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Green-Wood Cemetery Memorial Day Concert
For the 15th straight year, Brooklyn’s favorite cemetery brings visitors onto the grounds to hear the InterSchools Orchestra of New York play a program that includes at least some pieces by the cemetery’s permanent residents: Leonard Bernstein, Fred Ebb, Louis Gottschalk, and more. Bring a blanket.
May 27, 2:30pm, Green-Wood Cemetery, FREE
Make Music New York
This biannual event, featuring more than 1,000 free outdoor concerts in all five boroughs, is always better in the summer. As of press time, the schedule had not yet been released, but there’s always interesting stuff in Brooklyn and elsewhere. (Last year we saw an orchestra perform from different boats in Central Park, and then this Philip Glass vocal piece in Times Square which you could just show up to and participate in.) It might be worth taking the day off work—or at least a long lunch.
June 21, All Day, All Over NYC, FREE
The Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series
We say this every year, but we still long for the days—only a few years ago!—when the Met would do a whole opera with a full orchestra in Prospect Park, because ain’t nothing lovelier than drinking wine under the stars and listening to great music. Well, that’s why we’re still happy for these stripped-down concerts, this year featuring soprano Erin Morley, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, and tenor Stephen Costello with piano accompaniment. Good enough.
July 19, 7pm, Brooklyn Bridge Park, FREE
New York Philharmonic
While the Met has cut back on its park performances—to save money, and to focus more resources on its Live in HD series—the New York Philharmonic continues to put on parks performances with a full orchestra. This year, they do Dvorak’s Cello Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth, which is a great fucking symphony. Music director Alan Gilbert himself will conduct.
July 10, 8pm, Prospect Park, FREE
Red Hook Jazz Festival
One evening, we went bar hopping in Red Hook, and it seemed like every place we stopped in had some hot little jazz combo that was killing it. The neighborhood knows from jazz, which is why you should check out this homegrown festival, now in its sixth year, which features mostly local talent.
June 9 and 16, 1pm, The Urban Meadow, $10/day
Jazz at Lincoln Center in Brooklyn
Well, this is supposed to be a concert for kids, but I bet they’d let you in. And you definitely want to go, because this band is like the New York Philharmonic of jazz—a little stuffier maybe than what’s cooking after midnight at Small’s, but still swingin’. And damn tight. Also, Wynton Marsalis is going to read Ezra Keats children’s stories during the break, which sounds fun.
June 8, 4pm, Prospect Park Bandshell, FREE