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Sevenars will present the rising young star, pianist George Bowerman, on Sunday, Aug. 4.

Great Music at Tanglewood, Sevenars, Close Encounters

By Stephen DanknerGuest Column
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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.

 

Tanglewood

• 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.

 

 


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A Profusion of Music at Tanglewood, Sevenars

By Stephen DanknerGuest Column

Come mid-August, classical aficionados are grateful for the cornucopia of extraordinary musical riches the Boston Symphony bestows to rapt audiences within the incomparably bucolic setting that is Tanglewood.

During this penultimate week of the Tanglewood Festival's classical programming, the spotlight will focus on a range of music in varied genres: from orchestral music by Brahms, Zoltan Kodály, György Ligeti and György Kurtág performed by The Knights chamber orchestra and featuring the superb violinist Gil Shaham, to more Brahms and some rare Schumann performed by the Boston Symphony, to favorite symphonic masterworks by Sibelius, Hindemith and Mahler performed by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the musical putti will be hovering over Tanglewood's arcadian fields.

For extra, out-of-this-world thrills, reserve your seats now in the Shed on Friday, Aug. 16, at 8 p.m. for the cinema spectacular, "Star Wars: A New Hope" – the classic film with live orchestral accompaniment performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Keith Lockhart. Composer/conductor John Williams' exhilarating score will provide an unforgettable sonic experience – one of the highlights of this magical musical summer at Tanglewood.

For a cool, refreshing stylistic change of pace, with a tincture of jazz to buoy the spirits, be sure to check out the final season's program at the storied Sevenars Festival, in South Worthington, Mass.

Tanglewood

• Thursday, Aug. 15, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: The innovative New York-based chamber orchestra The Knights performs in Ozawa Hall with a program of music by Hungarian composers, and also two works of Brahms with distinctive Hungarian influences. Violinist Gil Shaham joins the orchestra as soloist in Brahms' Violin Concerto, which was dedicated to his close friend and colleague, the prominent Hungarian violinist Joseph Joachim, and which includes a rondo-finale inspired by Hungarian gypsy music. The concert begins with the fourth movement of György Ligeti's "Concert Românesc," and the second half of the program interweaves selections from Brahms' immensely popular "Hungarian Dances," György Kurtág's "Signs, Games, and Messages," and Zoltan Kodály's folkloristic "Dances of Galánta."

• Friday, Aug. 16, 8 p.m. in the Shed: Pops conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops present the classic film "Star Wars: A New Hope," with live orchestral accompaniment. Set 30 years after "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace," "Star Wars: A New Hope,” the fourth episode of the saga, returns to the desert planet of Tatooine. A young Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) begins to discover his destiny when, searching for a lost droid, he is saved by reclusive Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness). A civil war rages in the galaxy, and Rebel forces struggle against the evil Galactic Empire, Luke and Obi- Wan enlist the aid of daredevil pilot, Han Solo (Harrison Ford). Joined by the quirky droid duo R2-D2 and C-3PO, the unlikely team sets out to rescue Rebel leader Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and make use of the stolen plans to destroy the Empire's ultimate weapon. In a legendary confrontation, the rogue group mounts an attack against the Death Star for a climactic battle with the evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. This live orchestral accompaniment, composed by Tanglewood's own John Williams, will take your experience of this action-packed film to a new, thrilling level. Don't miss it!

• Saturday, Aug. 17, 8 p.m. in the Shed: French conductor François-Xavier Roth, general music director of the city of Cologne, leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in a program of music by Brahms and Schumann. To open the concert, soloist Kirill Gerstein joins the orchestra for Johannes Brahms' magisterial Piano Concerto No. 2 – in effect, a symphony with piano solo that epitomizes the composer’s ability to imbue Romantic ardor within traditional, classical structures to create a work of transcendent beauty and power. Maestro Roth then leads the BSO in a performance of Robert Schumann’s inspired Symphony No. 2, with its supremely beautiful and passionate slow movement.

• Sunday, Aug. 18, 2:30 p.m. in the Shed: Maestro François-Xavier Roth returns to conduct the BSO in a program once again of music by Brahms and Schumann. The centerpiece of the performance is Schumann's late-period Cello Concerto, for which the luminary cellist Yo-Yo Ma joins Mr. Roth and the orchestra. The concert also features members of the BSO horn section in the opening work, Schumann's "Concert Piece for Four Horns and Orchestra," a fascinating and spirited work that provides ample opportunity for the hornists to display their instrumental virtuosity. The program concludes with another lesser-known masterpiece, Brahms' Serenade No. 1, an early orchestral work written at the same time as the composer’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15, in D Minor.

• Sunday, Aug. 18, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Maestro Giancarlo Guerrero, Music Director of the Nashville Symphony, leads the brilliant young Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, and will be sharing the podium with two TMC Conducting Fellows. The program will include Mahler's mellifluous Symphony No. 4. Composed in 1899 and 1900, it is the last of Mahler's works in the genre to incorporate sung text from the folk poetry collection "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" (The Youth's Magic Horn). The "Wunderhorn" poem used in the Fourth is "Das Himmlische Leben," (The Heavenly Life,) which describes a child's vision of heaven.

Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI)

• Monday, Aug. 19, 8 p.m. at The Linde Center, Studio E, "The Black Mozart," concert theater works: Director, composer and writer Bill Barclay returns to Tanglewood for a Concert Theatre Works development project in partnership with TLI. The object of his creative attention for the Full Tilt series of presentations is Joseph Bologne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Bologne was a decorated military officer, champion swordsman, acclaimed violinist, composer, and conductor - a true Renaissance man of the classical era and an artist of color in 18th-century France.

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

Sevenars will present as its season finale one of its traditional favorites, the Bob Sparkman Trio, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18. The duo of clarinetist Bob Sparkman and pianist Jerry Noble is already approaching two decades of magical Sevenars performances; with with the addition of bass guitarist Kara Noble (also Jerry's wife), it has increased its range as a magical trio.

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