2021 TANGLEWOOD SEASON, JULY 4–AUGUST 26,
Performance Highlights of First Two Weeks of Boston Symphony Orchestra Performances, July 9–19
BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S 2021 TANGLEWOOD SEASON OPENS ON SATURDAY, JULY 10, WITH AN ANDRIS NELSONS-LED ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM
ON THE PROGRAM IS BEETHOVEN’S FIFTH SYMPHONY, THE SAME WORK THAT OPENED THE INAUGURAL SEASON OF THE FESTIVAL IN 1937—A FITTING PARALLEL, AS THE ORCHESTRA REOPENS THE FESTIVAL, RETURNS TO CONCERTIZING WITH AUDIENCES, AND BEGINS TO IMAGINE ITS NEXT CHAPTER IN A POST-COVID WORLD
PROGRAM TO INCLUDE EMANUEL AX PERFORMING BEETHOVEN’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 5, EMPEROR
Click here for footage of Andris Nelsons leading the BSO in the opening measures of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, recorded at Symphony Hall in January 2021; the BSO opens the 2021 Tanglewood season with Beethoven’s Fifth
TANGLEWOOD TO PRESENT REDUCED, SIX-WEEK BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONCERT SEASON—ENCOMPASSING APPROXIMATELY 50% OF THE FESTIVAL’S USUAL OFFERINGS WHILE REFLECTING THE VARIETY AND DEPTH OF PROGRAMMING TYPICALLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE FESTIVAL; BSO CONCERTS TO TAKE PLACE SATURDAY EVENINGS AND SUNDAY AFTERNOONS; BOSTON POPS CONCERTS AND NOTABLE GUEST CHAMBER MUSIC ARTISTS AND ENSEMBLES TO BE FEATURED ON FRIDAY EVENINGS
Please note: All public events this season, including those for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center, and Tanglewood Learning Institute, as well as the 2021 Popular Artist Series, will take place in the Koussevitzky Music Shed
Boston Symphony Orchestra Highlights for First Two Weeks of 2021 Tanglewood Season
Saturday, July 10, 8 p.m.: Andris Nelsons opens the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2021 Tanglewood season with an all-Beethoven program, with special guest Emanuel Ax performing Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor, on a program with the overture to The Creatures of Prometheus and Symphony No. 5; this concert will be available, July 18-August 17, on the BSO NOW streaming portal at bso.org/now
Sunday, July 11, 2:30 p.m.: The Boston Symphony Orchestra performs Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers, followed by Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with soloist Baiba Skride and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6
Saturday, July 17, 2:30 p.m.: Tanglewood Family Concert program—featuring members of the BSO, with Byron Stripling in the role of conductor and trumpet soloist—is entitled “American Melodies,” with a special focus on the early songs that defined America—from folk to spirituals, to gospel and jazz
Saturday, July 17, 8 p.m.: Daniil Trifonov joins the orchestra for Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1; the program opens with Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, Classical; this concert will be available, July 25-August 24, on the BSO NOW streaming portal at bso.org/now
Sunday, July 18, 2:30 p.m.: Lucas and Arthur Jussen are the soloists for Mozart’s Concerto in E-flat for Two Pianos, K.365 on a program with the Mendelssohn-Hensel Overture in C and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, Reformation
Emanuel Ax, Daniil Trifonov, Baiba Skride, Carlos Simon
Friday-evening Programming for the First Two Weeks of the 2021 Tanglewood Season
Friday, July 9, 8 p.m.: The Knights, with artistic directors Eric and Colin Jacobsen, perform Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, Vijay Iyer’s Crisis Modes, Mary Lou Williams’ Selection from Zodiac Suite, for piano and orchestra, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, the latter two works featuring pianist Aaron Diehl
Friday, July 16, 8 p.m.: Apollo’s Fire—in a program entitled Bach, Vivaldi & Friends—performs works by Telemann (Concerto Polonois), Porpora (an arrangement of an aria from Polifemo), Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, and three Vivaldi concertos, with Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell
Aaron Diehl, Vijay Iyer, Apollo’s Fire, Mary Lou Williams
Tanglewood Music Center and Tanglewood Learning Institute Programming for the First Two Weeks of the 2021 Tanglewood Season
Monday, July 12, at 8 p.m.: Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (TMCO), led by Andris Nelsons and TMC Conducting Fellows, performs music by Copland, Hannah Kendall, and Beethoven; this concert will be available, July 20-August 18, on the BSO NOW streaming portal at bso.org/now
Thursday, July 15, 8 p.m.: Andris Nelsons leads a conducting master class with the Tanglewood Music Center Conducting Fellows as part of the Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI) OpenStudio series
Monday, July 19, at 8 p.m.: TMCO, led by Andris Nelsons and TMC Conducting Fellows, performs music by Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov, Haydn, and Stravinsky; this concert will be available, July 27-August 25, 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.
