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PHOTOS: Concerts in the Parks Begin in Brooklyn

The New York Philharmonic's 2014 Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, have begun! 

Check out highlights from last night's kick-off in Brooklyn's Prospect Park, where 15,000 picnickers flocked to hear Music Director Alan Gilbert and the Philharmonic perform beautiful music by Richard Strauss, Smetana, and Tchaikovsky under the stars, followed by spectacular fireworks. What politicians and celebrities can you spot in the audience?

Stay tuned for more snapshots from the Concerts in the Parks — and join us in Queens's Cunningham Park (tonight), Central Park (Friday and Monday), Staten Island (Sunday), or the Bronx's Van Cortlandt Park (Tuesday).

Think You Packed the Best Picnic? You May Win a Concerts in the Parks T-Shirt!

Concerts in the Parks NY Philharmonic Picnic

We know you Brooklynites already have your pickled beets and artisanal jam packed for the Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks performance tonight at Prospect Park. 

Be sure to snap a pic of your sweet spread and share it on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with the tag #picnicgramnyp. 

We're giving away free Concerts in the Parks t-shirts to our 5 favorite pics tagged #picnicgramnyp from Prospect Park (tonight), Queens's Cunningham Park (tomorrow), Manhattan's Central Park (Friday and Monday), and the Bronx's Van Cortlandt Park (Tuesday).

So pack, snap, share, bon appetit, and enjoy the concert!

New York Times Goes Behind Scenes of Concerts in the Parks

New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks


"How many pounds of ice does it take to put on a New York Philharmonic concert in the park?

Two thousand, to be exact, and that’s not to chill the picnickers’ chardonnay.

The ice is to cool the drinks for the army of workers who arrive at dawn and work through often-sweltering days to erect an outdoor concert hall in an effort akin to setting up a three-ring circus in about 15 hours. And it’s for the musicians, who sometimes have to play in punishing heat while wearing black pants (though the men are allowed to take off their white jackets, if it’s too hot)..."

In an article for The New York Times, Robin Pogrebin went behind the scenes of the extremely big and complex logistical side of the Philharmonic's Concerts in the Parks. It's a fun read — check it out!

(Photo: Chris Lee)

PHOTOS: Philharmonic Al Fresco

More than 144,000 New Yorkers and visitors gathered in NYC's five boroughs to hear the Philharmonic during the ever-popular Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer.

Audiences were rapt for Principal Cello Carter Brey's stirring performances of Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, Alan Gilbert and the Orchestra delivered powerful accounts of Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, and beautiful sunsets and Bay Fireworks accompanied the New York skyline.

Re-live highlights from the Concerts in the Parks through the Virtual Tour.

Alan's "Legacy of Change"

Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic

With the last of our Concerts in the Parks last night, we have brought our 2012–13 New York season to a close, and the critics have looked back, not only on this year, but on the first four with Alan Gilbert as Music Director. On Tuesday The New York Times raved about his commitment to a vibrant range of activities, from the Parks Concerts and educational activities to new-music initiatives such as CONTACT! and next season’s inaugural NY PHIL BIENNIAL, and concluded, “he is building a legacy that matters and is helping to change the template for what an American orchestra can be.”

This, on the heels of New York Magazine’s June 30 assessment, titled “The Invisible Revolution,” which declared that “Alan Gilbert’s unflashy radicalism is re-creating the Philharmonic,” and noted highlights such as his “powerful case for wresting [Bach’s B-minor Mass] back from specialists and performing it with an anachronistic but rich and supple ensemble” and the “searing violence” of his interpretation of Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero, in which “there was not a perfunctory second.” After musing on how the Music Director “travels through a musical landscape with a naturalist’s vigilance, alert to moments of drama even before they happen, knowing that a distant, barely audible murmur portends a calamitous event nearby,” the critic concluded, “It’s a good thing he’s game for adventures.”

We couldn’t agree more!

Come and Get 'Em

Parks T-Shirt

Almost as hotly anticipated as the Philharmonic's Concerts in the Parks is the Parks t-shirt.

This year, Concerts in the Parks t-shirts are available in the Philharmonic's online store, at store.nyphil.org. It's the perfect way to cool off and commemorate your evening with the Philharmonic under the stars.

Tonight is your last chance to enjoy the Philharmonic al fresco this summer. Pack a picnic, and join us in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx at 8!

Visit with Dvořák in New York

Dvorak Family in New York

Principal Cello Carter Brey plays Dvořák’s Cello Concerto for our Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks programs throughout the five boroughs this week. The work has a direct connection to our fair city, as Dvořák composed the piece here during his tenure as director of the National Conservatory of Music (1892–95). He and his family lived in a townhouse at 327 E. 17th Street, near the conservatory, and a statue in his honor stands in Stuyvesant Square, with the street alongside named Dvořák Place.

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