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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!

PHOTOS: Casey and Carey at the Bat

On Saturday, the Philharmonic and Music Director Alan Gilbert headed to Central Park to share the stage with pop sensation Mariah Carey and baseball legend Joe Torre for the MLB All-Star Charity Concert benefiting Hurricane Sandy relief.

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.

Attend the Tale

Sweeney Todd

This just in: next season the Philharmonic will present a staged production of Sondheim’s musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Baritone Bryn Terfel will star in the title role, and Alan Gilbert conducts the Orchestra, March 5–8, 2014.

We know you’ll want to attend. Tickets go on sale to the general public August 18 at noon.

Meanwhile, here's a tasty bit to savor, and check out the recording from our 2000 production.

After the Dream

Sara Mearns Rehearsal

"Every night, I got to sit next to the concertmaster on stage ... Every night he looked at me and smiled as if to say the notes are yours, let's make something beautiful."  — Sara Mearns

New York City Ballet principal dancer Sara Mearns shares more about her experience performing with the Phil in A Dancer's Dream — and what happens when that dream ends — in her blog for The Huffington Post. Plus, she leads a video tour of her Philharmonic dressing room filled with her Dancer's Dream costumes.

Photo by Chris Lee

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