The Classical Beat: At Summer's Apex, Great Music at Tanglewood

by Stephen DanknerPrint Story | Email Story
Come mid-to-late August, classical aficionados are grateful for the cornucopia of musical riches the Boston Symphony bestows to rapt audiences within the incomparably bucolic setting that is Tanglewood. Many of those superlative concerts will reside in our collective memory.
During this penultimate week of the Tanglewood Festival, the spotlight will focus on a range of classical and popular fare in varied genres: from the complete piano works of Brahms performed by the magnificent pianist Garrick Ohlsson, and the return of the beloved violinist Itzhak Perlman, to a celebratory full evening of music by the masterful composer John Williams, and a remembrance of the glories of Broadway giant Stephen Sondheim. It will be a week full of musical riches on many levels. Read on for the details, covering the period Aug. 17 to 23.
  • Programs in the Koussevitzky Music Shed

• Friday, August 19, 8:00 p.m.: Maestro Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops, and a stellar cast of Broadway vocalists—Nikki Renée Daniels, Conrad Ricamora, Emily Skinner, and Alton Fitzgerald White— perform in "Remembering Stephen
Sondheim," a special concert dedicated to the brilliant composer and lyricist who passed away last year; the program includes songs from Sondheim's shows: "Follies," "Company," "A Little Night Music," "Sweeney Todd," "Sunday in the Park with George," and "Into the Woods."
• Saturday, August 20, 8:00 p.m.: Tanglewood presents "John Williams—The Tanglewood 90th Birthday Celebration," a festive salute to the beloved film composer and Pops Conductor Laureate, features an all-star lineup: conductor Ken-David Masur, percussionist J. William Hudgins, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, bassist Eric Revis, James Taylor, and harpist Jessica Zhou in an evening of Williams' concert music and film scores, performed by the BSO.
• Sunday, August 21, 2:30 p.m.: Returning to Tanglewood since 2011, Itzhak Perlman performs the passionate Max Bruch Violin Concerto in G minor on a BSO program with composer Unsuk Chin's "subito con forza" and Brahms' magisterial Symphony No. 1, led by conductor Dima Slobodeniouk.
  • Programs in Ozawa Hall

• Thursday, August 18, 8:00 p.m.: The awe-inspiring Garrick Ohlsson continues his survey of Brahms’ piano masterworks with the Second Piano Sonata; Piano Pieces, Op. 118; Three Intermezzi, Op.117 and the Handel Variations and Fugue, Op. 24.
• Sunday, August 21, 8:00 p.m.: The Tanglewood Learning Institute presents MacArthur Fellow and genre-defying singer-songwriter Cécile McLorin Salvant, who will perform selections from her new album "Ghost Song," which features
everything from torch songs to Sondheim-style musical theater dialogues, ancient folk melodies, and jazz meditations.
• Tuesday, August 23, 8:00 p.m.: Garrick Ohlsson continues his traversal of Brahms' complete piano works with the third of four recitals, which will include: Two Rhapsodies, Op. 79; Seven Fantasies, Op. 116; Variations on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 35, Book 2; and Sonata No. 3 in F minor, Op. 5.
  • Conversation in the Linde Center

• Thursday, August 18, 1:00-2:00 p.m.: "TLI In Conversation" presents conductor Dima Slobodeniouk and host Asadour Santourian in Studio E.
For tickets for these and for all Tanglewood/BSO concerts (lawn and Shed seating) and for special events call (617) 266-1200 or 888-266-1200 or go to

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Pittsfield In-Person Tree Lighting Ceremony Returns After 2-Year Hiatus

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

The Laviolette family donated the tree and turned on the lights on Friday.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hundreds gathered at Park Square on Friday for the city's first in-person tree lighting ceremony in three years.

The 25-foot tall white spruce is adorned by 20,000 lights, illuminating the area and spreading holiday cheer.

"There are so many kids and families here this evening and I know everyone is anxious to see the beautiful tree that was donated by the Laviolette family," Mayor Linda Tyer said right before the switch was flipped.

"Thank you for your generosity. This tree will provide a whole month of beauty and festivity for all of us to enjoy and I love coming to the tree lighting because when you look all around Park Square, you can see just how beautiful our city is at this time of year."

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