Brooklyn parks its tanks on New York's lawn

Brooklyn parks its tanks on New York's lawn


norman lebrecht

June 19, 2011

The Brooklyn Philharmonic has sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg offering to take over the free summer concerts at Central Park, now that the New York Philharmonic is apparently too busy to continue the tradition.

This is chutzpah of the highest order and deserving of reward. Here’s the cheeky letter. I’ll let you know when Mayor Mike writes back. And what the New York Philharmonic have to say.


Dear Mr Mayor:

Since our cousin, the New York Philharmonic, has other activities that don’t allow them to continue the tradition of free concerts in the parks this summer, we’d be happy to step in and play for free for the people of New York City in their place. We’d very much like to help New Yorkers properly celebrate this summer’s warm evenings.

“Having served New York City in both music performance and education for over 150 years, the Brooklyn Phil can certainly manage some rousing Sousa in Central Park and deliver terrific Prokofiev to Prospect Park. Even more, we’d love to get the people of New York City involved in picking what they’d like to hear — so we could easily set up an informal poll on our web site ( to let the listeners choose their favorites.

“Of course, our players like the New York Philharmonic’s) are union musicians, so we’ll need to work out a way to pay them fairly. But other than covering the actual cost of the performances, we’re not looking to make any profit. Perhaps Target or the MetLife Foundation would be willing to sponsor…

“We love the idea of New Yorkers sitting on blankets, enjoying food and wine while listening to great music under the stars, and we’d be thrilled to give our city the gift of music this summer. Yours truly, Alan Pierson , artistic director.”