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Home > Arts & Events > Naumburg Bandshell

Naumburg Bandshell

Central Park
Fifth Ave. at 72nd St., New York, NY 10019 40.772482 -73.966827
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Photo by Everett Bogue

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Nearby Subway Stops

6 at 68th St.-Hunter College; B, C at 72nd St.; 1, 2, 3 at 72nd St.


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There's something to be said for enjoying Mozart or Ravel from a folding chair. Since 1923 (when Bavarian-born arts patron Elkan Naumburg donated a cast-concrete and Indiana limestone band shell to the city), audiences have doing just that at this location. Even though today's music luminaries have mostly decamped for Central Park's bigger, mightily amplified Rumsey Playfield, an orchestral concert series that dates back to 1905 continues unabated on select Tuesdays and Wednesdays in June, July, and August. Just steps from Bethesda Terrace, this neoclassical addition to the park's stately mall was intended to serve as an acoustically superior venue to its gazebolike predecessor. And it's done that and more. The host of famous names who have played here includes both the decidedly nonclassical (Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, the Grateful Dead) and nonmusical (Fiorello La Guardia, Martin Luther King, Jr., even Fidel Castro).