Tanglewood opens on June 22nd and notably includes a lot of new music, younger conductors and soloists, and especially a variety of different kinds of music in and out of the Shed and Ozawa Hall, along with jazz and some literary events: the mixture is bracing. There’s a generous provision of warhorses, too — not so many, but better than usual. “BSO Opening night at Tanglewood” on July 7th, for instance, lists Prokofiev’s always welcome Third Piano Concerto, Tchaikovsky’s “grand but very noisy”Fourth, and a piece by Wynton Marsalis. The complete schedule is [HERE]. Read the full press release HERE.
Some operatic items in concert are also inked: Così fan tutte and Acis and Galatea (“sung in English” — was there a choice?), and a “symphonic version of Ragtime” based on the novel by Doctorow, with soloists, chorus, the Boston Pops (Lockhart), but a composer is not named. The Boston Pops are involved in at least six events, including a whole evening of “John Williams’ Film Night,” for this 91-year-old veteran composer and conductor. Another is an all-Gershwin evening on July 14, but the BSO will honor Gershwin again on August 18, with Jean-Yves Thibaudet playing two concertos: Gershwin’s, and the Saint-Saëns Fifth, both in agreeable F major. A new piece by Carlos Simon appears on the same program.
Some of us still refer to the five-day Merwin Geffen, M.D., and Norman Solomon, M.D. Festival of Contemporary Music, 27-31 July, as “Fromm Week.” This year’s festival features our own Michael Gandolfi as director and four co-curators. There will also be a variety of performance workshops: voice, percussion, harp (with the BSO’s Jessica Zhou), oboe / English horn (Robert Sheena), piano (Marc-André Hamelin), and conducting (Nelsons). On August 11 and 12 the Terezín Music Foundation will host two afternoon lectures on “Degenerate Music” and “Music and Art in Terezín,” which might be the first time this rediscovered subject has secured prominence at Tanglewood.
Andris Nelsons will be conducting 7 concerts in July and 5 in August; other dates will feature a variety of conductors, including Xian Zhang, Thomas Wilkins, David Afkham, Giancarlo Guerrero (Nashville Symphony), Dima Slobodeniouk (Lahti Orchestra), Susanna Mälkki (one program with the BSO, and Beethoven’s Ninth with the TMC Orchestra) and Dame Jane Glover. Dame Jane’s program, on August 14th with the TMC Orchestra, is neat: Webern’s Passacaglia, op. 1; Dvořák’s morose but brilliant Wood Dove; and the Brahms Second. Nelsons and TMC Fellows will direct the TMC in a really French program on July 10: Ravel’s Alborada del gracioso, Stravinsky’s sparkling and rarely-heard Jeu de cartes, Kaija Saariaho’s Ciel à hiver, and winding up with La mer (I hope he keeps the third movement less brassly fortissimo than the last time I heard him do it — even in the Shed). Another such concert, on July 17, includes Berlioz’s Roman Carnival and Mahler’s Fourth, as comfortable an orchestral program as one could wish for.
There’s a generous spread of chamber music going on as well. One that caught my eye is Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, and Yo-yo Ma doing Beethoven a Beethoven program: the Fourth Symphony in a trio arrangement, and the Archduke — two big pieces and a lot of B-flat major, on August 25th.
Tickets to all Tanglewood events go on sale to the general public on March 9th at 10am, through tanglewood.org, by calling 888-266-1200, or by visiting the Symphony Hall Box Office in Boston
The Tanglewood Box Office will open March 9 through 11, 10am-3pm, to give local residents a chance to purchase tickets at their convenience.