Philharmonic is poised for return to Vannie


Classical music lovers, get your blankets ready.

After a two-year hiatus, the Department of Parks and Recreation expects the New York Philharmonic orchestra to make a glorious return to Van Cortlandt Park this summer.

After 42 performances in Vannie dating back to 1971, the orchestra’s last show took place in the park in 2009. 

The Philharmonic has not returned the last two summers because it did not have enough funds to erect a stage in the park. But the free shows had been a huge success, according to years of stories in The Riverdale Press

Hundreds of Bronxites, young and old, have attended with blankets, chairs and picnic baskets, yearning to hear the country’s oldest and most prestigious orchestra play Mozart or Tchaikovsky. Or to see the fireworks after the concert.

Bailey Avenue resident Dorothy Wildhagen hopes the musicians will play her favorite composer, Rachmaninov, upon their return. Ms. Wildhagen, a pianist, said she attended many of the shows  in Vannie over the years, with a group of friends. “We loved it,” she said.

Spuyten Duyvil resident and classical-music lover Mildred Kramer was excited about the Philharmonic’s return. She described herself as a regular at the shows.

“Oh that’s wonderful,” she said. “Those are wonderful evenings … blankets, food, the kids, it’s wonderful, it really is.”

A spokesman for the Parks Department said specifics, including exactly where and when the concert will be held, have not been determined. 

The southern half of the Parade Ground where it usually takes place is expected to be closed off through the summer. A spokeswoman for the Philharmonic said the orchestra’s citywide tour will take place Wednesday, July 11 through Tuesday, July 17 and the full list of locations will be announced soon.

“We are always delighted to work with the New York Philharmonic, one of the City’s greatest cultural institutions, and look forward to the return of their beloved Concerts in the Parks series,” Bronx Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte said in a statement.