Andris Nelsons leading the TMC Orchestra, a TMC Orchestra performance, TMC master class with Andris Nelsons
NEW INFORMATION: SATURDAY, JULY 17, AT 7 P.M.: THE BSO, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MILL TOWN CAPITAL, WILL PRESENT TANGLEWOOD IN THE CITY—A SPECIAL VIDEO PRESENTATION OF AN ARCHIVAL BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PERFORMANCE OF MUSIC BY JOHN HARBISON, GERSHWIN, COPLAND, AND ELLINGTON—IN THE PITTSFIELD COMMON; KIDS 4 HARMONY AND THE EAGLES COMMUNITY BAND WILL OFFER PRE-CONCERT PERFORMANCES
NEW INFORMATION: SATURDAY, JULY 7, AT NOON: BSO MEMBERS WILL LAUNCH THIS SUMMER’S COMMUNITY POP-UP CONCERTS—HONORING THE REGION’S MEDICAL COMMUNITY—WITH A PERFORMANCE AT BERKSHIRE MEDICAL CENTER IN PITTSFIELD
FURTHER DETAILS ABOUT BOTH OF THESE INITIATIVES APPEAR BELOW
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
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, TO TAKE PLACE IN 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
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
2021 TANGLEWOOD SEASON OVERVIEW
• 2021 Tanglewood season to feature BSO titled conductors Andris Nelsons, Thomas Adès, Anna Rakitina, Keith Lockhart, and John Williams, joined by special guest artists Emanuel Ax, Herbert Blomstedt, Yefim Bronfman, Karina Canellakis, Alan Gilbert, + Stefan Jackiw (see below), Leonidas Kavakos, Yo-Yo Ma, Anthony Marwood, + Branford Marsalis (with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra—see below), Baiba Skride, Byron Stripling, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Daniil Trifonov
• Beloved works by Beethoven, Brahms, Copland, Dvořák, Gershwin, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Ravel, Schumann, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky appear alongside works by Thomas Adès, Iman Habibi, Vijay Iyer, Hannah Kendall, Elena Langer, Missy Mazzoli, Jessie Montgomery, Carlos Simon, and Mary Lou Williams, as well as the world premiere of John Williams’ Violin Concerto No. 2 with soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter
Hannah Kendall, Elena Langer, Iman Habibi, Missy Mazzoli
• BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès directs the 2021 Festival of Contemporary Music, July 25-26, to feature living composers Andrew Haig, György Kurtág, Jeffrey Mumford, Per Nørgård, Andrew Norman, Steve Reich, Sean Shepherd, Kaija Saariaho, Xinyang Wang, and Judith Weir, as well as Ligeti
• Tanglewood 2021 also to feature performances by the Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s acclaimed summer music academy and TMC masterclasses, curated conversations, online offerings, and the Big Idea speaker program featuring Bill T. Jones, presented by the Tanglewood Learning Institute—a program of expansive, eclectic, and engaging performances and wide-ranging cultural experiences
Kaija Saariaho, Xinyang Wang, Judith Weir, Bill T. Jones
• Byron Stripling, in the role of conductor and trumpeter, will lead BSO musicians in the annual Family Concert with a special focus on folk, spiritual, gospel, and jazz music that defined and continues to influence American music today
• For the first time ever, Tanglewood’s live performance schedule will be accompanied by select weekly live video performance streams on the orchestra’s online streaming portal, BSO NOW, at bso.org/now
Tanglewood lawn, Byron Stripling, BSO Rolling Recital, Tanglewood in the City
• NEW INFORMATION: Two changes to the original 2021 Tanglewood programming announcement:Branford Marsalis will now be joining the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as a featured special guest on August 6; due to a change in schedule, Wynton Marsalis will not be appearing with the JLCO. Due to a complication in the procurement of a visa to travel abroad, Lisa Batiashvili will not perform at Tanglewood this summer; Stefan Jackiw has now been added to the schedule to perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with the BSO under the direction of Alan Gilbert on August 1.
