Gilbert vows return of New York Philharmonic parks concerts

Posted on: June 30, 2011

In Thursday’s (6/30) New York Times, Larry Rohter writes, “There will be no free concerts in the parks for the New York Philharmonic this summer. But Alan Gilbert, the orchestra’s music director, has given his word that situation will change in 2012. ‘I am making a personal promise that these beloved free concerts will return next summer and continue for many years to come,’ he wrote in a letter sent via e-mail to The New York Times on Wednesday, following the publication of a critic’s notebook lamenting the orchestra’s decision to suspend the series, which began in 1965. According to Zarin Mehta, the Philharmonic’s president and chief executive, the popular annual parks tour was dropped this year to make way for other projects. These include a memorial concert at Avery Fisher Hall on Sept. 10 to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. … Mr. Gilbert, who took over as musical director of the Philharmonic in 2009, disassociated himself from the cancellation of this year’s series. ‘Don’t think for a moment that I’m ‘on board’ with the New York Philharmonic stepping away from our annual Concerts in the Parks,’ he wrote. Though the 9/11 commemorations are likely to be ‘a significant moment of renewal for the city,’ he added, they ‘may have caused us, unjustifiably, to sit this summer out.’ ”

Posted June 30, 2011