The Three Ts: Tanglewood, Taconic, Tannery Pond
Tanglewood, the nation's largest and most prestigious summer music presenter, opens its 82nd classical festival season this week. Here's a rundown of the concerts in the Shed and in Ozawa Hall, and also the amazing and elaborate related events in the just-opened Tanglewood Linde Center complex of buildings.
Why go? To be amazed! Read about the stellar music making, with superstar performers interpreting great music from across historical eras – much of it beloved favorites by audiences worldwide, and for the many personal and historical perspectives you'll discover at the Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI) presentations.
• Friday, July 5, 8 p.m. in the Shed: The Boston Symphony Orchestra opens its 2019 Tanglewood season with Tanglewood/BSO favorite pianist Emanuel Ax as soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat, K.482. Composed in 1785, it is one of the series of concertos the composer wrote to establish his reputation with the public soon after moving to Vienna from his native Salzburg. To conclude the program, Maestro Nelsons leads the BSO in Mahler's Symphony No. 5, a sprawling, all-consuming work that the composer described as "chaos, which is constantly giving birth to new worlds and promptly destroying them again."
• Saturday, July 6, 8 p.m. in the Shed: The following evening, Maestro Nelsons again takes center stage in the Shed to conduct the BSO in a program that opens with American composer Joan Tower's "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1" for brass and percussion, composed in 1986 and inspired by Copland's famous brief curtain-raiser, "Fanfare for the Common Man." Renowned violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter then takes the stage for the BSO’s first Tanglewood performance of André Previn's "Violin Concerto - Anne-Sophie," which was composed for and dedicated to her, and which is being performed in celebration of the composer, who passed away in February. The program concludes with Dvořák’s beloved Symphony No. 9, "From the New World."
• Sunday, July 7, 2:30 p.m. in the Shed: Drawing from her recent Deutsche Grammophon recording "Across the Stars," violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter returns to the Shed to perform selections from John Williams' iconic film scores, in brilliant new arrangements created especially for her. The program, led by conductor David Newman, includes music from "Star Wars" and "Memoirs of a Geisha," as well as the haunting melodies of "Schindler's List."
• Monday, July 8, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: The Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (TMCO), comprised of the TMC's outstanding young orchestral Fellows, opens its 2019 season. BSO Maestro Andris Nelsons and TMC conducting Fellows lead the ensemble in a program to include Dmitry Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1, which the composer completed in 1925 when he was just 18 years old. The concert also features the festive, scintillating "Roman Carneval Overture" by Berlioz, and a world premiere: the TMC-commissioned "Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra" by German composer Detlev Glanert, featuring as soloist BSO principal trumpet Thomas Rolfs. Opening the program is Tchaikovsky’s infrequently performed, Shakespeare-inspired overture-fantasy "Hamlet."
Looking ahead to next week's performances in Ozawa Hall:
• Wednesday, July 10, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Acclaimed violinist Hilary Hahn will perform a solo all-Bach program, including Sonata No. 2 in A minor and No. 3 in C, and the Partita No. 3 in E Major. These works constitute half of the composer's six lofty suites for solo violin, completed in 1720. They are considered among the most challenging and transcendent works for the violin, showcasing Bach's unparalleled combination of technical mastery and expressive depth.
• Thursday, July 11, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Visiting ensemble, the Venice Baroque Orchestra, featuring the Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital, who has brought attention to this popular folk instrument with his sensational performances in recent years, presents a program of four brilliant concertos by Baroque composers Antonio Vivaldi, Francesco Geminiani, Tomaso Albinoni, and Giovanni Paisiello. The concert also features solo recorder player Anna Fusek.
Tanglewood Learning Institute
The launch of the Tanglewood Learning Institute this summer represents a new chapter of dynamic and stimulating programs for the famed 82-year-old summer music festival, alongside its traditional schedule of major performances by the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood Music Center orchestras, as well as a Popular Artist series in the Koussevitzky Music Shed, and chamber music, large ensemble, and recital programs in Ozawa Hall.
