Symphony-wise, you'd be hard-pressed to do better than the New York Philharmonic. The country's oldest orchestra will be home to the one of the youngest music directors in its history when native New Yorker Alan Gilbert takes the baton for the 2009-10 season. During summer months, the Philharmonic plays free summer concerts in Central Park as well as in the city's outer boroughs -- these shows are perhaps the single best picnic opportunity in New York.
Tickets range from $26 to $109; with rush tickets available to students (with ID at pickup) and seniors (over 62) when the box office opens at 10am Monday through Saturday and at noon on Sunday. If you can afford it -- and if the tickets are available -- it's well worth it to pay for prime seats. The acoustics of the hall are such that, at the midrange price points, the second tier (especially the boxes) offers better sound than the more expensive rear orchestra seats. Go cheap if you have to; you're sure to enjoy the program from any vantage point.
- © Frommer's 2013
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