A Not So Quiet Night at the BPL

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Concerts in the Courtyard series features folk, jazz, contemporary

By Paula Sokolska (COM’15)

Boston Public Library, courtyard concert series

Recent renovations have restored the tranquil beauty of the BPL McKim Building’s courtyard, the setting for the library’s Concerts in the Courtyard series. Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library.

The Boston Public Library in Copley Square will be alive with the sound of music tonight, part of its twice-weekly Concerts in the Courtyard summer series. The free one-hour concerts are held each Wednesday and Friday in the grand Italianate courtyard of the McKim Building, one of the city’s most magical spaces.

This summer’s scheduled musicians will perform a diverse assortment of music—from jazz and classical to folk and world. Playing tonight is Boston-based folk duo . Both Berklee College of Music alums, Deni Hlavinka and Chris West “blend folk harmonies with ambient textures to produce a sound all their own,” according to the Concerts in the Courtyard website. They are currently working on their first full-length album.

Among other featured artists are current Berklee student Ahmad El Haggar (June 20), an Egyptian singer-songwriter who brings a modern twist to classic Arabian music; former American Idol season 11 top-10 finalist Erika Van Pelt (July 11); and the Boston Lyric Opera (August 8) performing highlights from its 2014-15 season, among them selections from La triavata and Don Giovanni, as well as pieces by Rossini and Johann Strauss.

With its arcaded promenade—modeled on the arcade in the Cancelleria Palace in Rome—and its fountain with a replica of Frederick MacMonnies’ bronze Bacchante and Infant Faun providing a gentle soundtrack of running water, the courtyard’s tranquil beauty offers a unique backdrop for the various performances scheduled this summer.

Concerts take place every Wednesday at 6 p.m. and every Friday at noon. Light refreshments can be purchased from the Courtyard Restaurant, which was voted a Leading Caterer of America in 2014. In inclement weather, concerts will be moved indoors to the Commonwealth Salon.

Concerts in the Courtyard are held every Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Friday at noon, through August 29, at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., Copley Square. The one-hour shows are free and open to the public. Find a schedule of performers here. By public transportation, take any inbound Green Line trolley to Copley Square.

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