The Verdi Square Festival, an annual series of free outdoor concerts by outstanding young talents, has been bringing great music back to New York’s historic Verdi Square (Broadway & 72nd Street) since 2006. Conceived of and managed by Upper West music lovers in partnership with the New York City Deptartment of Parks and Recreation, the Festival traditionally opens its season with an Opera program. Concerts also have included Jazz, American Musical Theater, Klezmer, and Bluegrass. Originally the Festival presented artists only from New York Conservatories. They now are joined by students from Boston’s New England Conservatory who regularly journey to New York to appear in one of the city’s most unique venues.
Young artists appreciate the chance to hone performing skills before highly receptive audiences. Conservatories enthusiastically present artists for participation. The Festival has received recognition from the media (see Press Page) and Mayors of both New York and Parma, Verdi’s birthplace.
The modest annual budget of the Festival covers artists’ fees and expenses, sound equipment, insurance, videography, printing, and website maintenance. The Deptartment of Parks & Recreation provides concert seating, stage, and manpower. There are no administrative overheads. The Festival is entirely volunteer-staffed. Supported by tax-deductible contributions made through the City Parks Foundation, the Festival now also offers special corporate sponsorship opportunities.