Boston Symphony Orchestra Will Perform A Free Concert for the City of Boston in May

The concert is  on Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m.

By: Apr. 12, 2024
Boston Symphony Orchestra Will Perform A Free Concert for the City of Boston in May
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The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) will open its doors to the Boston community at a free Concert for the City on Sunday, May 5 at 2 p.m. Led by all four of the BSO’s named conductors, Andris Nelsons, Keith Lockhart, Thomas Wilkins, and James Burton, this year’s event offers an eclectic musical program by the BSO and Boston Pops Orchestras, as well as the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, which will be making their Concert for the City debut. Guest performers on the stage include violinist Nathan Amaral, the 2024 Sphinx Competition winner and a New England Conservatory student, and the Boston Arts Academy's Tina Turner Tribute. Boston's 2022-24 Youth Poet Laureate Anjalequa Leynneyah Verona Birkett  will give the invocation. 

With pre-concert performances and demonstrations by eight local music groups taking place in function spaces throughout Symphony Hall from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m., this year’s Concert for the City celebrates and showcases the talent and traditions of Boston’s multicultural communities, the start of spring, and Cinco de Mayo while building community through the shared experience of great music performed in one of the world’s most renowned concert halls. 

“We are so excited to open Symphony Hall’s doors and to invite the Boston community to enjoy an inspiring afternoon of music and fellowship,” said Chad Smith, the BSO Eunice and Julian Cohen President and CEO. “As a non-profit performing arts organization committed to service, education, and community engagement, the BSO especially hopes that many first-time visitors, students, and families will join us for this year’s Concert for the City and discover that Symphony Hall is a place where everyone belongs. We are grateful to our event host committee and partner organizations for sharing the invitation with their supporters, students, and congregations. We look forward to welcoming a full house.”  

“I am thrilled to be part of this year’s Concert for the City -- it’s a special treat to share the podium with my fellow BSO conductors Andris, Keith, and James, and to perform works by American composers of color like Carlos Simon, recently appointed the BSO’s inaugural Composer Chair, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Duke Ellington, and Lin-Manuel Miranda,” said Thomas Wilkins, BSO Youth and Family Concerts Conductor. “I look forward to conducting Nathan Amaral, a rising star studying at NEC, in Coleridge-Taylor's Violin Concerto in G Minor, which he performed to win the prestigious Sphinx Competition this year. In celebration of spring, the concert closes with ‘Maestro’ Leonard Bernstein’s joyful ‘Make Our Garden Grow’ from his operetta Candide.” 

Doors will open at 12:30 p.m. for pre-concert activities starting at 12:45 p.m. in function spaces throughout Symphony Hall. Visitors of all ages can touch and explore instruments on the Instrument Playground and enjoy short performances by local music and school groups including: BEAM (Bridge to Equity and Achievement in Music); Boston Arts Academy Strings, Spiritual Choir, andBig Brass/Second Line Ensemble; Juan Nieves Ensemble; Northeastern Madrigal Singers; Odaiko New England; and Project STEP. The main concert program will begin at 2 p.m. and will run for about 75 minutes without an intermission. 

Tickets are offered free of charge and tickets may be reserved online or in person through the BSO Box Office, starting on April 12 at 10 a.m. (see ticketing details below).  Tickets have also been offered to over 100 local organizations through the BSO's Education and External Engagement Department and the event host committee.  

The BSO last offered a Concert for the City in May 2023, featuring among other highlights a performance by Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and the BSO of Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C, K. 467, second movement. Prior to that, the Concert for the City in October 2021 celebrated the return to in-person performances following Symphony Hall’s pandemic closure. Another Concert for the City is planned for Saturday, September 21, as part of the Opening Weekend events for the BSO’s recently announced 2024-25 season. Other free events that the BSO offers in Boston each season include the Community Chamber Concert series, Youth concerts and High School Open Rehearsals (free for BPS students and teachers), and the annual Boston Pops Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular on the Charles River Esplanade. During the summer season at Tanglewood, a number of concerts and speaker events are offered at no charge through the Tanglewood Music Center and the Tanglewood Learning Institute. For more information on free BSO events, visit our website


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