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New York Daily Photo: Sounds of Summer
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Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Sounds of Summer

For many of us who look forward to the summer, spending as much time as possible outdoors can become a preoccupation. Leaving the city is certainly a pleasant solution to heat and humidity, but for those who remain there are a plethora of activities to enjoy, both physical and cultural and often with less crowding, owing to so many city residents being away. In order to maintain some continuity with indoor life and interests, many take their activities outside - writing, reading, and now with the ubiquitous WIFI, work/play on a laptop. And for music lovers, outdoor summer concerts are a wonderful perk this time of year and NYC has no shortage - most of them free of charge. The two largest venues are Summerstage in Central Park (click here for a performance history) and Celebrate Brooklyn ($3) in Prospect Park. Both of these get major talent. Greenwich Village has a summer series - the Washington Square Music Festival with Peggy Friedman as executive director and Lutz Rath, music director. The concerts take place on four Tuesday evenings at 8PM. Temporary seating is installed and music is played on a raised performance space called Teen Plaza (built for the Festival in the 1970s). The repertoire leans towards classical, although jazz and other types of music are featured. The festival was started in 1953 by the Washington Square Association (established in 1903) and Alexander Schneider, a Village resident, violinist and member of the Budapest String Quartet. The musical talent has been of a high quality from its inception, with its share of luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis and Marilyn Horne. Last night's theme was Music as Political Statement with works by Gershwin and Weill. The upcoming (and last) concert of the series on July 31 features the Charles Mingus Orchestra...


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