Tanglewood’s Koussevitsky Music Shed, photographed in 2018 by Fred Collins; click here for high-res version
2021 TANGLEWOOD POPULAR ARTIST SERIES
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PRESS RELEASE ABOUT THE 2021 TANGLEWOOD POPULAR ARTIST SERIES, INCLUDING BRANDI CARLILE, WITH OPENING ARTIST MAVIS STAPLES, ON AUGUST 21; JUDY COLLINS AND VERY SPECIAL GUESTS RICHARD THOMPSON AND JESSE COLIN YOUNG, ON AUGUST 22; AND NPR‘S WAIT WAIT … DON’T TELL ME! ON AUGUST 26
Brandi Carlile, Judy Collins and Richard Thompson, Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!‘s Bill Kurtis and Peter Sagal
BOSTON POPS JULY 4 SPECTACULAR LIVE STREAM CONCERT BROADCAST
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PRESS RELEASE ABOUT THE BOSTON POPS JULY 4 SPECTACULAR CONCERT, UNDER THE DIRECTION OF KEITH LOCKHART, TO BE LIVE STREAMED FROM TANGLEWOOD STARTING AT 8 P.M. ON INDEPENDENCE DAY ON BLOOMBERG TV AND RADIO, AS WELL AS LOCALLY IN BOSTON ON WHDH-TV CHANNEL 7, FROM 8 TO 11 P.M.
PROGRAM TO FEATURE HEADLINERS JON BATISTE AND MAVIS STAPLES ON A PROGRAM OF PATRIOTIC FAVORITES, ENDING WITH THE TRADITIONAL 1812 OVERTURE PRIOR TO THE FIREWORKS DISPLAY ON THE BOSTON COMMON IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CITY OF BOSTON; THERE WILL BE NO FIREWORKS FOLLOWING THE CONCERT AT TANGLEWOOD
Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Jon Batiste, Mavis Staples, Boston fireworks
THE JULY 4 BOSTON POPS CONCERT AT TANGLEWOOD IS SOLD OUT, DUE TO A 9,000 CAPACITY LIMIT, THE ALLOWANCE SET FOR ALL TANGLEWOOD SEASON PERFORMANCES BY THE BERKSHIRE LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES; THERE ARE NO GENERAL PUBLIC TICKETS REMAINING FOR THE BOSTON POPS JULY 4 CONCERT
TANGLEWOOD IS WORKING CLOSELY WITH PARTNER ORGANIZATIONS TO INVITE VETERANS AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY, FIRST RESPONDERS, HEALTH CARE WORKERS, COMMUNITY GROUPS, AND SPONSORS AS GUESTS TO JULY 4
WITH THE OPENING OF TANGLEWOOD IN SUMMER 2021, THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA RETURNS TO LIVE PERFORMANCES WITH AUDIENCES FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE MARCH 2020 WHEN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC NECESSITATED WHAT WILL BE A 16-MONTH LIVE PERFORMANCE HIATUS
ADDITIONAL DETAILS ABOUT THE 2021 TANGLEWOOD SEASON
Narrative Overview 2021 Tanglewood Season
The Boston Symphony is thrilled to be returning to Tanglewood, its summer home in the beautiful Berkshires since 1937, and welcoming back audiences, July 9–August 16, for the first time since March 2020. At that time, the orchestra was forced to cancel all live performances with audiences, beginning with its concert schedule at Symphony Hall and extending to the 2020 Tanglewood season and beyond, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixteen months later, the BSO looks forward with great optimism to reopening and reimagining Tanglewood this summer—presenting a shorter, six-week season designed to capture the essential Tanglewood experience, with performances by the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood Music Center orchestras, many of the most preeminent guest artists of our time, and special chamber music and large ensemble groups greatly admired for the power and inspiration of their artistic gifts. Tanglewood is also pleased to present the 2021 Popular Artist series (click here for press release) and the 2021 Boston Pops July 4 Spectacular.