• Friday, July 5, 4 p.m., at the Linde Center, Studio E, "Meet the Makers," Benoît Rolland: These presentations feature public conversations with some of the world's most celebrated artists in a variety of genres, diving deeply into the creative processes and inspirations behind their most daring, original work. Benoît Rolland — a 2012 MacArthur Fellow and a French Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres — is one of the world's preeminent bow makers in the French tradition. He counts Yo-Yo Ma, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Leonidas Kavakos among the leading soloists and chamber musicians who have used his bows. At 4 p.m. in the Linde Center's Studio E, he leads an exploration of the art and science of bow making and offers a sneak peek at his new conducting batons.
• Saturday, July 6, 10 a.m., Linde Center's Martignetti Lobby, Focal Point, Painting Class: In partnership with IS183 Art School of the Berkshires, these weekly sessions allow amateur visual artists to hone their skills in photography, painting, and drawing using the immense natural beauty of Tanglewood as a backdrop.
• Saturday, July 6, 5 p.m., Ozawa Hall, "The Big Idea - Madeleine K. Albright": Explore nation building in the 21st century with Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary of State (1997–2001), and one of the foremost diplomats of our time. This keynote speech and moderated Q&A are inspired by the July 13 performance of Giuseppe Verdi's monumental Requiem with vocal soloists, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, led by BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons. One of Italy's greatest composers, Verdi was also a beloved politician whose music and activism contributed to the political unification of the nation in the mid-19th century. The Big Idea presentations feature some of the world's greatest thinkers and luminaries, who dive into the major events of our time through dynamic presentations that investigate a diverse array of subjects and perspectives. Each talk illuminates the enduring vitality of music and uniquely contextualizes the themes of our concert repertoire.
• Sunday, July 7, Cimematics, "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse": "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," a 1962 World War II motion picture drama, features a love theme and score by André Previn that are among the most memorable in the history of cinema. This film screening, at 7 p.m. in the Linde Center's Studio E is part of Tanglewood’s summer-long commemoration of Mr. Previn. The Sunday-evening Cinematics film series, presented in collaboration with Berkshire International Film Festival, is designed to inspire attendees to explore the unique relationship between music, cinema and the human spirit. This curated series of films will expand perceptions of classical music and provide emotional depth to the concert going experience. Presented in collaboration with the Berkshire Film Festival.
• Sunday, July 7, 12:30 p.m., Theatre, Sunday Showcase, "Considering the Art of John Williams": Attendees will learn about the artistry, career and influence of legendary film composer John Williams, in advance of the 2:30 p.m. Boston Pops performance in the Shed with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, which is dedicated to his music and conducted, in part, by Mr. Williams himself. These engaging, informal pre-concert activities span centuries, cross genres, and deepen the concert-going experience. Free of charge to ticket-holders for the Sunday 2:30 p.m. concert.
• Tuesday, July 9, 1:30 p.m., at the Linde Center, Studio E: What is a postmodern diva? In this case, a singer, actress, dancer and performance artist with degrees in law, German, and fine art. Born "in a Berlin bar," Meow Meow has circumnavigated the globe with her unique form of tragicomic musical mayhem. As part of a new three-year collaboration with the TLI, she will discuss her artistry and "Pandemonium," her Ozawa Hall performance, to be presented later the same evening.
• Wednesday, July 9, 4 p.m., composer Joan Tower at the Linde Center, Studio E: As a contemporary American composer, performer, conductor and educator, Joan Tower has done it all, and she is still hard at work. Attendees at this 4:30 p.m. session in the Linde Center's Studio E will learn more about her inspirations, the creative process, the wisdom that comes after more than five decades of work, and her "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1," which is featured in the July 6 BSO performance in the Shed.
• Thursday, July 11, 1 p.m., Linde Center, Studio E, Shoptalk, Ryan Speedo Green, bass-baritone: Ryan Speedo Green is an American bass-baritone who performs for major opera companies around the world and whose journey from a tough upbringing in Virginia to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera is chronicled in the book "Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family" by Daniel Bergner. A member of the ensemble of the Wiener Staatsoper since September 2014, he appears in the Linde Center's Studio E. Thursday afternoon ShopTalks presentations, which will feature candid, informal discussions on life, music, and the future of the field with conductors, composers, soloists and unsung heroes.
