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Concerts in the Parks - Central Park - CANCELLED

This concert is now past.
Concerts in the Parks - Central Park
Location: Great Lawn, Central Park (Directions)
Price Range: Free

Concert Duration

1 hour 30 minutes
Mon, Jul, 14, 2014
8:00 PM

Tonight's concert has been cancelled due to predicted inclement weather.

Due to the weather forecast for thunderstorms this afternoon and evening, and out of concern for the safety of the audience and the musicians, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, in consultation with the NYPD, the Central Park Conservancy, and the New York Philharmonic, has made the decision to cancel this evening's performance of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn of Central Park. The concert will not be rescheduled.

The 2014-15 Season

Program (Click the red play button to listen)

The Star-Spangled Banner


Maskarade Overture

Though Carl Nielsen (1865–1931) is perhaps most acclaimed for his symphonies, he is also known for his Maskarade (1904–06), which is today considered Denmark’s national opera. The second of Nielsen’s works in the genre, Maskarade is a comedy based on Ludvig Holberg’s 1724 play and follows Leander and Leonora’s tale of love and mistaken identity framed against a series of masked balls in Copenhagen. The composer, a great admirer of Mozart (whose 150th birthday occurred the year Maskarade was completed), created in it a work reminiscent of The Marriage of Figaro, filled with high spirits and captivating storytelling. The Overture, a preview of the opera’s key melodies, also sets up the musical tone of the entire score, reflecting the opera’s librettist Vilhelm Andersen’s exploration of the Dionysian side of comedy, and avoiding any possible tragedy in favor of brief, witty, punchy numbers. The Philharmonic first performed the Maskarade Overture in 1962, led by John Canarina; Alan Gilbert most recently led the work in July 2014 during the Orchestra’s Bravo! Vail residency.


Violin Concerto No. 1

MAX BRUCH (1838-1920)
Violin Concerto No. 1 (1866, rev. 1868)

Even as a teen Max Bruch loved the violin: "The violin seemed to me even at that time the queen of instruments, and it was quite natural that early on I had the inclination to write for it." He began work on this concerto when he was just 19, but did not finish it until nine years later. No sooner had he completed the score than he wanted to revise it... "Between 1864 and 1868 I rewrote my concerto at least a half dozen times," he later told his publisher. Not playing the instrument himself, he requested assistance from violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), who was glad to provide suggestions. Joachim-the musical advisor to Brahms, as well — was rewarded by becoming the dedicatee, soloist, and champion for the newly-reworked concerto. When asked to compare the violin concertos of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Bruch, Joachim opined that Bruch's was "the richest and most seductive" of the four. Many other renowned violinists, such as Henri Vieuxtemps, Leopold Auer, and Ferdinand David subsequently took it into their repertoire. It opens with a brief, solemn Prelude that proceeds to a more energetic Allegro moderato. The slow movement is a rapturous Adagio, full of sweeping arpeggios for the violin. The finale, with its hints of gypsy melodies, is fiery and brilliant — a real showstopper. Though other of his works are regularly programmed by symphony orchestras — for example, his Scottish Fantasy, composed for the Spanish virtuoso Pablo de Sarasate, and Kol Nidrei — Bruch is best known for this romantic concerto, whose passion and bravado have made it a virtuoso showcase for soloists and an audience favorite for nearly 150 years.

Selections from Peer Gynt

Les Préludes



Alan Gilbert

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert began his tenure in September 2009. The first native New Yorker to hold the post, he has sought to make the Orchestra a point of pride for the city and country. As New York magazine wrote, “The Philharmonic and its music director Alan Gilbert have turned themselves into a force of permanent revolution.”

Mr. Gilbert and the Philharmonic have forged artistic partnerships, introducing the positions of The Marie-Josée Kravis Composer-in-Residence and The Mary and James G. Wallach Artist-in-Residence, held in the 2014–15 season by Christopher Rouse and violinist Lisa Batiashvili, respectively, as well as the new position of Artist-in-Association, inaugurated by Inon Barnatan this season; an annual festival, which this season is Dohnányi / Dvořák; CONTACT!, the new-music series; and the NY PHIL BIENNIAL, an exploration of today’s music by a wide range of contemporary and modern composers inaugurated in spring 2014.

In the 2014–15 season Alan Gilbert conducts the U.S. Premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Clarinet Concerto, a Philharmonic co-commission, alongside Mahler’s First Symphony; La Dolce Vita: The Music of Italian Cinema with Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, and Josh Groban; Verdi’s Requiem; a staging of Honegger’s Joan of Arc at the Stake featuring Oscar winner Marion Cotillard; World Premieres by John Adams, Peter Eötvös, and Christopher Rouse; works by contemporary Nordic composers during CONTACT!; and the Silk Road Ensemble and Yo-Yo Ma’s 15th-anniversary celebration. He concludes The Nielsen Project, the multi-year initiative to perform and record the Danish composer’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 Music Director presides over the EUROPE / SPRING 2015 tour with stops including London, featuring Giants Are Small’s theatrical reimagining of Stravinsky’s ballet Petrushka as part of the Orchestra’s second International Associate residency at the Barbican Centre; Cologne, where he leads the World Premiere of Peter Eötvös’s Senza sangue, a Philharmonic co-commission; and returns to Dublin and Paris.

