philharmonicconcertincentralparkSummertime means time to make a calendar of the free summer concerts you intend to attend. The choice is overwhelming – that’s what makes New York New York.
Here’s a selection:
New York Philharmonic in the Parks are the most popular concerts during the summer (more than 100,000 people per show!). This year, Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, Jupiter and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 , with a fireworks finale, will be performed Tuesday, July 14th in Central Park at 8 p.m. and July 15th in Prospect Park in Brooklyn; a slightly different program will be offered July 16th in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, and then Copland, Mozart and Mahler back at Central Park on Friday July 17th.
Broadway in Bryant Park
The most popular shows on and off Broadway perform their biggest hits during lunchtime every Thursday from July 9th to August 13th.
Metropolitan Opera in the Park
For 2009, The Metropolitan Opera offers a free ten-day festival at Lincoln Center Plaza from August 29th (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) to September 7th (Madama Butterfly) as well as recitals in all five boroughs: e.g. Monday, July 13 at 8:00 pm in Central Park’s Summerstage and Friday, July 17 at 7 p.m. in Crotona Park in the Bronx.
Central Park Summerstagemorphosesforsummerstage
From June 5th to August 15th, 2009, there will be 35 events, most of them free, some of them benefit concerts (and most of these already sold out!) Diverse highlights of the free events:
June 13 – A gospel concert featuring American Idol winner Ruben Studdard and others., 3 to 7 p.m.
June 18 — A poetry reading and discussion by Elizabeth Alexander (who was the poet at Barack Obama’s inauguration), Sharon Olds and Thomas Sayers Ellis, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
July 18 – Q-tip and other hip-hop innovators, from 3 to 7 p.m.
August 6 – An evening of the world’s best short films, 7:30 to 10 p.m.
August 14th and 15th – A world premier collaboration between singer Martha Wainwright and dancer/choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s company, Morphoses/The Wheeldon Company (pictured above), 8 to 10 p.m.
Central Park SummerStage is located at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Enter the park at 69th Street and 5th Avenue on the east side or at 72nd Street and Central Park West on the west side.
NBC’s Today Show Summer Concerts fergieandslashblackeyedpeasThe lure: big-time acts for free. The catch: The shows start at 7 a.m. (You can always stay home and watch them on TV)
They take place Friday mornings in Rockefeller Center
June 5 – The Dave Matthews Band
June 12 – Black Eyed Peas
June 19 – The Jonas Brothers
June 26 – The Fray
July 3 – Rob Thomas
July 10 – Rascal Flatts
July 17 – The All-American Rejects
July 24 – Katy Perry
July 31 – Kings of Leon
August 7 – Jason Mraz
August 14 – Flo Rida
August 21 – Natasha Bedingfield
ABC’s Good Morning America Summer Concerts
Like the Today Show concerts, these start at 7 a.m. and take place every Friday. Like Central Park Summerstage, they take place in Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield.latifahinconcert
June 5 -John Legend
June 12 – The Jonas Brothers
June 19 – Jamie Foxx
June 26– The cast of the musical “Hair”
July 3 – Brad Paisley
July 10 – Queen Latifah
They haven’t come up with the guests for the following two weeks yet.
July 31 – Kelly Clarkson.
August 14 – Kenny Chesney
August 21 – Reba McEntire

It’s not just on Fridays when you can attend a free concert. There are regular free concerts over the summer every other day of the week as well:
Clinton Concert Series
Free concerts either at Clinton Cove Park at 55th Street or Pier 84 at 44th Street on (more or less) every other Monday evening at 6 p.m. through September.
Naumburg Orchestral Concerts in that cool bandshell in Central Park at 7:30 p.m.centralparkbandshell
Music on the Oval
Free concerts Wednesday nights from June 10-July 16 on the Stuyvesant Oval in Stuyvesant Town.
River Rocks
Concerts on Pier 54 in Hudson River Park (at 14th Street) on July 9, 23, and August 13, 2009.
Mad Sq Music
Free concerts on select Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. from June 17 – August 5, 2009 at Madison Square Park.
Rythmn & Blues Festival at Metrotech noontime concerts
Roosevelt Live — every Saturday at 4 p.m. on Roosevelt Island (the F train stops there).
Free For All At Town Hall
Free classical concerts at Town Hall on Sundays in May and June. Free tickets are distributed beginning at noon on the day of the concert.
Harlem Meer Performance Festival
Jazz, blues, gospel and latin music every Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Harlem Meer in Central Park.
Summergarden evening concerts at the Museum of Modern Art Sculpture Garden. The garden opens at 7 p.m., the free concerts, in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Juilliard School, begin at 8 p.m.

Culture 2009 Free Summer Concerts in New York City