(LENOX, Mass.) – Boston Symphony Orchestra music director Andris Nelsons wields the baton at Tanglewood from Friday, July 29, through Sunday, July 31, for his first of his two weekends of programs during the 2016 Tanglewood season, conducting works by Mozart, Mahler, Sibelius, Brahms, and John Corigliano. On Sunday evening in Ozawa Hall, the Chick Corea Trio, featuring bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade in addition to Corea on piano, celebrate Corea’s 75th birthday.
On Friday, July 29, at 8 p.m., pianist Jonathan Biss helps kick off the weekend as soloist in Mozart’s final piano concerto, No. 27 in B-flat, K.595, composed in 1791, the year of the composer’s death. The program also includes Mahler’s last completed work, his Symphony No. 9, which is both one of the most emotionally affecting works in the entire orchestral repertoire and also carries special significance for Maestro Nelsons and the BSO as it was the first work the he and the orchestra ever performed together.
On Saturday, July 30, at 8 p.m., Maestro Nelsons returns to the Shed podium to lead the BSO in a program that pairs Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer John Corigliano’s expressive Fantasia on an Ostinato (1985, arranged for orchestra in 1986) with the work that inspired it, Beethoven’s rousing Symphony No. 7, one of the composer’s most popular works. Corigliano’s piece is based on a famous repetitive passage from the second movement of Beethoven’s symphony. In between those two works, young German violinist Augustin Hadelich joins Nelsons and the orchestra for Sibelius’s soaring Violin Concerto, a pinnacle of the concerto repertoire.
Renowned English pianist Paul Lewis joins Andris Nelsons and the instrumental Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra on Sunday, July 31, for the annual Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert. The all-Brahms program opens with the Piano Concerto No. 1, the composer’s first large-scale orchestral masterpiece and a work that took some eight years and considerable struggle for the composer to complete. Nelsons also leads the BSO in the composer’s powerful, heroic Symphony No. 1, the only piece that gave Brahms even more trouble than his First Piano Concerto, requiring more than 20 years of false starts, abandoned drafts, and torturous labor to bring to fruition, and thereby fulfill the public’s expectation that he was to become the symphonic heir to Beethoven.
On Sunday evening in Ozawa Hall, the Chick Corea Trio, featuring bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade in addition to Corea on piano, celebrate Corea’s 75th birthday. A jazz legend, Chick Corea rose to prominence in the late 1960s through his work with Miles Davis on albums such as “In a Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew,” as well as his first album as leader, “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs” (1968). He became a leader in avant-garde jazz, then subsequently became a pioneer in the fusion movement of the 1970s. He has been active and extremely prolific ever since, and has been nominated for 63 Grammy Awards, of which he has won 22.