The Summer 2014 Washington Square Music Festival Program

Music Director Lutz Rath has announced the 56th season of the Washington Square Music Festival taking place in the center of Washington Square on the Main Stage. All concerts are free. The Festival is under the auspices of the Washington Square Association, Inc. Seating is first come, first served.


Tuesday, June 17, 8 pm: Harmonica & Harp with Festival Orchestra

 Soloist: Robert Bonfiglio, harmonica (called “the Paganini of the harmonica" by The Los Angeles Times); Lutz Rath, conductor and the Washington Square Music Festival Orchestra performing Heitor Villa Lobos’ Concerto for Harmonica, Claude Debussy’s Reverie arranged for harmonica and ensemble, and  Adagietto for strings and harp from Mahler’s  Fifth Symphony.  Also works by Peter von Winter and JP Saxe, grandson of cellist János Starker, performing his own compositions.


Tuesday, June 24, 8 pm: Vocal Music/Baroque to Modern with Festival Chamber Ensemble

Soloists: Lucia Hyunju Song, soprano; Laila Salins, mezzo-soprano and the Washington Square Music Festival Ensemble performing four centuries of vocal music by Alessandro Scarlatti, Luigi Cherubini, Louis Spohr,  Giovanni “Nino” Rota, Cathy Berberian -- Stripsody, Francis Poulenc – Le Bestiaire, and Laila Salins, composer and arranger of poems by Anne Sexton – “Starry Night” & “Anna who was mad”.

Friday, August 8, 8pm: A Partnership Concert with the International Double Reed Society/NYU

Hosted by oboist Matthew Sullivan


The Washington Square Music Festival is made possible with public funding through Councilwoman Margaret Chin and The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.  Generous grants from The Earle K. & Katherine F. Moore Foundation, The Washington Square Association, Music Performance Trust Fund, The Margaret Neubart Foundation Trust, New York University Community Affairs & NYU Community Fund, Salamon-Abrams Family Fund, Down The Hatch/Three Sheets/Off The Wagon,  Con Edison, and the Washington Square Hotel are deeply appreciated, as is invaluable help from NYC Parks & Recreation.


The Festival was founded in 1953 by violinist and neighbor Alexander Schneider, member of the famed Budapest String Quartet, and the Washington Square Association. Over the years the concerts have become a venerable summer tradition, shaped by Peggy Friedman, executive director, the late music director Henry Schuman, and the current music director, Lutz Rath, as well as countless patrons, volunteers and neighborhood agencies that make the Festival such a popular evening event.  

Peggy Friedman, Executive Director
Jean Lyman Goetz, Festival Manager
Laima Hood, chair, Board of Directors
Suzette Jacobs, Associate Music Director
Lutz Rath, Music Director

The sole activity of The Washington Square Music Festival is to present free concerts. New York has other free outdoor classical concert series, but only the Washington Square Music Festival is sponsored by a local civic organization—the Washington Square Association, Inc.

To make a donation for the Washington Square Music Festival, please send a check to WASHINGTON SQUARE ASSOCIATION MUSIC FUND, c/o 1 FifthAveneue, #14J, New York, NY 10003-4312.