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Music under the Stars

Boston Landmarks Orchestra kicks off free concert series tonight

When the Boston Landmarks Orchestra was established in 2001, its mission was to provide top-notch orchestral music, free of charge, to Boston residents. Since 2007, the professional nonprofit orchestra has performed a weekly concert series each summer at the Hatch Shell on Boston’s Esplanade. Tonight, that pleasing tradition returns, when the BLO performs its first summer 2013 concert.

Titled Rhapsody in Green, the concert will feature performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, often referred to as the Pastoral Symphony; Johann Strauss’ Tales from the Vienna Woods; and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, with BLO concertmaster Gregory Vitale as soloist. A new work, At the River, composed by Northeastern University’s Anthony De Ritis, is also on the program.

This evening’s concert is typical of BLO’s repertoire—an eclectic mixture of symphonic music traditions. Upcoming concerts will include symphonic music inspired by Latin American influences and excerpts from operas by Bellini, Rossini, and Mozart, performed with members of Boston Lyric Opera. In addition to the free summer concert series at the Hatch Shell, which draws an estimated 60,000 guests each season, the BLO, under the direction of Christopher Wilkins, plays free concerts in several of Boston’s diverse neighborhoods.

Tonight’s concert pays tribute to city, state, and national parks and the people who work to protect and preserve them, as reflected in the title—Rhapsody in Green.

The BLO Hatch Shell concerts are an ideal way to spend a summer night: beautiful music performed on the banks of the Charles River under a darkening sky.

The Boston Landmarks Orchestra performs tonight, Wednesday, July 17, at 7 p.m. at the Hatch Shell. Admission is free. Find a complete schedule of the BLO’s summer Hatch Shell concert series, which takes place every Wednesday through August, here. To get to the Hatch Shell, take an MBTA Green Line trolley to the Arlington Street station. Walk along the Public Garden on Arlington Street to Beacon Street. Cross over Beacon Street and take the Arthur Fiedler Footbridge over Storrow Drive to the Hatch Shell.

In the event of rain, concerts will be held in the Back Bay Events Center John Hancock Hall and Dorothy Quincy Suite, 180 Berkeley St., Boston. Take the Green Line to Copley Square or the Orange Line to Back Bay. For weather alerts, call 617-987-2000 or text Landmarks to 27138.

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John O’Rourke

John O’Rourke can be reached at orourkej@bu.edu.

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