The Cassical Beat: Tanglewood, Tannery Pond, Taconic Music Prepare to Open
Finally! It's that longed-for time again: the summer "high season" of classical music is about to begin. After an arduous winter, the summer's musical offerings will be balm to both popular music and classical aficionados, who anticipate the cornucopia of music these diverse festivals and series present.
This week, I'll focus on the three "T"s - Tanglewood, Tannery Pond and Taconic Music. Together, they make the region a cultural capital, drawing thousands to hear great music – chamber, symphony, choral, opera, musical theater, film music, contemporary classical, pop, rock, jazz et al - to experience masterworks within the verdant hills and dales we call home. Here's a capsule preview of each.
Tanglewood: An unlimited bounty of musical offerings
What makes Tanglewood such a great festival? It's all about the magnitude and the phenomenal diversity of programming. Whether you enjoy the pristine lawns for BYO picnics, or prefer the proximity to the musicians in the Shed or in Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood, in all its incarnations is an informal, yet breathtaking place to relax and enjoy music in the most bucolic setting imaginable.
The 2017 Tanglewood season runs from June 16-Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3, and offers music lovers an exceptional lineup of performances and related activities for listeners of every age.
Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons will conduct 10 programs, including both the opening and closing BSO concerts: Mahler's Symphony No. 2, ("Resurrection") and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 ("Choral"). He will also direct an opera gala with soprano Kristine Opolais performing an evening of opera and song, and the first-ever BSO and festival concert performance of Wagner's complete "Das Rheingold," a tour-de-force milestone in the history of Tanglewood. Maestro Nelsons will also conduct the Boston Pops Orchestra for the first time, sharing the podium for Film Night with John Williams.
In addition to Tanglewood's classical music offerings, the 2017 Tanglewood season will also include performances by "Four Voices" — featuring Joan Baez, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers of the Indigo Girls (6/17); the phenomenal 13-year old jazz piano prodigy Joey Alexander (6/23); Chris Botti with the Boston Pops and conductor Lawrence Loh (6/24); Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald (6/30); John Mellencamp with Emmylou Harris and Carlene Carpenter (7/1); singer-songwriter Natalie Merchant (7/2); James Taylor and his All-Star Band (7/3 and 4); David Sedaris (8/20); Sting (8/29); iconic singer Diana Ross (8/30); American folk-rock band The Avett Brothers (9/1); Classic Quadrophenia with Pete Townshend, Billy Idol, and Alfie Boe (9/2); and Melissa Etheridge, who joins Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops to close out the 2017 Tanglewood season (9/3).
Added to all of the above, two particular offerings I'm looking forward to hearing include the Festival of Contemporary Music (8/10-14) and "Schubert's Summer Journey" (six chamber and vocal programs in July and August).
Music lovers can follow Tanglewood via its new social media accounts on Facebook, on Twitter @TanglewoodMA, and on Instagram @TanglewoodMusicFestival. The Boston Symphony is on Facebook, on Twitter @bostonsymphony, and on Instagram @bostonsymphony. The Boston Pops is on Facebook, on Twitter@thebostonpops, and on Instagram @thebostonpops.
This is just the beginning, folks. Stay tuned, as I'll be updating you weekly on Tanglewood highlights each Wednesday in my "Classical Beat" music column, right here at iberkshires.com.
Concerts at Tannery Pond
Concerts at Tannery Pond, the handsome, intimate and elegant series in New Lebanon, N.Y., and one of the premiere presenters of chamber music in the region, celebrating their 27th season, started the ball rolling three weeks ago with their first concert on May 20, featuring the fabulous pianist Alon Goldstein, joined by the Fine Arts String Quartet and contrabassist Alexander Bickard in an innovative program of two Mozart piano concertos arranged for strings and piano, along with the String Quartet No. 20 in D Major, K. 499. It was a magnificent opening prelude to their brilliant upcoming season of six concerts at Tannery Pond.
All upcoming TP summer/fall concerts are on Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., with the exception of the Sept. 23 concert, which will be at 6 p.m. See below:
June 17: The Zorá String Quartet will present a program featuring Mozart, Anton Webern and Mendelssohn; July 8: The gifted young pianist Shai Wosner performs an all-Schubert program consisting of the three final Piano Sonatas in C Minor, A Major and B flat Major; July 29: The Jasper String Quartet, formed in 2006, will perform quartets of Mendelssohn and Brahms, as well as recent works by composers Donnacha Dennehy and Ted Hearne; Aug. 19: A duo-recital featuring cellist Inbal Segev and Alon Goldstein; they will perform works by Brahms, Liszt, Dvorák and Ravel; Sept. 9: A trio recital, with performers violinist Axel Strauss, clarinetist Todd Palmer and pianist Ilya Poletaev. Featured works will include 20th century masterworks by Darius Milhaud, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and Igor Stravinsky. Sept. 23: A duo-recital by violinist Aleksey Semenenko and pianist Inna Firsova performing music by Schubert, Greig, Tchaikovsky and Henryk Wieniawski.
Individual tickets are $30 and $39; subscription sales for four or six concerts may also be ordered. For more information and to reserve tickets, call 888-820-1696 or go online. For mail order, write to Tannery Pond Concerts, P.O. Box 34, Chatham, NY 12037.
Tannery Pond is located on the grounds of Mount Lebanon Shaker Village and Darrow School, New Lebanon, N.Y., one and a half miles east of the town center on Route 20.
Taconic Music Inaugural Summer Festival
A brand-new and unique music festival will make its debut this summer. Based in Manchester, Vt., co-founders Ariel Rudiakov and Joana Genova-Rudiakov have hit the ground running with varied and extensive offerings: "NextGen" concerts and masterclasses, and a youth-oriented "Chamber Music Intensive" workshop/mentorship program for young performers. Also planned is "Music In Action" in-school programs, and "Strings for Kids" lessons for children ages 5-18.
At its core, Taconic's master ensemble, "Taconic Chamber Players," will perform a broad repertoire of Baroque, classical, romantic and contemporary works, including expanding into popular culture, with rock and jazz arrangements integrated into the programming.
Mendelssohn, String Quartet no. 5 in E flat major op. 44, no. 3; Ravel, String Quartet in F major, Dohnányi, Piano Quintet no.1 in C minor, op.1; Joohyun Lee, Jingting Liu, Heather Munch and Cami Sylvia, violins; Zoe Loversky and Gavon Peck, violas, Yeil Park and Mark Serkin, celli; Dan Sato, piano
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