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New York Philharmonic makes for enchanted evenings in city parks this summer

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One of the sweetest pleasures of summer in New York City is the live concerts in the parks by the New York Philharmonic - as they say "Priceless Music, Absolutely Free."

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The New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks, presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, have become an iconic New York summer experience since they began in 1965, transforming parks throughout the city into a patchwork of picnickers, many with elaborate displays that include candelabras, and providing music lovers with an opportunity to hear the best classical music under the stars.

This summer, Music Director Alan Gilbert (the first native New Yorker to hold the post) leads five free outdoor concerts - hitting all five boroughs - including a program featuring violinist Joshua Bell performing Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 (Central Park, July 14, and Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, July 15), and New York Philharmonic musicians are presenting a free indoor concert at the College of Staten Island, CUNY (tickets already sold out). A spectacular fireworks display by Bay Fireworks follows the performances in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx.

The grandest concert of all is coming up on Monday, July 14 at 8 pm in Central Park, when the world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell will be the soloist for Bruch 's Violin Concerto No. 1.

The program also includes The Star-Spangled Banne," by Smith/Arr. Toscanini; Nielsen; Maskarade Overture; Bruch 's Violin Concerto No. 1;Grieg, Selections from Peer Gynt and Liszt, Les Préludes.

This would be the second of the Philharmonic concerts in the park in Central Park- the first held on Friday, July 11, which followed concerts in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, and Cunningham Park, Queens.

The Philharmonic has made a point of performing in all five boroughs.

The Philharmonic will perform in Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx (July 15), performing the same program as the July 14 Central Park concert, including guest artist Joshua Bell.

In addition, there is a free indoor concert at the Center for the Arts, College of Staten Island, CUNY, on July 13, at 3 p.m. The concert is free but you have to get tickets in advance.

The program will feature Beethoven’s Rondino, for wind octet; Mendelssohn’s Octet for strings; Charles Wuorinen’s Bearbeitungen uber das Glogauer Liederbuch, a collection of pieces reworked from a Renaissance-era German cathedral songbook; and Mozart’s Serenade No. 11 in E-flat major, for wind octet. The musicians on the program will be Assistant Concertmaster Michelle Kim and violinists Hae-Young Ham, Yulia Ziskel, and Shanshan Yao; Associate Principal Viola Rebecca Young and violist Rémi Pelletier; cellists Alexei Yupanqui Gonzales and Nathan Vickery; Principal Bass Timothy Cobb; flutist/piccolo player Mindy Kaufman; Principal Oboe Liang Wang and guest oboist Tuck Lee; clarinetist Pascual Martínez Forteza and guest clarinetist Amy Zoloto; bassoonist Roger Nye and guest bassoonist Brent Foster; and Third Horn Leelanee Sterrett and horn player R. Allen Spanjer. Major corporate support for the Free Indoor Concert has been provided by Time Warner Inc.

This is the orchestra's 49th season performing free summer concerts in the parks. More than 14 million listeners have been delighted by the performances since their inception.

New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, who began his tenure in September 2009, is the first native New Yorker to hold the post.

Major corporate support for the 2014 New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks and the Free Indoor Concert has been provided by Time Warner Inc. and major foundation support by The Ford Foundation. Additional support provided by the Herman Goldman Foundation, The Marc Haas Foundation, and other generous donors.

The program is also 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, Commissioner; the Borough Presidents; and the City Council of New York.

Major corporate support for the 2014 New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Parks and the Free Indoor Concert has been provided by Time Warner Inc. and major foundation support by The Ford Foundation. Additional support provided by the Herman Goldman Foundation, The Marc Haas Foundation, and other generous donors.

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

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, Commissioner; the Borough Presidents; and the City Council of New York.

For more information, visit nyphil.org

Karen Rubin, Long Island Eclectic Travel Examiner

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