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."

Mr. Gilbert is Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies and holds the William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies at The Juilliard School. Conductor Laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of Hamburg's NDR Symphony Orchestra, he regularly conducts leading orchestras around the world. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut conducting John Adams's Doctor Atomic in 2008, the DVD of which received a Grammy Award. Renée Fleming's recent Decca recording Poèmes, on which he conducted, received a 2013 Grammy Award. His recordings have received top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine. In May 2010 Mr. Gilbert received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music and in December 2011, Columbia University's Ditson Conductor's Award for his "exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music."

Carter Brey was appointed Principal Cello, The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Chair, of the New York Philharmonic in 1996. He made his official subscription debut with the Orchestra in May 1997 performing Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations under the direction of then Music Director Kurt Masur. He has since appeared as soloist each season, and was featured during The Bach Variations: A Philharmonic Festival, when he gave two performances of the cycle of all six of Bach's cello suites. He rose to international attention in 1981 as a prizewinner in the Rostropovich International Cello Competition. The winner of the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Prize, Avery Fisher Career Grant, Young Concert Artists' Michaels Award, and other honors, he also was the first musician to win the Arts Council of America's Performing Arts Prize.

Mr. Brey has appeared as soloist with virtually all the major orchestras in the United States, and performed under the batons of prominent conductors including Claudio Abbado, Semyon Bychkov, Sergiu Comissiona, and Christoph von Dohnányi. He has made regular appearances with the Tokyo and Emerson string quartets as well as The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at festivals such as Spoleto (both in the United States and Italy), and the Santa Fe and La Jolla Chamber Music festivals. He presents an ongoing series of duo recitals with pianist Christopher O'Riley; together they have recorded Le Grand Tango: Music of Latin America, a disc of compositions from South America and Mexico released on Helicon Records.

Mr. Brey was educated at the Peabody Institute, where he studied with Laurence Lesser and Stephen Kates, and at Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot and was a Wardwell Fellow and a Houpt Scholar. His violoncello is a rare J. B. Guadagnini made in Milan in 1754.

2013 New York Philharmonic CONCERTS IN THE PARKS:

All concerts begin at 8:00 p.m.

Program I

Alan Gilbert, conductor Carter Brey, cello


Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Cunningham Park, Queens

Cello Concerto Symphony No. 5

Great Lawn, Central Park, Manhattan

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Enter at Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park West at 9th Street or Bartel-Pritchard Circle at the intersection of Prospect Park West, Prospect Park Southwest and 15th Street

Thursday, July 11, 2013
Enter at 193rd Street, near 81st Avenue or Union Turnpike. Concert site is at 193rd Street Field

Monday, July 15, 2013
Westside entrances: West 81st or 86th Streets at Central Park West
Eastside entrances: East 79th or 85th Streets at Fifth Avenue

Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx

Program II

Alan Gilbert, conductor

Program TBA

Great Lawn, Central Park, Manhattan

Saturday, July 13, 2013
Westside entrances: West 81st or 86th Streets at Central Park West
Eastside entrances: East 79th or 85th Streets at Fifth Avenue

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Enter the park from Broadway, near West 251st Street. Concert site is north of the baseball fields


New York Philharmonic Brass

Center for the Arts Sunday, July 14, 2013, 3:00 p.m. College of Staten Island, CUNY
2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island

More information is available at

Pictured: Alan Gilbert conducting in Central Park. Photo by Chris Lee.