Great Music at Tanglewood, Sevenars, Close Encounters
With the arrival of August, we are at the pinnacle of the music festival season. Concerts at Tanglewood traverse a wide range of musical genres and styles, from baritone Thomas Hampson exploring the Great American Songbook in a program titled "Song of America: Beyond Liberty," to the National Youth Orchestra performing virtuoso symphonic masterworks by Richard Strauss and Hector Berlioz - the magical "Les Nuits d’eté," led by Sir Antonio Pappano accompanying the stellar Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, and much more.
Read below for the details, including Tanglewood Learning Institute presentations.
• Wednesday, July 31, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Master baritone Thomas Hampson explores the American Songbook to discover the influential people and monumental events that helped create and define "the land of the free." The program is titled "Song of America: Beyond Liberty." Guiding the audience through centuries of stories, Mr. Hampson will share personal anecdotes and readings, offering a rich context within which to celebrate America’s history of song. He will be joined by pianist Lara Downes and the Beyond Liberty Chamber Players.
• Thursday, Aug. 1, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America visits Tanglewood, showcasing the brightest young instrumentalists, ages 16-19, from across the United States and Puerto Rico. The program includes Richard Strauss' orchestral showpiece "An Alpine Symphony," as well as Berlioz's highly evocative song cycle, "Les Nuits d'eté," with famed Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard the featured soloist.
• Friday, Aug. 2, 8 p.m. in the Shed: Boston Symphony Orchestra Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur returns to Tanglewood, where he is joined in the Shed by audience-favorite violinist Joshua Bell, who takes center stage for Dvořák's Violin Concerto. The concert also includes the Czech master's stunningly beautiful Symphony No. 8, a bucolic work of pastoral loveliness that contains some of the composer's most colorful and infectious melodies. The program begins with a 20th century Czech masterwork: Bohuslav Martinů's "Memorial to Lidice," a concise and powerful homage to the people of the small town of Lidice, which was destroyed by the Nazis in 1942.
• Saturday, Aug. 3, 8 p.m. in the Shed: Israeli conductor Asher Fisch directs the Boston Symphony and distinguished soloists violinist Pinchas Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth in a performance of Avner Dorman's Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra - a BSO co-commission. Mr. Zukerman returns to perform Beethoven's "Romance No. 1" for violin and orchestra. Opening the program is the Overture from Robert Schumann’s seldom-performed opera, "Genoveva." Concluding the concert will be Mendelssohn's masterful Symphony No. 3 ("Scottish"), one of the composer's most beloved orchestral works.
• Sunday, Aug. 4, 2:30 p.m. in the Shed: The favored and frequent Tanglewood and BSO collaborator pianist Yefim Bronfman joins the Orchestra as soloist in Rachmaninoff's thrilling Piano Concerto No. 3, a massive and daunting work that tests every aspect of a pianist's skill. Russian maestro Dima Slobodeniouk, currently Principal Conductor of the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Sibelius Festival, leads the Orchestra. Also on the program is Sibelius' Symphony No. 1.
• Tuesday, Aug. 6, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Three of the most highly acclaimed concert artists collaborate as violinist Leonidas Kavakos, cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax perform an all-Beethoven program of trios. These chamber music luminaries have made a specialty of giving joint recitals, and have made a recording as a trio - to outstanding acclaim. The program includes the Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1, No. 1; Piano Trio in E-flat, Op. 70, No. 2; and Piano Trio in B-flat, Op. 97 (the magisterial "Archduke").
Tanglewood Learning Institute
• Sunday, Aug. 4, 7 p.m., at the Linde Center, Studio E, John Cage Film and "Song Books" Selections: This special event, an unconventional, immersive evening of promenade music, theater and film focusing on experimental composer John Cage is curated by soprano Tony Arnold and pianist Stephen Drury and features TMC Fellows from a variety of disciplines. The presentation focuses on the Cage composition "Song Books" - a collection of 90 solos for voice, voice with electronics, and theatrical action, both with and without electronic music accompaniment. Selected songs are combined with film excerpts that are associated with John Cage and his music.
• Sunday, Aug. 4, 12:30 p.m., theater, Cello Master Class with Amanda Forsyth: Canadian cellist Amanda Forsyth, who performed as soloist with the BSO in the Shed the previous evening, leads a master class with Fellows from the Tanglewood Music Center.
Please note that special fees apply for these TLI events.
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
On Sunday, Aug. 4, at 4 p.m., Sevenars is delighted to present the rising young star, pianist George Bowerman. Sevenars presented Mr. Bowerman as its “Artist to Watch” in 2016, and his admiring audience has demanded an encore engagement.
Bowerman's intensely thoughtful style is well suited to the splendid program he will present, which will consist of C.P.E. Bach's "Fantasia in F-sharp minor," César Franck's "Prelude, Chorale, and Fugue," Brahms' "Ballade" in B Major, Chopin’s "Polonaise-Fantaisie," and the premiere of "Four Preludes" by your iberkshires.com “Classical Beat” writer/composer Stephen Dankner.
For Sevenars tickets, and general contact information, call 413-238-5854 (please leave a message for return call), or visit the website. Admission is by donation at the door; suggested donation is $20. Refreshments are included. Sevenars Concerts is located at the Academy in South Worthington, Mass., located at 15 Ireland St., just off Route 112.
Close Encounters With Music/Berkshire High Peaks Festival
This concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1, in the Allen Theatre of the Berkshire Music School in Sheffield, Mass., showcases selections from the mercurial keyboard music of Domenico Scarlatti, the humor and exuberance of Rossini, the virtuosity of Paganini, and the genius of Verdi. Liszt's multi-movement piano masterwork "Années de pèlerinage" – a collection of musical travelogues - and Gian-Carlo Menotti's "Suite" for two cellos and piano are among the featured works. Soprano Danielle Talamantes sings favorite coloratura arias that typify the bravura of Italian vocal tradition. Also on the program is "Chrysanthemums," a brief string quartet in one movement and the only extant chamber music work of Giacomo Puccini.
Tickets for "Years of Pilgrimage" are $35; $25 for seniors and $10 for students. Additional information can be found online or phone 800-843-0778.