2021 TANGLEWOOD SEASON
JULY 4–AUGUST 26
Performance Highlights of Weeks Three and Four
of Boston Symphony Orchestra Performances,
July 23–August 2
ON JULY 24, JOHN WILLIAMS LEADS THE WORLD PREMIERE OF HIS VIOLIN CONCERTO NO. 2, WITH ANNE-SOPHIE MUTTER AS SOLOIST, SHARING THE PODIUM WITH MUSIC DIRECTOR ANDRIS NELSONS, WHO LEADS MUSIC BY COPLAND (QUIET CITY, WITH BSO SOLOISTS ROBERT SHEENA AND THOMAS ROLFS), JESSIE MONTGOMERY (STARBURST), AND STRAVINSKY (FIREBIRD SUITE)
THROUGH A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA AND DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON, ALONG WITH BROADCAST DISTRIBUTOR C MAJOR ENTERTAINMENT, TANGLEWOOD’S JULY 24 PERFORMANCE WILL BE AVAILABLE FROM JULY 25 AS A GLOBAL VIDEO STREAM ON THE DG STAGE PLATFORM AS WELL AS THROUGH ARTE IN GERMANY AND FRANCE; THE PERFORMANCE WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE ON ADDITIONAL BROADCAST OUTLETS IN EUROPE, AS WELL AS IN ASIA AND THE UNITED STATES, WITH FURTHER DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED AT A LATER DATE
THOMAS ADÈS DIRECTS THE 2021 FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC (JULY 25-26), WHICH FEATURES MUSIC BY A CROSS-SECTION OF COMPOSERS OF OUR TIME; GUEST CONDUCTOR ALAN GILBERT RETURNS TO LEAD CONCERTS WITH BOTH THE BSO AND THE TANGLEWOOD MUSIC CENTER ORCHESTRA
Saturday, July 24, 8 p.m.: John Williams shares the podium with BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons for this concert, to lead the world premiere of his Violin Concerto No. 2, with renowned violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist. Also on the program are Copland’s Quiet City, with BSO soloists Robert Sheena and Thomas Rolfs, American composer Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919 version). This concert will be available, August 1-August 30 on theBSO NOW streaming portal at bso.org/now EXCEPT FOR the John Williams violin concerto (more information below).
Sunday, July 25, 2:30 p.m.: Andris Nelsons leads the Beethoven-inspired work Jeder Baum spricht (Every Tree Speaks) by Iman Habibi on a program with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring noted pianist Yefim Bronfman as soloist, and Schumann’s Symphony No. 4.
Saturday, July 31, 8 p.m.: BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès leads the BSO in his own O Albion, on a program with two Haydn symphonies—No. 64, Tempora mutantur, and No. 45, Farewell—as well as Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds featuring pianist Kirill Gerstein. This concert will be available, August 8-September 7, on the BSO NOW streaming portal at bso.org/now.
Sunday, August 1, 2:30 p.m.: Returning guest conductor Alan Gilbert leads Schumann’s The Bride of Messina Overture, Mozart’s Violin Concert No. 5 in A, K.219 with Stefan Jackiw as soloist, and Stenhammar’s Serenade.
2021 Festival of Contemporary Music, Sunday, July 25-Monday, July 26
Sunday, July 25, 10 a.m. Tanglewood Music Center Fellows perform works by Sean Shepherd, Andrew Haig (U.S. premiere and TMC co-commission), Xinyang Wang (world premiere), and Kaija Saariaho
Monday, July 26, 2:30 p.m. Tanglewood Music Center Fellows perform works by Per Nørgård, Jeffrey Mumford, Thomas Adès, György Kurtág, Judith Weir, and Andrew Norman
Monday, July 26, 8 p.m. Thomas Adès and Stefan Asbury conduct the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in Ligeti’s Violin Concerto with the acclaimed violinist Anthony Marwood making his Tanglewood debut as soloist, in addition to Per Nørgård’s Dream Play and Steve Reich’s Reich/Richter, which will accompany the film Moving Picture by Corinna Betz and the famed German painter Gerhard Richter
Friday-Evening Programming for Weeks Three and Four of the 2021 Tanglewood Season
Friday, July 23, 8 p.m.: Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops Orchestra in a program honoring Pops Conductor Laureate John Williams, the world’s most illustrious and influential composer for film. From the instantly recognizable to relative rarities, the selections on this program reveal the tremendous range of Williams’ output.
