Midsummer Musical Events Around NYC
By Troy Segal
In summertime New York, all the city’s a musical stage, celebrating sounds that range from African funk to European classical. Unleash your lyrical side with these concerts, performances and other musically themed events coming to NYC in the next few weeks.
If it’s late July, it must be time for the Mostly Mozart Festival, now in its 49th year. A free concert, featuring the fanfare of Mozart’s Symphony No. 34 and Brahms’ Symphony No. 4, kicks off the series (which runs thru Aug. 22), with tickets distributed that morning on a first-come, first-served basis. Avery Fisher Hall, Saturday, July 25…Come back on Saturday, August 15 for a free panel with Mozart scholars, focused on the interaction between audience and composition, and how Mozart’s improbable musical moments compel us to listen again.
It must also be time for the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors’ annual al fresco bash (July 22-Aug. 9). One of this year’s highlights: An Evening with Judy Collins, whose hair may have whitened (who knows where the time goes?), but whose crystal-clear voice still augments songs ranging from Stephen Sondheim’s to Joni Mitchell’s. Damrosch Park, Sunday, July 26.
Combining folk music’s tradition of social protest with personal angst—public blues and private blues, so to speak—Bob Dylan transformed pop music. A panel of music scholars and industry professionals focuses on how his style was a-changin’ (he took up the electric guitar!) in 1965. Museum of the City of New York, Monday, July 27…Or, let Dylan’s music speak for itself, at this live performance of the entire Highway 61 Revisited album by the Watkins Family Hour band and Fiona Apple. Damrosch Park, Saturday, Aug. 8.
For something in a lighter, more lushly romantic vein, tune into a verbal jukebox of anecdotes and recordings being played by Jim Jimirro, American Songbook buff and selection committee chair for the Traditional Pop category of the Grammys. New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Monday, July 27.
Enough talk; it’s time to dance. Get your feet moving to the Afro-Cuban-Puerto Rican beat of the Funky Guajiros; you can brush up your salsa at the dance lesson, a half-hour before the show starts on the Plaza. Brooklyn Public Library Central Library, Wednesday, July 29.
Prefer that early ‘60s, Brill Building sound? Then seize the chance to hear a concert version of the long-running Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, a tapestry of the singer/songwriter’s greatest hits. Rumsey Playfield, Monday, Aug. 3.
Modern ballet choreographer Claudia Schreier is back in town, with a trio of world premieres danced by American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet pros to a slate of pieces that range from an original score by Emmy Award-winning composer Jeff Beal to Rachmaninoff choral music. Ailey Citigroup Theater, Saturday, Aug. 8.
Danish baritone Thomas Storm lifts his resonant voice to celebrate composers Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius (they’d both turn 150 this year) in a concert with pianist Tanya Gabrielian. Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, Thursday, Aug. 20.
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