Last season’s highlights included the inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL; Mozart’s three final symphonies; the U.S. Premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Frieze coupled with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; World Premieres; an all-Britten program celebrating the composer’s centennial; the score from 2001: A Space Odyssey as the film was screened; the ASIA / WINTER 2014 tour; and a staged production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson. High points of Mr. Gilbert’s first four Philharmonic seasons included the critically celebrated productions of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (2010) and Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (2011) — both cited as the top cultural events of their respective years — as well as Philharmonic 360 at Park Avenue Armory (2012), the acclaimed spatial music program featuring Stockhausen’s Gruppen, and A Dancer’s Dream: Two Ballets by Stravinsky (2013, and later presented in movie theaters internationally). Other highlights included World Premieres of works by Magnus Lindberg, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and composers featured on CONTACT!; Mahler’s Second Symphony, Resurrection, on A Concert for New York on September 10; Mr. Gilbert’s Philharmonic debut as violin soloist in J.S. Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins; five concerts at Carnegie Hall; six tours to Europe; and the Asia Horizons tour.

Conductor laureate of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of Hamburg’s NDR Symphony Orchestra, he regularly conducts leading orchestras nationally and internationally, such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Orchestra della Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He has appeared at The Metropolitan, Los Angeles, Zurich, Royal Swedish, and Santa Fe opera companies. In 2014–15 he conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra’s season-opening concerts and on tour in Lucerne, Berlin, and London; Mozart’s Don Giovanni at The Metropolitan Opera; and The Philadelphia, Munich Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, and NDR Symphony orchestras.

In September 2011 Alan Gilbert became Director of Conducting and Orchestral Studies at The Juilliard School, where he is also the first holder of Juilliard’s William Schuman Chair in Musical Studies. He made his acclaimed Metropolitan Opera debut in 2008 leading John Adams’s Doctor Atomic; the DVD and Blu-ray of this production received the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Renée Fleming’s recent Decca recording Poèmes, on which he conducted, received a 2013 Grammy Award. Earlier releases garnered Grammy Award nominations and top honors from the Chicago Tribune and Gramophone magazine.

Mr. Gilbert studied at Harvard University, The Curtis Institute of Music, and Juilliard and was assistant conductor of The Cleveland Orchestra (1995–97). In May 2010 he received an Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Curtis, and in December 2011 he received Columbia University’s Ditson Conductor’s Award for his “exceptional commitment to the performance of works by American composers and to contemporary music.” In 2014 he was elected to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Visit Alan Gilbert's Official Website

Learn more about Alan Gilbert



Joshua Bell by Bill Phelps

In his more than 30-year career as a soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, conductor, and outspoken advocate for classical music and music education in schools, Joshua Bell has recorded more than 40 CDs which have garnered Mercury, Grammy, Gramophone, and Echo Klassik awards. His releases include Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends, French Impressions with pianist Jeremy Denk, and At Home with Friends; Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Defiance sound track, John Corigliano’s The Red Violin Concerto and the Oscar-winning sound track to The Red Violin; Voice of the Violin; and Romance of the Violin (named Billboard’s 2004 Classical CD of the Year and earning Mr. Bell Billboard’s Classical Artist of the Year award).

Recently named the music director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Joshua Bell is the first to hold this post since Neville Marriner formed the orchestra in 1958. The ensemble’s first recording under Mr. Bell’s leadership, Beethoven’s Symphonies Nos. 4 and 7 on Sony Classical, made its debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical chart. Mr. Bell’s recording of the Bach violin concertos will be released September 29, 2014, to coincide with the airing of the HBO documentary special Joshua Bell: A YoungArts MasterClass. 

Born in Bloomington, Indiana, Joshua Bell received his first violin at age four, and at 12 began studying with Josef Gingold at Indiana University. Two years later he came to national attention in his debut with Riccardo Muti and The Philadelphia Orchestra, and at age 17 he made his Carnegie Hall debut. He performs on the 1713 Huberman Stradivarius. Joshua Bell made his New York Philharmonic debut in April 1990 performing Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1, led by Charles Dutoit; he most recently appeared with the Orchestra in December 2013 in a special appearance at the New Year’s Eve concert with Igudesman & Joo.

Learn more about Joshua Bell

Plan Your Visit

Special Thanks

The New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks are presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer.

Major Corporate Support by Time Warner, Inc.

Major Foundation Support by The Ford Foundation.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Additional support provided by the Herman Goldman Foundation, The Marc Haas Foundation, and other generous donors.

The Concerts in the Parks are presented in cooperation with the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation, Bill de Blasio, Mayor; Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Commissioner; the Borough Presidents; and the City Council of New York.


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