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Boston Pops and BSO team up for a free Franklin Park show

You won’t want to miss this historic concert.
Keith Lockhart
Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart. Photo by Marco Borggreve

The Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra will make history this fall.

The storied institutions are teaming up for a free concert in Franklin Park on October 1. The event will mark the first time that the BSO has performed at the Roxbury park in its 136-year history, as well as the first time that the orchestra and the Pops have shared a stage in a free, outdoor public venue.

"To have one of the world's greatest orchestras—our own BSO—perform amid Olmsted's bucolic masterpiece, Franklin Park, is a treasure within a treasure,” Boston’s commissioner of parks and recreation Christopher Cook said in a statement. “The Boston Pops and the Boston Symphony, so central to our cultural identity, will be right at home in this park which is, literally and figuratively, the center of our city.”

The program opens with BSO Youth and Family Concerts Conductor and Franklin Park concert emcee Thomas Wilkins leading the National Anthem. Next, Pops conductor Keith Lockhart will helm the orchestra as it plays from the extensive repertoire of John Williams, a Boston legend in his own right who served as the Pops conductor from 1980 to 1993 and is currently the orchestra’s conductor laureate. Attendees can expect to hear some iconic Williams’ famed movie scores, including Raiders March from “Indiana Jones” and Hedwig’s Theme from “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

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Lockhart said in a statement that he hopes the concerts helps the public to learn about the power of music.

“We hope to immerse our friends and neighbors of Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Dorchester and the greater Boston area in the music of the BSO and Boston Pops, and to create a memorable experience that will inspire them for many years to come,” Lockhart said.

In the second part of the program, Wilkins will conduct as the BSO plays an overture from Shostakovich, a signature composer of the BSO known for working under Stalinist persecution, as well as music from Mexican composer Arturo Marquez and William Grant, the first black person to conduct a symphony orchestra in the United States. BSO music director Andris Nelsons will conduct the concert’s final performance, the fourth movement of Mahler’s first symphony.

The diverse backgrounds of the composers included in the BSO’s Franklin Park performance reflect the diverse Boston audience they hope to reach.

"A large part of my role as the BSO’s Youth and Family Concerts Conductor is to deepen the relationship between Boston’s diverse communities and the first rate musicians and incredible artistry we're able to present on the Symphony Hall stage throughout the year,” Wilkins said in a release. “I’m so proud that we’re able to share the remarkable talents of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops with the greater Boston community in Franklin Park this fall.”

If you go:

October 1, 3 p.m., Franklin Park, Boston, free, bso.org