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Taconic Music third annual summer festival concludes with three concerts the final two at the Riley Center for the Arts at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester.

Tanglewood, Sevenars, Taconic Music Highlight the Week

by Stephen DanknerGuest Column
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Tanglewood enters its second week, and the highlights are many; indeed, every concert will be memorable.
Two examples: The Boston Symphony, led by maestro Andris Nelson, who will be joined by an outstanding assemblage of operatic superstars, performs Giuseppe Verdi's magisterial Requiem, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchesta (TMCO) showcases Tchaikovsky's fatalistic Symphony No. 6 ("Pathétique"). Symphonies by Copland (no. 3) and Beethoven (no. 4) will also be heard on consecutive dates, along with an all-Bach solo violin recital by the electrifying virtuosa Hillary Hahn.

Don't miss out on the captivating Sevenars Chamber Music Festival, located in South Worthington, Mass. This week, in honor of Bastille Day, July 14), a rich musical palette with a French accent will be offered – the artists showcasing the elegant and sensuous music of Frédéric Chopin, Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Camille Saint-Saens, and César Franck.

Finally, Taconic Music's brilliantly programmed and presented third annual summer festival concludes with three concerts – the final two at the Riley Center for the Arts at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester.

All three venues present magnificent music performed at superb venues in pristine, bucolic settings by marvelous performers. Read below for the details.

Tanglewood

• 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 three brilliant Baroque mandolin concerti. The concert also includes five concerti for strings, and features solo recorder player Anna Fusek. Andrea Marcon, harpsichordist, conducts.

• Friday, July 12, 8 p.m. in the Shed: On Friday, July 12, Andris Nelsons conducts the BSO in Copland's "Quiet City" — featuring two BSO principal performers as soloists: trumpeter Thomas Rolfs and English hornist Robert Sheena. Also on the program is Copland's commanding Symphony No. 3. Soloist Jan Lisiecki makes his Tanglewood debut in Grieg's mellifluous Piano Concerto.

• Saturday, July 13, 8 p.m. in the Shed, Tanglewood Gala: In one of the most anticipated performances of the summer, maestro Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Verdi's Requiem, with featured singers soprano Kristine Opolais, mezzo-soprano Oksana Volkova, tenor Jonathan Tetelman, and bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green, along with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton, conductor. One of the greatest of all works for orchestra, soloists and chorus, Verdi's massive, theatrical Requiem was completed in 1874 and is dedicated to the memory of the great Italian poet and novelist Alessandro Manzoni, a personal hero of Verdi's. The Requiem – often dubbed "Verdi's greatest opera" - had its premiere on the first anniversary of Manzoni's death.

• Sunday, July 14, 2:30 p.m. in the Shed: The Swedish virtuoso trumpeter Hakan Hardenberger joins Maestro Nelsons and the orchestra performing German composer HK Gruber's "Aerial," a concerto for trumpet and orchestra. The concert also includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 and the "Dance of the Seven Veils" from Strauss’s radically modern 1905 opera "Salome."

• Monday, July 15, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Conductor Stefan Asbury and Tanglewood Music Center (TMC) Conducting Fellows lead the orchestra in a program to include Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, ("Pathétique"), and the world premiere of a TMC-commissioned work for chamber orchestra by former TMC Fellow Helen Grime.


• Tuesday, July 16, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Classical guitarist MILOS makes his Tanglewood debut in a solo recital, performing the music of Bach, Granados, Albéniz, Villa-Lobos, John Lennon/Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Mathias Duplessy.

Regular-season ticket prices for the 2019 Tanglewood season range from $12-$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, Mass.

Sevenars Music Festival

Founded in 1968, Sevenars Concerts, has announced its 51st anniversary season of six summer concerts, held at the Academy in South Worthington, Mass., located at 15 Ireland St., just off Route 112.

The 2019 season continues to be true to Sevenars roots as a family festival, with featured Schrade and James family members performing, while also presenting distinguished guest composer-performers and touring artists.

Concerts are Sundays at 4 p.m. from July 14 through Aug. 18. For tickets call 413-238-5854; leave a message for a return call. Information online. Admission is by donation at the door (suggested $20). Refreshments will be available.

