The New York Philharmonic is kicking off summer once again with their beloved tradition of free concerts in all five boroughs. On Wednesday night they absolutely shredded Central Park, scorching the Great Lawn with face-melting covers of music by Camille Saint-Saëns, Leonard Bernstein, and Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov. There were also performances of music by some hip young teen composers—Jordan Millar's "Boogie Down Uptown" and Camryn Cowan's "Harlem Shake." Sadly, conductor James Gaffigan (no relation to clean comic Jim Gaffigan) was not taking requests:
They didn’t play it... 😕 #philharmonic #centralpark #johnwilliams #jurassicpark #maybenextyear 📷: @ksroche
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Still, it was a solid gold set-list, and concertgoers who stayed through the second set were rewarded with a spectacular fireworks display.
Wednesday night's post-concert fireworks. (Chris Lee)
If you missed last night's Central Park barn-burner, all is not lost. The Philharmonic heads to Queens tonight (Thursday) to crush Cunningham Park, and on Friday night they'll blow minds in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Still want more Phil? They close out the tour with a very intimate afternoon gig indoors at the Music Hall at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden on Sunday. There are no tickets left, but if you wander around the Botanical Garden with your finger in the air you're bound to get lucky. Never miss a Sunday show.
This is the 53rd year the New York Philharmonic has performed for free in city parks; the annual tradition began back in 1965. Be advised that it's one of the highlights of summer in NYC—bring a blanket and a picnic, relax on the grass, and take a moment to remember that you live in the greatest cultural city in America, period. Performance starts at 8.