island, CUNY (July 14).

Alan Gilbert will conduct Dvorák's Cello Concerto, with Principal Cello Carter Brey as soloist, and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5 at the concerts today, July 10, tomorrow, July 11 and July 15-16. Program details for the July 13 concert in Central Park will be announced at a later date.

All orchestral performances begin at 8:00 p.m. and there will be fireworks by Bay Fireworks following the performances in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx.

Mr. Gilbert last led the Concerts in the Parks in the summer of 2012. He conducted all five of the Philharmonic's Concerts in the Parks in summer of 2009, just prior to beginning his tenure with the Philharmonic that fall, and first led the Concerts in the Parks in the summer of 2008 as Music Director Designate.

The New York Philharmonic's free parks concerts have become an iconic New York summer experience since they began in 1965, transforming parks throughout the New York area into a patchwork of picnickers, and providing music lovers with an opportunity to hear the best classical music under the stars. More than 14 million listeners have been delighted by the performances since their inception.

"Growing up in New York, I always loved the New York Philharmonic and the Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks," said Alan Gilbert. "I am delighted to be conducting all of the Orchestra's performances this summer, including, in four boroughs, Tchaikovsky's powerful Fifth Symphony and Dvo?ák's Cello Concerto. Dvo?ák wrote this concerto while living in New York, and I'm looking forward to leading it alongside Carter Brey, our Principal Cello and a world- class soloist."

"Last summer was the first time I experienced the New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, and I was astounded by the feeling of closeness and community shared by the tens of thousands of listeners," said Executive Director Matthew VanBesien. "I found it a moving example of how essential and treasured a resource this Orchestra is for our friends and neighbors."

"Didi and I believe that one of the most important events in New York in the summer is the Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks," said Board Member Oscar S. Schafer, who with his wife, Didi, sponsors the concerts. "That all New Yorkers and visitors can hear this great Orchestra and its great maestro - for free - in the beautiful parks, under the stars, is a gift to be treasured."

"Time Warner has a long tradition of supporting initiatives that broaden access to the arts," said Lisa Garcia Quiroz, Time Warner's Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President, Corporate Responsibility. "We are honored to take part in this wonderful series once again, and to help bring the New York Philharmonic to audiences throughout the five boroughs of our city."


Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure at the New York Philharmonic in September 2009, launching what New York Magazine called "a fresh future for the Philharmonic." The first native New Yorker in the post, he has introduced the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, an annual multi-week festival, and CONTACT!, the new-music series, and he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of civic pride for the city and country.

In 2012-13, Alan Gilbert conducts world premieres; presides over a cycle of Brahms's complete symphonies and concertos; leads the EUROPE / SPRING 2013 tour; and continues The Nielsen Project, the multi-year initiative to perform and record Nielsen's symphonies and concertos, the first release of which was named by The New York Times as among the Best Classical Music Recordings of 2012. The season concludes with Gilbert's Playlist, four programs showcasing themes he has introduced, including the season finale: a theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky ballets with director/designer Doug Fitch and New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns. Last season's highlights included tours of Europe and California, several world premieres, Mahler symphonies, and Philharmonic 360, the Philharmonic and Park Avenue Armory's acclaimed spatial-music program featuring Stockhausen's Gruppen, about which The New York Times said: "Those who think classical music needs some shaking up routinely challenge music directors at major orchestras to think outside the box. That is precisely what Alan Gilbert did."

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by Peter Danish