The series kicks off Sunday, July 14, at 4 p.m., with "Bastille Day." The Schrade and James family musicians open the Sevenars season with a festive concert consisting of an all-French program. Featured will be Camille Saint-Saëns' ever-popular "Carnival of the Animals" with Rorianne and Lynelle as duo-pianists and featuring television journalist Magee Hickey reciting the delightful accompanying verses by Ogden Nash. The program will also include works by Ravel (Sonatine), Debussy (selections from "Images," the charming "Suite Bergamasque" and also solo and ensemble works of Chopin performed by Rorianne Schrade, David James, Lynelle James and Christopher James.


Dan Sato on piano will perform in the final Taconic Music Festival concert of the season on Sunday, July 14.

Taconic Music Festival

The Taconic Music Festival presents three performance events in this, the final week of their 2019 summer festival season.

• Thursday, July 11, at 1:30 p.m. at the Vermont Veterans’ Home in Bennington, Vt.: Chamber Music Intensive (CMI) violinists Katherine Gilger and Sicong Chen, violists Elizabeth Tobald and Kristi Holstein, and cellists Jacob Barker and Isaiah Pennington will perform works by Brahms and other composers for the residents and others. The concert is free and is open to the public.

• Saturday, July 13, at 4 p.m.: Chamber Music Intensive students Sicong Chen, Katherine Gilger and Chino Soberano, violins; Kristi Holstein, violin and viola; Elizabeth Tobald and Alexander Villalobos, violas; Jacob Barker, Kate Huang, and Isaiah Pennington, celli; and Qiana Yang, piano will perform Dvořák’s Piano Quartet in E flat major, Bartók’s Third String Quartet, Mozart's String Quartet in D major K. 575, and Brahms' String Sextet No. 2 in G Major. This NextGen concert has a suggested donation of $10 for adults and is free for students and children.

• Sunday, July 14, at 4 p.m. Festival Concert IV: The final concert of Taconic's summer season includes Mendelssohn's String Symphony No. 10 in B Minor, led by conductor Ariel Rudiakov. Virtuoso Serbian guitarist Nemanja Ostojić will perform a solo piece by Agustín Barrios and duo works by Leo Brouwer and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco with Japanese pianist Haruka Ostojić. Also, Vittorio Giannini’s powerful Quintet for Piano and Strings, with Joana Genova and Heather Braun-Bakken, violins; Ariel Rudiakov, viola; Daniel Miller, cello; and Dan Sato, piano.

Festival Concert admission is $20 in advance/$25 at the door for adults; $10 for students and kids. For more information, visit the website.

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Great Music and More at Tanglewood, Sevenars, Berkshire High Peaks Festival

By Stephen DanknerGuest Column

As Tanglewood enters its third week, stellar performances will take center stage in Ozawa Hall and in the Koussevitsky Shed. Why go? To experience world-class instrumental soloists, the Boston Symphony and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra perform chamber and orchestral masterworks by iconic masters Schumann, Brahms, Ravel, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Debussy, Gershwin, Stravinsky, Wagner and Tchaikovsky.

Add to the above an inspiring world premiere featuring Metropolitan Opera diva Reneé Fleming, baritone Rod Gilfry, and the Boston Symphony, led by maestro Andris Nelsons in composer Kevin Puts' orchestral song cycle "The Brightness of Light." The powerful and deeply moving "Enigma" Variations of Edward Elgar will precede this extraordinary performance.

And, if the offerings at Tanglewood aren't enough to pique your musical interest, there are also outstanding performances to be enjoyed at the Sevenars Music Festival in South Worthington, Mass., and at the Berkshire High Peaks Music Festival, presented by Close Encounters With Music in Great Barrington, Mass., in a series of concerts from July 23 through Aug. 2. All three venues present great music performed in acoustically resonant settings by marvelous performers. Read below for all the details.

Tanglewood

On Friday, July 19, the Boston Symphony Orchestra will present its first-ever free community event on the Pittsfield Common. "Tanglewood in the City: Pittsfield" is a live video transmission of the BSO's concert at Tanglewood that will bring Tanglewood into the Pittsfield community and share one of the festival's major performances with a wider group of Berkshire residents. The performance, which will be transmitted onto a 15-foot by 27-foot screen on the Pittsfield Common, will begin with welcoming comments from a BSO musician and feature BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons leading the orchestra in music of Betsy Jolas, Debussy and Ravel, as well as Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with soloist Gautier Capuçon.

The Pittsfield event is inspired by the popular Boston edition of "Tanglewood in the City." Now in its fourth year, this year's "Tanglewood in the City: Boston" event takes place on the Boston Common, also on Friday, July 19.

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