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World-renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson comes to Tanglewood this week.

Classical Music High Season is Ablaze

By Stephen DanknerSpecial to iBerkshires
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During late July into early August, with concerts at Tanglewood and at other celebrated regional venues, the classical music festival high season lights up with sure-fire programming. Major orchestral offerings at Tanglewood this week include Mozart's groundbreaking Symphony No. 40 and Brahms' poignant Symphony No. 3, along with solo star turns by the world-renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the sublimely poetic violinist Gil Shaham.

Adventurous listeners take note: Add to the above the Festival of Contemporary Music from July 26-30 in Ozawa Hall, directed by composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Adès. The musical palette broadens to present a gallery of newly composed works, showcasing the diversity of present-day composition. Read below for individual program listings.

Hungry for still more musical options? Consider Sevenars Concerts in South Worthington, Mass., and a bit further afield, Music Mountain in Falls Village, Conn., in the Litchfield Hills.

As always, the place to be for both great, heritage classical and stimulating popular and new classical music is right here in our own intimate corner of the world - the Berkshires and environs - where artistic boundaries are nonexistent.



• Friday, July 27, 8 p.m. in the Shed: Boston Symphony Orchestra guest conductor Juanjo Mena takes the podium for a program to include Benjamin Britten's "Four Sea Interludes," from his great opera "Peter Grimes" and Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 9 in E flat, featuring pianist Garrick Ohlsson. The program concludes with Brahms' Symphony No. 3.

• Saturday, July 28, 8 p.m. in the Shed: The 10 Academy Awards-winning film "West Side Story," based upon the 1957 mega-hit Broadway musical, with its iconic score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, will be played live by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Newman, while the newly re-mastered film is shown on large screens in high definition with the original vocals and dialogue intact. For more about this event, read Grace Lichtenstein's "Pops Music Beat" column on

• Sunday, July 29, 2:30 p.m. in the Shed: Maestro Mena returns to the podium to lead the BSO in a rich program of Haydn (the Symphony No. 88 in G Major,) Prokofiev (the Violin Concerto No. 1, featuring soloist Gil Shaham) and Mozart (the transcendent Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550).


Tanglewood's Festival of Contemporary Music programs, July 26-30

• Thursday, July 26, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Per NØRGÅRD: "Voyage Into the Golden Screen"; Oliver Christophe LEITH: "Dream Horse"; Francisco COLL: "Four Iberian Miniatures"; Veronika KRAUSAS: "Analemma"; Conlon NANCARROW: "Studies," Nos. 2, 3c, 5, 9

• Friday, July 27, 2:30 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Chen YI: "As In a Dream"; Rebecca SAUNDERS: "Fletch"; Poul RUDERS: String Quartet No. 4; Conlon NANCARROW: "Studies," nos. 6 and 7, performed on two pianos; Jonathan HARVEY: String Quartet No. 3

• Saturday, July 28, 10 a.m. in Ozawa Hall: Javier ÁLVAREZ: "Trompatufarria Al Pastor"; Gyorgy KURTÁG: "Életút Lebenslauf"; Judith WEIR: "Wake Your Wild Voice"; Sean SHEPHERD: Oboe Quartet; Andrew NORMAN: "Light Screens"

• Sunday, July 29, 6 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Gerald BARRY: Sextet; Harrison BIRTWISTLE: "Cortege"; Niccolo CASTIGLIONI: "Cantus Planus"; Per NØRGÅRD: String Quartet No. 10; Oliver KNUSSEN: "Reflection"; György KURTÁG: "Officium Breve"

• Monday, July 30, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, with Thomas Adès and Tanglewood Music Center conducting Fellows, conductors, featuring piano soloist Kirill Gerstein:
Poul RUDERS: "Thus Saw St. John"; Thomas ADÈS: "In Seven Days," for piano and orchestra; Gerald BARRY: "Diner"; Witold LUTOSŁAWSKI: Symphony No. 3

Special package price for all five FCM concerts, above is $40.

For tickets for all Tanglewood/BSO concerts (lawn and Shed seating) and special events, call 617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200 (TDD/TTY at 617-638-9289). For local information, call 413-637-1600. You can also order tickets and get information online.

$20 tickets for attendees under 40, one of the BSO’s most popular discount ticket offers, will be available for select BSO and Boston Pops performances in the Shed. In addition, Tanglewood continues to offer free lawn tickets to young people age 17 and under, as well as a variety of special programs for children, including Kids’ Corner, Watch and Play, and the Young People’s Concert on Friday, Aug. 10.


Sevenars Concerts

On Sunday, July 29, at 4 p.m., Sevenars Concerts presents the Piazzolla Trio, a unique tango/classical ensemble consisting of violinist Anat Almani, pianist Lynelle James and cellist Gjilberta Lucaj. The trio will present a program of works by Mozart, Rachmaninoff, and, as a special treat, the music of the immensely popular Argentinian tango maestro Astor Piazzolla.

The Sevenars Academy is located at 15 Ireland Street, just off Route 112 in South Worthington, Mass. Admission is by donation (suggested $20) and refreshments are included. Find Sevenars contact and ticket information at 413-238-5854 or go online.


Music Mountain

Dubbed "the string quartet capital of the summer music universe," Music Mountain, America's longest running seasonal chamber music festival, in Falls Village, Conn., is celebrating its 89th season.

On Sunday, July 22, at 3 p.m., the Penderecki String Quartet, with guest artist pianist Victoria Schwartzman will perform Haydn's String Quartet in D Major, Op. 50, No. 6, the String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 27 by Edvard Greig and the Shostakovich Piano Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 57.

For a complete summer schedule, special ticket prices, and to download a ticket order form visit online at or call 860-824-7126. Music Mountain is located near the junction of Routes 63 and 126, and on Route 7, at the traffic light near the intersection of Routes 7 and 112. Concerts are presented in air-conditioned Gordon Hall, 225 Music Mountain Road, Falls Village, CT 06031. Free parking and picnic facilities are available.


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