Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2021 Tanglewood season begins July 10



The Boston Symphony will return to Tanglewood, its summer home in the beautiful Berkshires since 1937, and will once again welcome audiences from July 9 to August 16, for the first time since March 2020.

Around this time, the orchestra was forced to cancel all live performances with the public, starting with its concert program at Symphony Hall and extending into Tanglewood’s 2020 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 from the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops and Orchestras. Tanglewood Music Center. , many of the most distinguished guest artists of our time, and special chamber music groups and large ensembles admired for the power and inspiration of their artistic gifts. Tanglewood is also pleased to present the Popular Artist 2021 series and the Boston Pops 2021 Spectacular on July 4th.

The BSO’s season-opening concert on July 10, bringing together the orchestra and its audience, will be especially important to all those associated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. For the special occasion, the BSO will present an all-Beethoven program – a late 250th anniversary celebration led by Music Director Andris Nelsons and featuring valued guest artist Emanuel Ax. The first on the program is The Creatures of Prometheus Overture, followed by M. Ax joining the BSO for the Emperor Concerto. To close this reopening concert, Andris Nelsons conducts Symphony No. 5, the work chosen by Serge Koussevitzky in 1937 to open BSO’s very first concert in the Berkshires. It seems entirely appropriate to mark the orchestra’s triumphant return to its summer residence and thus welcome the public for live performances.

On July 11, Mr. Nelsons is joined by one of his frequent collaborators, Latvian violinist Baiba Skride, who is a soloist in the evocative Sibelius Violin Concerto. For the opening work of this program, the African-American composer Carlos Simon drew inspiration from the Allegretto movement from Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony to write Fate Now Conquers, taking the title of a diary entry in which the previous composer alluded to Homer’s Iliad. Dvořák’s Symphony No. 6 will close the Sunday afternoon concert.

On July 9, Tanglewood’s first weekend kicks off with the return of The Knights, who perform a typically eclectic program that opens with Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, continues with Crisis Modes by American composer Vijay Iyer. Indian origin, and a selection of jazz legend Mary lou williams‘Zodiac Suite for piano and orchestra, and ends with Gershwin’s masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue. Aaron Diehl made his Tanglewood debut as a piano soloist.

During this reduced concert season, the BSO remains deeply engaged in its essential educational, outreach and innovative programs. the Tanglewood Music Center– the famous BSO summer music academy since 1940 – and the Tanglewood Learning Institute– launched in 2019 and offering a wide range of programs designed to engage curious minds – are each integral part of the festival’s identity, as are activities that engage the community and resonate with families and young audiences, which can attend the festival through Tanglewood’s free lawn ticket program for those under 18.

The BSO will also feature online content for several of its well-known education programs at Tanglewood, including the Tanglewood Music Center, Tanglewood Learning Institute, Arts Days (DARTS), and the Tanglewood Institute at Boston University (presented by Boston University). Click here to view the details of these programs online.

Tanglewood in the City – specially created for the local community – will present a BSO video concert that will be shown on screens at Pittsfield Common on Saturday, July 17 at 7 p.m., preceded by live performances before the concert by Kids 4 Harmony and the Band community of eagles. This special event, now in its second year, is presented in partnership with Mill Town Capital. The program will include Ellington’s Harlem, Lincoln Portrait of Copland with narrator John douglas thomson, Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F with soloist Kirill Gerstein (left) and Remembering Gatsby: Foxtrot for orchestra by John Harbison based on his acclaimed opera The Great Gatsby, conducted by guest conductor Jacques Lacombe. The rainy date for this video concert is Sunday July 18 at 5 pm; information on a rainy date, if needed, will be available on the weekend of July 17 at

Sponsored by Berkshire Medical Center, musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra will be featured in community pop-up concerts at three Berkshire healthcare facilities, in honor of area health professionals; these performances are open to the public. Performing outside of their regular orchestral roles, participating BSO members will take part in solo and chamber music performances at noon at 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 (the rain dates for these programs are July 9 and 27 and August 6 at 3 p.m.).

Tanglewood Performances concerts can be broadcast online on

For the first time in Tanglewood Festival history, the live performances 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– as a way to engage music lovers, locally and globally, who are unable to attend Tanglewood’s live performances. The BSO NOW video concert streams featuring selected BSO performances on Saturday night and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra performances on Monday night will be available online from eight days after the live performances, July 9 through August 16. , and will remain available for 30 days.

Views can extend their Saturday night BSO concert experience with Tanglewood Learning Institute’s ShopTalks series, hosted by TLI Director Sue Elliott and featuring candid conversations with conductors, soloists and composers, before each live concert broadcast at 5 pm; also available on video on demand during the 30 day period each concert stream is available at Further details on TLI’s summer programs are available at Programs are subject to change, pending artist approvals.

There are several purchasing options to access BSO NOW online concert content: a 7-day pass is available for $ 9; a 30-day pass at $ 25 and a season pass at $ 100. In addition to Tanglewood’s performances available throughout the summer, the Season Pass includes access to a wide variety of online performances previously released by the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops, among other available content.


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