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The Classical Beat: Visit Tanglewood For Classical Music Heaven
By Stephen Dankner, Guest Column
08:11AM / Wednesday, July 14, 2021
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Seating availability may be significantly limited due to state and local capacity restrictions. A limit of four tickets per person per program will be in effect, in addition to the several free and reduced-price ticket programs offered to ensure that as many people as possible could experience Tanglewood performances.
Tanglewood is again open to the public at last, as the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) returns to concertizing with audiences in attendance. The BSO enters its second week, and the world-class summer music festival, though abbreviated, runs until Aug. 16; the Popular Artist series continues for an additional week, from Aug. 21-28. The festival's outstanding events are many; indeed, every concert will be memorable. Here's an overview of the highlights:
BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons leads six BSO concerts. Daniil Trifonov is the soloist in Brahms' First Piano Concerto in D Minor, Op. 15 on July 17 and duo-pianists Lucas and Arthur Jussen will perform Mozart's Concerto in E-flat for two pianos July 18. The stellar violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter will be the soloist in a concert co-conducted by John Williams, featuring the world premiere of his Violin Concerto No. 2 on July 24.

Additional Tanglewood Highlights

On July 17,  Principal Pops Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Byron Stripling leads the BSO in an engaging concert experience especially for children ages 3–11 and their families.
On July 23, Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops Orchestra in an all-John Williams program featuring both iconic and rare selections accompanied by exclusive filmed interviews.
On July 30, Pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Leonidas Kavakos, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma perform an all-Beethoven chamber music recital.
On Aug. 6, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with saxophonist Branford Marsalis performs a Friday evening recital.
On Aug. 7, guest conductor Herbert Blomstedt leads an all-Beethoven concert featuring famed violin soloist Joshua Bell.
On Aug. 8, Cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs Tchaikovsky's "Variations on a Rococo Theme" in a program led by conductor and TMC alumna Karina Canellakis in her BSO debut.
On Aug. 13, Maestro Lockhart also shares the podium with John Williams in this year's Film Night concert.
On Aug. 14, BSO Assistant Conductor Anna Rakitina makes her Tanglewood debut with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet performing Ravel's scintillating Piano Concerto in G Major.

Tanglewood Learning Institute Highlights.

On July 24, "The Big Idea," featuring Bill T. Jones, multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer.
On Aug. 6, "Full Tilt" featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Branford Marsalis.
"TLI-TMC OpenStudio" — Masterclasses on Thursdays at 8pm featuring Andris Nelsons on July 15, Yo-Yo Ma Aug. 5, and Leonidas Kavakos on Aug. 12.

Tanglewood Music Center Highlights

The Tanglewood Music Center (TMC) will return to in-person instruction and performances on the Tanglewood grounds in a reduced program, welcoming approximately 60 TMC Fellows.
TMC Orchestra concerts take place Monday evenings through Aug. 16, with Andris Nelsons leading the TMCO in programs of music by Copland, Hannah Kendall, and Beethoven on July 12, and Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov, Haydn, and Stravinsky on July 19.
TMC Chamber Music Concerts take place each Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. and each Monday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.

Festival of Contemporary Music Highlights

• The 2021 Festival of Contemporary Music will be directed by BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès, and will present works by ten living composers, including Andrew Haig, Jeffrey Mumford, Per Nørgård, Andrew Norman, Steve Reich, Sean Shepherd, Kaija Saariaho, Xinyang Wang, György Kurtág, and Judith Weir, as well as music by György Ligeti. Works by Beethoven, Brahms, Copland, Dvořák, Gershwin, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Ravel, Schumann, Stravinsky, and Tchaikovsky appear alongside works by Thomas Adès, Iman Habibi, 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.
Of special interest are two special programs taking place outside the Tanglewood gates within the Berkshire community:
Tanglewood in the City — A special community video BSO concert presentation in the Pittsfield Common on July 17.
Community Pop-Up Concerts — In honor of Berkshire medical professionals throughout the region and with         sponsorship from Berkshire Medical Center, three concerts will occur at regional Berkshire health facilities.

New This Year: Online Video Streams

For the first time in the history of the Tanglewood festival, the live performance schedule will be accompanied by select weekly live video streams, available throughout the summer on the orchestra's online streaming portal, BSO NOW, at Access to the BSO NOW platform to watch the online performance will be available with a weekly, monthly, or seasonal pass. Patrons who purchase in-person tickets to these concerts will also receive access to watch these corresponding concerts online. Please note that streaming schedules are subject to change.

Popular Artists Concerts

Tanglewood's popular artists lineup, originally scheduled to take place in 2020 was canceled due to COVID-19, and was rescheduled for 2021.
The re-scheduled Popular Artists include Brandi Carlile with special guest Mavis Staples on Aug. 21; Judy Collins and Richard Thompson with special guest Jesse Colin Young on Aug. 22, and NPR'S WAIT, WAIT...DON'T TELL ME! on Aug 26.

Tanglewood tickets information

Tickets to all Tanglewood events are available for purchase at or by calling 617-266-1200 or 888- 266-1200. Internet and phone orders are subject to a $6.50 per ticket fee.
New this summer is a Mobile Ticket Delivery (MTD) system as part of an overall plan to reduce physical contact on campus and reduce lines at the Will Call box office. Concertgoers will receive their ticket as a "push" on their mobile device and can display a mobile ticket at the gate upon entry. Mobile tickets, along with traditional ticket delivery options, will be available at, with no ticket processing fees applied if purchased at the Tanglewood box office.
Seating availability may be significantly limited due to state and local capacity restrictions. A limit of four tickets per person per program will be in effect, in addition to the several free and reduced-price ticket programs offered to ensure that as many people as possible could experience Tanglewood performances.


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