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New York Philharmonic to skip free summer concerts this year


amny Credit: New York Philharmonic at Central Park/Getty Images

In a surprise loss of a cherished New York summer tradition, the New York Philharmonic won't hold its free concerts in city parks, city officials said.

Without citing a reason, the city's Department of Parks and Recreation said the concerts would not be held, but wouldn't elaborate on why or whether the decision is permanent.

The Philharmonic didn't immediately respond to calls for comment about the loss of the concerts, first reported by the blog F***d in Park Slope.

The free concerts have long been a distinctive part of New York summers — and an easy way for people to take in some world-class entertainment.

"A lot of people look forward to these concerts, and not to have them leaves a void," said Brooklyn borough historian Ron Schweiger. Prospect Park "is absolutely losing something, no question about it. So many people attended these concerts."

Eric McClure of Park Slope Neighbors agreed, saying the concerts have a long history of being well-attended, and the loss deprives the public exposure to classical music.

"It's a nice way to get a bit of free culture listening to one of the world's greatest philharmonic orchestras under the stars, and it's a shame it won't be happening," McClure said. "It will definitely take away from the experience of summer in the city."

Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified Eric McClure.

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