Friday, July 30, 8 p.m.: Tanglewood stalwarts Emanuel Ax (piano) and Yo-Yo Ma (cello) create a mighty trio when they collaborate with Leonidas Kavakos (violin) in an all-Beethoven chamber program featuring the Piano Trio No. 3 in C minor and a piano trio version of the Symphony No. 2.
Tanglewood Music Center and Tanglewood Learning Institute Programming for Weeks Three and Four of the 2021 Tanglewood Season
Saturday, July 24, 4 p.m.: Renowned American choreographer and dance legend Bill T. Jones, co-founder of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, is the featured speaker for the TLI’s The Big Idea, “A Loneliness: Alone as a State of Being”
Monday, August 2, 8 p.m.: Alan Gilbert (Tanglewood Music Center class of 1987 and 1988) leads the TMC Orchestra in Fauré’s Pelléas et Mélisande Suite, Still’s Darker America, and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 3. This concert will be available, August 10-September 9, on the BSO NOW streaming portal at bso.org/now
Please note: The Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s acclaimed summer music academy, also presents free chamber music programs on Sunday mornings and Monday afternoons throughout the Tanglewood season, July 12-August 16.
How to Purchase Tickets and Free and Discounted Ticket Programs
• Tickets for 2021 Tanglewood season, priced starting at $15, on sale through tanglewood.org and 888-266-1200
• Free lawn tickets for those under 18 will be offered throughout the summer
• Free general admission to Tanglewood Music Center chamber concerts will take place Sundays at 10 a.m. and Mondays at 2:30 p.m., July 12-August 16
• Tanglewood to offer Berkshire Resident Lawn Passes—reduced-priced, $15 lawn tickets—to full-time local residents
TANGLEWOOD IN THE CITY—A FREE VIDEO CONCERT OF AN ALL-BEETHOVEN CONCERT BY THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR ANDRIS NELSONS, WITH PIANO SOLOIST EMANUEL AX—WILL BE SHOWN ON A SCREEN ON THE PITTSFIELD COMMON ON THURSDAY, JULY 22, AT 7 P.M.; PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MILLTOWN CAPITAL, THIS SPECIAL EVENT WILL BEGIN WITH LIVE PERFORMANCES BY KIDS 4 HARMONY AND THE EAGLES BAND AT 6:30 P.M. (PLEASE NOTE, DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER, TANGLEWOOD IN THE CITY WAS RESCHEDULED FROM JULY 17 TO JULY 22)
COMMUNITY POP-UP CONCERTS FEATURING MEMBERS OF THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA IN SOLO AND SMALL ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCES, WILL TAKE PLACE AT FAIRVIEW HOSPITAL IN GREAT BARRINGTON ON JULY 27 AND BMC SATELLITE EMERGENCY FACILITY IN NORTH ADAMS ON AUGUST 8, THANKS TO THE SPONSORSHIP OF BERKSHIRE MEDICAL CENTER
CLICK HERE TO VIEW HIGHLIGHTS OF WEEKS FIVE AND SIX OF THE 2021 TANGLEWOOD SEASON
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A CALENDAR LISTING OF THE 2021 TANGLEWOOD SEASON
ADDITIONAL DETAILS ABOUT THE 2021 TANGLEWOOD SEASON
Narrative Overview 2021 Tanglewood Season
The Boston Symphony is thrilled to return to Tanglewood, its summer home in the beautiful Berkshires since 1937, and to welcome back audiences, July 4–August 26, for the first time since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated a 15-month performance hiatus. The shorter, six-week Tanglewood season is designed to capture the essential Tanglewood experience, with performances by the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood Music Center orchestras, preeminent guest artists of our time, and notable chamber music and large ensembles. Tanglewood is also pleased to present the 2021 Popular Artist series (click here for press release) and the 2021 Boston Pops July 4 Spectacular.BSO/Boston Pops Performances, July 23–August 1
Film music continues to grow in popularity, thanks in large part to our very own John Williams, who reinvigorated the art form for the modern era and whose compelling music continues to delight and thrill audiences around the world, both in and out of the movie theater. On July 23, Keith Lockhartand the Boston Pops Orchestra salute the world’s best-known film composer with a program that includes familiar and less-familiar music, as well as exclusive filmed interviews with the master himself.
The following evening, July 24, brings what is sure to be a major highlight of the season as John Williams leads the world premiere of his Violin Concerto No. 2, with returning guest Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist. For this performance, Mr. Williams shares the podium with BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, who leads Copland’s Quiet City—with BSO English horn Robert Sheena and BSO principal trumpet Thomas Rolfs as soloists—American composer Jessie Montgomery’s Starburst, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919 version).
