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Tanglewood, Tannery Pond Offer Concluding Concerts
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
10:34AM / Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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Conducting fellow Killian Farell, right, and vocal fellow Elena Villalon perform at the TMC Orchestra finale concert on Aug. 18 at Tangelwood. Photo by Hilary Scott.

Tanglewood concludes its 2019 classical programming this week, culminating with two "heavy hitters": John Williams' Film Night, performed by the Boston Pops on Saturday, Aug. 24, and, of course, the traditional final concert featuring Beethoven's glorious and triumphant Ninth Symphony ("Choral"), performed on Sunday, Aug. 25, at 2:30 p.m. in the Shed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with stellar vocal soloists and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus – all under the direction of Maestro Giancarlo Guerrero.

For all that, the upcoming program at Concerts at Tannery Pond promises to be memorable: The phenomenal Miró String Quartet offers a program of Mozart, Schubert and the contemporary American composer Kevin Puts.

Looking ahead, these last two months of magnificent music making are but a prelude to the array of area classical offerings on the horizon: one final concert at Tannery Pond, in New Lebanon, N.Y., at 6 p.m. on Sept. 14, and at South Mountain Concerts, in Pittsfield, during September and October. Read below for a recap of the five South Mountain dates and performing artists.

It will certainly be a busy and rewarding schedule, as the summer music festival season continues into the fall, featuring magnificent chamber music.

Tanglewood

• Friday, Aug. 23, 8 p.m. in the Shed: Pianist Conrad Tao joins the BSO in a performance of Maurice Ravel's ebullient, jazz-tinged Piano Concerto in G Major. Boston Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Yu-An Chang makes his debut with the orchestra in this program. The Concerto, composed in 1931, following the composer's four-month tour within the United States, was inspired by the energy of the jazz music Ravel heard and loved, and that was taking the country, and the world, by storm. The program also includes music by two teenage geniuses: Schubert's refined yet animated Symphony No. 2, composed around the time of his 18th birthday, and Mendelssohn's elfin-airborne Overture to "A Midsummer Night’s Dream," composed when he was 17.

• Saturday, Aug. 24, 8 p.m. in the Shed: John Williams' Film Night has long been established as one of the Tanglewood calendar's most anticipated and unforgettable evenings. This year, Mr. Williams serves as host, introducing his musical selections - a celebration of Hollywood and beyond, featuring the Boston Pops and conductor David Newman. Clips accompany the film scores from some of today's most popular movies.

• Sunday, Aug. 25, 2:30 p.m. in the Shed: The Boston Symphony concludes its 2019 Music Festival season with a performance of Beethoven's cherished Ninth Symphony ("Choral"). Giancarlo Guerrero, music director of the Nashville Symphony, leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in its traditional season-ending performance, for which soprano Nicole Cabell, mezzo-soprano J'Nai Bridges, tenor Nicholas Phan, bass Morris Robinson, join him and the orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Opening the concert will be a rare performance of Arnold Schoenberg's passionate, hyper-Romantic "Friede auf Erden" (Peace on Earth), composed in 1907 for unaccompanied chorus. Music Director James Burton will conduct the TFC.

Tanglewood Learning Institute

Film Immersion Weekend events: Three events Friday, Aug. 23, and three events Saturday, Aug. 24, all at The Linde Center. Check online at tli.org. for specific times and special ticket pricing.

The Big Idea, Cinematics, Focal Point and Sunday Showcase events: Saturday, Aug. 24, and Sunday, Aug. 25, at The Linde Center and at the Theatre. Check online at tli.org. for specific times and special ticket pricing.

Regular-season ticket prices for the 2019 Tanglewood season range from $12-$130, and are available online, through Symphony Charge at 888-266-1200, and at the Symphony Hall Box Office at 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Tickets will also be available for purchase in person at the Tanglewood box office, located at Tanglewood's Main Gate on West Street in Lenox, Mass.

 

Concerts at Tannery Pond

Concerts at Tannery Pond, the handsome, intimate and elegant series in New Lebanon, N.Y., and one of the premiere presenters of chamber music in the region during the summer and fall seasons, presents a program featuring the stellar Miró String Quartet at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. Formed in 1995, the Miró Quartet is consistently praised for their deeply musical interpretations, exciting performances and thoughtful programming. The featured work on the program is Schubert's miraculous, tragic Quartet in D Minor ("Death and the Maiden"). This is a concert not to be missed.

Be sure to make note of Tannery's final concert, Saturday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m. (note the early hour). The Omer String Quartet - flutist Tara H. O’Connor, oboist James Austin Smith, harpist June Han and double bassist Doug Balliett - will perform a program of compositions by Carl Maria von Weber, Debussy, Camille Saint-Saëns and André Messager, joining the stellar clarinetist Todd Palmer.

Tickets are $30 and $39. Call 888-820-1696 or order online. Tannery Pond is located on the grounds of Mount Lebanon Shaker Village and Darrow School, New Lebanon, N.Y., one and a half miles east of the town center on Route 20.

 

Upcoming: South Mountain Concerts

South Mountain Concerts, this year celebrating its 101th anniversary (!), is a leading institution/presenter of chamber music in our region. Over several decades, it has amended its original mission from presenting many of the classics of early-to-mid-20th century contemporary music, to primarily showcasing the purist art of canonical chamber music composed for string quartet and strings with piano, presenting acknowledged masterpieces by the major European composers of the 18th and 19th centuries, performed by a select mix of both established and up-and-coming ensembles.

Founded in 1918 by the chamber music patron and new music enthusiast Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, concerts are performed in its historic purpose-built hall. South Mountain has, over the years, presented many of the world’s leading chamber music ensembles and soloists, and continues in this tradition, with performances this fall by long-time favorite ensembles the Wu Han/David Finckel piano-cello duo (Sept. 8); the Calidore String Quartet (Sept. 15); the Brentano String Quartet with violist Hsin-Yun Huang (Sept. 22); St. Martin in the Fields chamber ensemble (Oct. 6) and the Emerson String Quartet (Oct. 13). All five concerts are Sundays at 3 p.m.

The hall, dating from the series' inception, accommodates 440 and possesses outstanding acoustics. Equal in performance artistry to Marlboro Music and chamber music heard in Tanglewood's Ozawa Hall, South Mountain presents the finest ensembles performing signature works of the classical canon.

South Mountain’s concert hall is located on Routes 7 and 20 (South Street) in Pittsfield, approximately two miles south of Park Square at the center of the downtown area. Tickets are $40; students with IDs are $15 at the door. Call 413-442-2106 or visit the website. Tickets are also available by mail; send check and return envelope to: South Mountain Concerts, Box 23, Pittsfield, MA 01201.
 

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