Upcoming TLI Masterpass Events
The TLI MasterPass provides participants with a multispectrum insider's view of the artistic process. In July, participants can attend up to 20 different behind-the-scenes musical experiences, including seven BSO and TMCO rehearsals, thought-provoking music appreciation talks, and open master classes with world-renowned artists including pianists Stephen Drury (July 16), and Paul Lewis (July 31); pianist and vocal coach Javier Arrebola (July 10); vocalists Stephanie Blythe (July 17) and Tony Arnold (July 24); and composer George Lewis (July 30).
Tanglewood ticket information
Regular-season ticket prices for the 2019 Tanglewood season range from $12 to $130 and are available online, through Symphony Charge at 888-266-1200, and at the Symphony Hall Box Office at 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Tickets will also be available for purchase in person at the Tanglewood box office, located at Tanglewood’s Main Gate on West Street in Lenox.
Tickets for the Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI) programs range from $19 for some "Full Tilt" events to $399 for each of the four TLI Weekends presentations.
Ticket prices for TLI events throughout the summer:
• TLI Weekends: O'Keeffe Weekend, July 19-21; Wagner Weekend, July 26-28; FCM Weekend, Aug. 8-12; and Film Weekend, Aug. 23-25, are priced at $399.
• TLI MasterPass: Offering 40 different activities throughout the summer, the pass is priced at $249 per month.
• The Big Idea: Presentations are priced at $68, $58 and $45 per event.
• TLI OpenStudio: Master classes are priced at $58, $47 and $35 per event ($49 for Music Director Andris Nelsons' conducting class).
• Meet the Makers: Tickets are priced at $34 per event.
• Full Tilt: Tickets are priced at $19 per event ($58, $47, and $35 for Meow Meow's performance).
• Focal Point: Tickets are priced at $34 per class.
• Cinematics: Film presentations are priced at $95 as a full series and $12 per single ticket (single tickets available at a later date).
• ShopTalks: Talks are priced at $125 as a full series and $20 per single ticket.
Get Social with Tanglewood
Taconic Music Festival
Taconic Music's third weekend features a benefit concert and special guests.
• Saturday, July 6, at 3 p.m.: A special benefit concert at Dionondehowa Wildlife Sanctuary and School in Shushan, N.Y., will feature Taconic Music faculty, guest artists and student groups performing selected movements of works by Mozart, Brahms, Bartók and Dvořák.
• Sunday, July 7, at 4 p.m.: The third Festival Concert will take place at the Riley Center for the Arts at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester Village, Vt. The program opens with Italian pianist Davide Cabassi, performing Claude Debussy's charming "Children's Corner Suite." Special guest Basil Vendryes, principal violist of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, will join violinists Joana Genova and Heather Braun-Bakken, violist Ariel Rudiakov and cellist Richard Belcher for Mozart's deeply moving String Quintet No. 4 in G Minor, K. 516. After intermission, Mr. Cabassi, Ms. Braun-Bakken, Ms. Genova, Mr. Rudiakov and Mr. Belcher will perform Brahms' astonishing Piano Quintet in F Major, Op. 34.
Admission to the Dionondehowa concert is $15 at the door, with advance reservations recommended (RSVP by email or 518-854-7764). Proceeds benefit both Dionondehowa and Taconic Music. Admission to Festival concerts is $20 in advance/$25 at the door for adults, $10 for students and kids. For more information on concerts, tickets, and Taconic Music's year-round programs, visit online.
Tannery Ponds Concerts
On Saturday, July 6, at 8 p.m., the stellar pianist/composer and MacArthur Fellow Stephen Hough will perform works by Bach/Busoni, Ferruccio Busoni, Chopin, Liszt and Hough. Critics and the public alike were unanimous about the excellence of Hough's 2013 album of Brahms concertos. The year was capped by Hough being named as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year's Honours list. In 2009, Hough won the Gold Disc Award at the Classic FM Gramophone Awards. His recording of Saint-Saens' complete works for piano and orchestra topped the vote as the best recording of the past 30 years.
The Tannery is located on the grounds of the Mount Lebanon Shaker Villlage and the Darrow School at 110 Darrow Road, off Route 20 in New Lebanon, N.Y. For tickets, go online or call 888-820-1696. Prices are $30 and $39.