Concert Grove is a formal European-style garden designed to look out over a small island in Prospect Park Lake containing a performance stage where the popular bands of the day would play. There were large areas for carriages to park on each side of the Grove. It turned out that the acoustics weren’t the best, and concerts moved to the Music Pagoda in the Nethermead, ultimately the Prospect Park Bandshell. The stage area was torn up, the island attached to the mainland by fill, and the Wollman Rink installed in its place. The Lakeside skating rink, opened in December 2013, was the first major building added to the park since the end of the 19th Century. It replaced two additions from the Robert Moses era, the Wollman Skating Rink that replaced the Music Grove, and its adjacent parking lot.
The formal garden remains, with busts of Beethoven (looking cranky as he usually does in his portraits), Edvard Grieg (Norwegian composer of the Peer Gynt Suites and “Hall of the Mountain King”) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and his cousin by marriage, Carl Maria von Weber, a composer, conductor and pianist, one of the founders of the Romantic style. Crashing the Northern European composer party is Irish writer Thomas Moore, who can also be found in Central Park; he was best known for writing “Minstrel Boy.”
Carl Maria? In many European countries, a common practice is to name boys Maria (or a derivation) in honor of Mary, the mother of Jesus.