The BSO’s Opening Tanglewood Weekend, July 9-11
The BSO’s season-opening concert on July 10—reuniting the orchestra and its audience—will be especially meaningful to everyone associated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. For the special occasion, the BSO will perform an all-Beethoven program—a belated 250th-birthday celebration—led by Music Director Andris Nelsons and featuring a treasured guest artist, Emanuel Ax. First on the program is The Creatures of Prometheus Overture, followed by Mr. Ax joining the BSO for the Emperor Concerto. To end this reopening concert, Andris Nelsons leads the Symphony No. 5—the work Serge Koussevitzky chose in 1937 to open the very first BSO concert in the Berkshires. It seems most appropriate to mark the orchestra’s triumphant return to its summer home and welcome audiences back to live performances this way.
On July 11 Mr. Nelsons is joined by one of his frequent collaborators, Latvian violinist Baiba Skride, who is soloist in Sibelius’ evocative Violin Concerto. For the opening work on this program, African-American composer Carlos Simon was inspired by the Allegretto movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony to write Fate Now Conquers, taking the title from a diary entry in which the earlier composer alluded to Homer’s Iliad. Closing the Sunday-afternoon concert is Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6.
On July 9, the first Tanglewood weekend kicks off with a return appearance by The Knights, who perform a typically eclectic program that opens with Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, continues with Crisis Modes by Vijay Iyer, an American composer of Indian descent, and a selection from jazz legend Mary Lou Williams’ Zodiac Suite for piano and orchestra, and concludes with Gershwin’s masterwork, Rhapsody in Blue. Aaron Diehl makes his Tanglewood debut as the featured piano soloist.
Tanglewood Music Center, Tanglewood Learning Center, Free Lawn Tickets for those under 18, and Online Education Programs
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 theTanglewood 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.
NEW INFORMATION: Tanglewood in the Community: Events and Concerts Free of Charge for the Berkshire Community
Tanglewood in the City—especially created for the local community—will feature a BSO video concert to be projected onto screens on the Pittsfield Common on Saturday, July 17, at 7 p.m., preceded by pre-concert live performances by Kids 4 Harmony and the Eagles Community Band. This special event—now in its second year— is being presented in partnership with Mill Town Capital. The program will include Ellington’s Harlem, Copland’s Lincoln Portrait with narrator John Douglas Thomson, Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F with soloist Kirill Gerstein (left), and John Harbison’s Remembering Gatsby: Foxtrot for Orchestra based on his highly acclaimed opera The Great Gatsby, under the direction of guest conductor Jacques Lacombe. The rain date for this video concert is Sunday, July 18, at 5 p.m.; information about a rain date, if needed, will be available the weekend of July 17 at www.tanglewood.org.
Thanks to sponsorship from Berkshire Medical Center, Boston Symphony Orchestra musicians will be featured in Community Pop-Up Concerts at three Berkshire Health facilities, in honor of medical professionals throughout the region; these performances are open to the public. Performing outside their usual orchestra roles, participating BSO members will take part in noon-time solo and chamber music performances at the Berkshire Medical Center Health in Pittsfield on July 7; Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington on July 27; and the BMC Satellite Emergency Facility in North Adams on August 8 (rain dates for these programs are July 9 and 27 and August 6, at 3 p.m.).
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
CLICK HERE TO VIEW HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS AND CHANGES TO THE VISITOR EXPERIENCES FOR THE 2021 TANGLEWOOD SEASON
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.
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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