Please note: Through a partnership between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Deutsche Grammophon, along with broadcast distributor C Major Entertainment, Tanglewood’s July 24 performance will be available from July 25 as a global video stream on the DG Stage platform(www.dg-stage.com) as well as through ARTE in Germany and France, a leading European public broadcaster and digital service that promotes cultural programming throughout the continent. This concert will also be made available on additional broadcast outlets in Europe, as well as in Asia and the U.S., with further details to be announced at a later date.
On July 25, Andris Nelsons leads Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, with returning pianist Yefim Bronfman as soloist, and Schumann’s Symphony No. 4. Opening this program is the Beethoven-inspired work Jeder Baum spricht (Every Tree Speaks) by Iman Habibi. The Iranian-Canadian composer was one of several commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra as part of its celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday. The work—representing the composer’s imagining of Beethoven’s response to the climate crisis—was influenced in part by the “Pastoral” Symphony and the “fate” motif of the Fifth Symphony.
BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès, who also directs this year’s Festival of Contemporary Music, leads the BSO on July 31 in his own O Albion, an arrangement for string orchestra of a movement from his 1994 Arcadiana for string quartet. Distinguished pianist Kirill Gerstein joins Mr. Adès and the orchestra for Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Winds, and rounding out the program are two Haydn symphonies—No. 64, Tempora mutantur, and No. 45, Farewell.
TMC alumnus Alan Gilbert returns to the Tanglewood podium on August 1 to lead the BSO in Schumann’s The Bride of Messina Overture (which the composer characterized as a “theater overture” to the Schiller tragedy), Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with American violinist Stefan Jackiw as soloist, and the Serenade for orchestra by Swedish composer/conductor/pianist Wilhelm Stenhammar.2021 Festival of Contemporary Music, Sunday, July 25 – Monday, July 26
BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès is in his third summer as Director of the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood; he also holds the title Merwin Geffen, M.D., and Norman Solomon, M.D., Festival of Contemporary Music Director. This mini-FCM—three concerts instead of the usual seven or so—nonetheless includes 12 composers from seven countries—the U.S., Hungary, Scotland, England, Finland, Denmark, and China. Excepting György Ligeti (1923-2006), all the composers are living, spanning the generations from Ligeti and György Kurtág (both born in the 1920s) to the young Chinese composer Xinyang Wang (b. 1989).
Three of the composers—Judith Weir, Sean Shepherd, and Andrew Haig—are former TMC Fellows. Andrew Haig’s piece is a co-commission stemming from the partnership between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. The piece was written to be performed by both the Gewandhaus Orchestra’s Mendelssohn Academy Orchestra and the Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center; it receives its American premiere performance on July 25. The performance of Xinyang Wang’s Between the Resonating Abysses will be a world premiere.
Mr. Adès has once again favored composers whose reputations have skirted mainstream stylistic currents. The individualism of such older composers as Ligeti, Kurtág, Steve Reich, and Per Nørgård set a high standard for younger generations—including that of Adès himself—to solve their own unique artistic and expressive problems. The resulting programs vary widely in musical voice ranging in size from duos (Kurtág, Nørgård’s two-clarinet Hut Ab!) to orchestral. Instrumental Fellows work with their conducting colleagues as well as Mr. Adès and TMC conducting faculty head Stefan Asbury; they also have the opportunity to perform with concerto soloists—the acclaimed violinist Anthony Marwood in Ligeti’s concerto, and TMC Fellow Momo Wong, violin, in Kaija Saariaho’s Graal théatre. Of special interest to close the festival is Reich/Richter, a large ensemble score by Steve Reich accompanying the film Moving Picture by Corinna Betz and the famed German painter Gerhard Richter.
Online Concert Streaming of Tanglewood Performances at bso.org/now
For the first time in the history of the Tanglewood festival, the live performance schedule will be accompanied by select weekly live video concert streams, available throughout the summer on the orchestra’s online streaming portal—BSO NOW, at bso.org/now—as a way of engaging music lovers, locally and globally, who are not able to attend Tanglewood’s live performances.BSO NOW video concert streams featuring select BSO Saturday-night performances and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra Monday-evening performances will be available online beginning eight days after the live performances take place, July 9-August 16, and remain available for 30 days. Views can extend their Saturday night BSO concert experience through the Tanglewood Learning Institute’s ShopTalks series, hosted by TLI Director Sue Elliott and featuring candid conversations with conductors, soloists, and composers, prior to each live concert stream at 5 p.m.; also available on video on demand during the 30-day period each concert stream is available at bso.org/now. Further details about the TLI’s summer programs are available at tli.org. Programs are subject to change, pending artist approvals.
