58 Years of Music in the Park: Washington Square Music Festival Season Debuts Tuesday, June 7, Continues Throughout Month

58 Years of Music in the Park: Washington Square Music Festival Season Debuts Tuesday, June 7, Continues Throughout Month
Washington Square Music Festival
Washington Square Music Festival 2013

UPDATED: The 2016 season of the Washington Square Music Festival begins Tuesday June 7th and continues Tuesday nights throughout June in Washington Square Park for its 58th year! The free concerts begin around 8 p.m. on the Garibaldi Plaza Stage, east of the Fountain, and seating is first come, first served. (You can find some articles on the reasons there was opposition to the new stage in the redesign when it came before the Landmarks Preservation Commission in the archives. I will add in a link later.) And it may actually be 57 years IN the park because I think one year, during the redesign construction, the concerts had to be held elsewhere. But I have to double check.

Due to likely rain Tuesday, June 7th, the concert will be held in NYU’s Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th St., one block EAST of the Square.

Details below from the Washington Square Music Festival:

Upcoming Concerts:

washington square music festival june 7 2016
violinist Larisa Elisha, cellist Steven Elisha

Tuesday, June 7: Festival Chamber Orchestra conducted by Lutz Rath

Two concertos: Brahms Double Concerto in A minor and Vivaldi’s Concerto for two trumpets.

Brad Siroky, Paul Murphy, trumpet soloists

Carl Nielsen:  “Oriental Festival March” from Aladdin Suite

Johannes Brahms: Double Concerto in A minor, op. 102

Larisa Elisha, violin & Steven Elisha, cello — soloists

Soloists for the Brahms are husband and wife team violinist Larisa, and cellist Steven Elisha, internationally renowned performers making their Washington Square debut.

Russian violinist Larisa Elisha is an internationally acclaimed soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue, having performed and taught extensively throughout all of Europe, Taiwan, and the United States. She was the Concertmaster of the Witold Lutoslawski State Philharmonic, Principal Violinist of the Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director and First Violinist of the Wratislavia String Quartet.

Internationally acclaimed cellist, Steven Elisha has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, Norway, China, Taiwan, Brazil, Israel and the U.S. As an honorary member and returned guest of the Beijing Cello Society, he has extensively toured mainland China, performing recitals and teaching master classes at the Shanghai, Canton, Xian, Jinan and Beijing conservatories.

Antonio Vivaldi’s Concerto for two trumpets and strings is one of the few solo works of the early 1700’s to feature brass instruments.  It is the only such piece by Vivaldi.

Carl Nielsen was a Danish musician, conductor and violinist who some consider his country’s greatest composer.  “Oriental Festival March” is a popular extract from Aladdin, incidental music written to accompany a Dramatic Fairy Tale presented at The Royal Theatre in Copenhagen in 1919.

Tuesday, June 14, 8 p.m.: Festival Chamber Ensemble, conducted by Lutz Rath

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenata notturna in D, k 239 for strings and timpani

Arvo Pärt:  “Fratres” for strings and percussion

George Frederic Handel: Dixit Dominus, Canticum Scholare, choir

 Tuesday, June 21, 8 p.m. : Festival Chamber Ensemble

Hanns Eisler: Septet No 2, “The Circus” (1947).

First performance of complete version in the United States.

(Arranged by Eisler from the film music for Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus)

David Taylor: “Quatre Kakokosmoi” for bass trombone & strings.  World Premiere

Mr. Taylor, soloist

David Taylor: Duet for French horn and bass trombone in the style of Mozart Alexander Borodin: String sextet in D minor no. 2

Tuesday, June 28, 8 p.m.: The New York Jazzharmonic

Featuring a 17 piece band with Ron Wasserman, leader – classic jazz, featuring the first performance of a work by Fred Hellerman, co-founder in 1948, with Pete Seeger, of The Weavers, a group that launched American’s folk music revival.  Fred is the only surviving member of The Weavers.  Fred Hellerman’s, “Fourths of July” was composed in 1987 and never performed. The piece was originally scored for symphony orchestra, but is being re-orchestrated by Ron Wasserman for a jazz orchestra instrumentation.

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The Washington Square Music Festival is under the auspices of the Washington Square Association.

Seating is on a first-come, first served basis. All concerts are free.

In the event of rain, concerts move to NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th Street.

Festival info line: 212-252-3621 Washington Square Music Festival Web site

Top Photo: Sally J. Bair