(LENOX, Mass.) – The official residency of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) at Tanglewood kicks off this Friday, July 5, 2013, with an all-Tchaikovsky program featuring violin virtuoso Joshua Bell — who returns to Tanglewood for his 25th consecutive summer since his first guest appearance in 1989 — in the composer’s beloved Violin Concerto. The following night, Saturday, July 6, the BSO tackles Mahler’s monumental Symphony No. 3 with the help of mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, the women of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and the PALS Children’s Chorus.
Also this holiday weekend, on Thursday, July 4, Tanglewood will hold its annual Independence Day concert at 7 p.m. in the Shed, this year featuring American singer-songwriter and rock legend Jackson Browne. Joining Browne is special guest American singer-songwriter and fiddler Sara Watkins, who came to prominence through her work in the progressive bluegrass group Nickel Creek. Her first solo album was released in 2009. As always, a spectacular fireworks display follows the Fourth of July concert. On Sunday, July 7, at 2:30 p.m., Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops return to the Shed stage for a program featuring American country superstar Vince Gill. The Country Music Hall of Famer’s career spans three decades and includes countless hit songs, including “Don’t Let Our Love Start Slippin’ Away,” “When I Call Your Name,” and “Whenever You Come Around.”
Beloved guest conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos kicks off the BSO’s 76th Tanglewood season on Friday with the all-Tchaikovsky program, which also includes the composer’s Symphony No. 5. One of Tchaikovsky’s finest works, this symphony displays all of the elements that have made him an audience favorite around the world: an endless procession of memorable melodies, masterful and vivid use of the orchestra’s full color palette, and a musical language full of drama and energy.
Frühbeck de Burgos also conducts Mahler’s epic Symphony No. 3, a work notable for its length, difficulty, and overwhelming cumulative impact. In addition to the massive forces required (including expanded orchestra), Mahler’s Third Symphony stretches to approximately 100 minutes, making it the longest piece in the standard orchestral repertoire. Its broad musical canvas incorporates the full range of musical and emotional expression, moving through rousing fanfares, tender lyricism, and melancholy to the height of exaltation.