There are several purchasing options for accessing BSO NOW online concert content: a 7-day pass is available for $9; a 30-day pass for $25, and a Season Pass for $100. In addition to the Tanglewood performances being made available throughout the summer, the Season Pass includes access to a wide variety of previously released online performances by the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops, among other available content.
Visiting the Tanglewood Grounds
The Tanglewood grounds, open to visitors free of charge, is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except on performance days, when hours will vary. A schedule of times when the grounds are available to walk, picnic on, and enjoy can be found at tanglewood.org.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2021 TANGLEWOOD SEASON
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A QUOTE FROM ANDRIS NELSONS, THE RAY AND MARIA STATA BSO MUSIC DIRECTOR
HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS IN SUMMER 2021
2021 Tanglewood season protocols are in alignment with the most recent health and safety issuances by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the local Tri-Town Health Department, as well as feedback from the BSO’s own team of experts, including 9Foundations, Inc.
In support of regulations set by the Tri-Town Health Department and the Lenox and Stockbridge health boards, Tanglewood will limit attendance capacity to 9,000—50% of its usual capacity of 18,000. All performances, approximately 80 minutes in length with no intermission, take place in the open-air Koussevitzky Music Shed; Tanglewood will now maintain three-feet physical distancing between patron parties seated in the shed for all BSO-related performances, July 9-August 16; Tanglewood to welcome up to 2,400 patrons in the shed and 6,600 patrons on the lawn for these performances (no social distancing required on the lawn). Although mask wearing and physical distancing are no longer required, both measures are recommended for patrons who are unvaccinated, per guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tanglewood’s reduced, six-week Boston Symphony Orchestra concert season encompasses approximately 50% of the festival’s usual offerings while reflecting the variety and depth of programming typically associated with the festival; BSO concerts take place Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons; Boston Pops concerts and notable guest chamber music artists and ensembles are featured on Friday evenings.
Click here to view June 4 press announcement with details about health and safety protocols in place in summer 2021. Visit www.tanglewood.org/safety for up-to-date information about health and safety protocols.
PROGRAMMING INFORMATION FOR TANGLEWOOD 2021
Tanglewood 2021 will also feature performances by the Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center; TMC master classes, curated conversations, online offerings, and on July 24 The Big Idea speaker program featuring Bill T. Jones presented by the Tanglewood Learning Institute; and community, education, and family activities on the Tanglewood grounds and throughout the Berkshire area.
Click here to view a calendar listing of the 2021 Tanglewood season.
Click here to view a narrative description of the 2021 Tanglewood season.
Andris Nelsons leads the BSO at the Koussevitzky Music Shed
BRIEF BACKGROUND ON TANGLEWOOD
Tanglewood—one of the country’s premier summer music festivals and summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1937—is located in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of Lenox and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Tanglewood, in a typical season, has drawn an annual attendance of approximately 340,000 people and brings more than $100 million in economic activity annually to the Berkshires region. Except for several years during World War II, when the performance schedule was curtailed or canceled in its entirety, as it was in 1943, the festival has run uninterrupted until last summer when the 2020 Tanglewood season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tanglewood was founded by Serge Koussevitzky, BSO Music Director 1924-1949. Click here for further details on Tanglewood.
During this reduced concert season, the BSO remains deeply committed to its essential educational, outreach, and innovative programs. The Tanglewood Music Center—the BSO’s acclaimed summer music academy since 1940—and the Tanglewood Learning Institute—launched in 2019 and offering a wide spectrum of programs designed to engage curious minds—are each integral to the identity of the festival, as are the activities that involve the community and resonate with families and young audiences, who can attend the festival through Tanglewood’s free lawn ticket program for those under 18 years of age. The BSO will also present online content for many of its well-known education programs at Tanglewood, including the Tanglewood Music Center, Tanglewood Learning Institute, Days in the Arts (DARTS), and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (presented by Boston University). Click here to view details of these online programs.
Formal BSO titles for conductors and other leadership referenced in this release: Andris Nelsons is the Ray and Maria Stata BSO Music Director; Keith Lockhart is the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops Conductor; Thomas Adès is the Deborah and Philip Edmundson BSO Artistic Partner; John Williamsis the George and Roberta Berry Boston Pops Conductor Laureate; Anna Rakitina is BSO Assistant Conductor; Gail Samuel is the Eunice and Julian Cohen BSO President and CEO.
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