(LENOX, Mass.) – In the summer of 2017, Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) music director Andris Nelsons will lead 10 programs over four weeks at Tanglewood, including the opening and closing BSO concerts, in a major expansion of his commitment to Tanglewood – what the New York Times calls “Bayreuth’s loss [and] Tanglewood’s gain.” Nelsons will open the BSO season on July 7 with Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, and bring the curtain down with the traditional playing of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, on August 27. The summer 2017 program will also include the BSO’s first full-length concert performance of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, on July 15.
Nelson’s will also conduct Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Kristine Opolais; an opera gala with Ms. Opolais and Dmitri Hvorostovsky performing excerpts from Simon Boccanegra, La traviata, and Eugene Onegin; and the world premiere of John Williams’s Markings with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Nelsons will also conduct the Boston Pops Orchestra for the first time, sharing the podium for Film Night with John Williams.
Also new to Tanglewood in 2017, highly acclaimed composer/conductor/pianist Thomas Adès will make his first Tanglewood appearances as BSO Artistic Partner, leading orchestral concerts, performing as pianist with the Emerson Quartet, and working closely with the Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s acclaimed summer music academy.
Preeminent artists with close connections to Tanglewood — making virtually annual appearances at the festival for decades, and featured prominently in 2017 — include cellist Yo-Yo Ma (Schumann Cello Concerto with BSO 8/16; two Ozawa Hall appearances 8/3 and 8/17) and pianist Emanuel Ax (Beethoven Emperor Concerto with BSO, 7/22; four Ozawa Hall appearances 8/3, 13, 17, and 23), who has taken on a special role this summer at Tanglewood as creator and curator of the six-concert series, Schubert’s Summer Journey.
Another Tanglewood favorite, violinist Joshua Bell, performs Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 1, while beloved guest conductors Charles Dutoit (Dvo?ák’s New World Symphony and Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with Yefim Bronfman, 7/28; Berlioz’s Te Deum with tenor Paul Groves and Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the left hand with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, 7/29) and Christoph von Dohnányi (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Julian Anderson’s Incantesimi, 8/12; Mozart’s Symphony No. 25/Schumann’s Symphony No. 2, 8/6) make welcome return appearances. Always popular at Tanglewood, the Mark Morris Dance Group will perform in Ozawa Hall to the music of Lou Harrison on the occasion of the centenary of the composer’s birth (6/28 & 29). The immensely popular Tanglewood Festival Chorus will be featured prominently in Mahler’s Symphony No. 2; Berlioz’s Te Deum; Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast; the opera gala program; and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Beyond Tanglewood’s classical music offerings, humorist David Sedaris will appear on August 20, with additional popular artist dates — including performances on July 3 and 4 and Labor Day weekend — to be announced in the new year.
In addition to these BSO highlights, the 2017 Tanglewood season will launch new initiatives designed to give visitors a variety of activities to enjoy during pre- and post-concert hours around the BSO’s weekend performances, as well as a concert series to take place off-campus beyond the Tanglewood grounds, offering music lovers new and different ways to enjoy the festival’s musical offerings.
Sunday afternoons at Tanglewood will offer visitors a chance to engage in entertaining and educational activities both before and after Sunday-afternoon BSO concerts (2:30 p.m.), starting when the gates open at noon. Though specific details of these programs will be announced at a later date, the Sunday afternoon offerings are expected to include such activities as lectures and musical demonstrations for all ages, sing-alongs, food and wine tastings, face painting, yoga and Qigong, and games for children and families. Since many of the activities take place throughout the Tanglewood campus, visitors will be encouraged to spend more time enjoying and touring the Festival’s iconic grounds and buildings.
Also, in a unique and first-ever endeavor between Tanglewood and Mass Audubon, Tanglewood Takes Flight: A Celebration of Birds and Music with Mass Audubon will bring a new dimension to the activity of bird walks by partnering the walks with live performances, including music from Messiaen’s Catalogue of the Birds, a monumental series of 13 piano pieces portraying the birds of Europe, to be performed by Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Piano Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center at both Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary and Tanglewood (7/27-30)
Garrick Ohlsson, the 2017 Koussevitzky Artist, will be featured in five Tanglewood programs this summer. On August 1, he is the soloist for the annual Tanglewood on Parade concert, performing Aaron Copland’s Piano Concerto with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Ohlsson returns to the Shed stage to perform Chopin’s Piano Concertos 1 and 2 with the BSO on August 4 and 5, respectively. He will also be featured in two Ozawa Hall programs: a performance of Elgar’s Piano Quintet in A minor on July 26, and a solo recital of works by Schubert and Scriabin (as part of the Schubert’s Summer Journey concert series described below) on August 8. Created to pay homage to some of the living legends who have made an impact on Tanglewood’s and the BSO’s continuing legacy of great performances and educational accomplishments through the Tanglewood Music Center, the Koussevitzky Artist recognition was first given in 2015 to Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax; Charles Dutoit was the 2016 Koussevitzky Artist.
Schubert’s Summer Journey — a series of six Ozawa Hall recital and chamber music concerts devised and curated by Emanuel Ax — will feature some of the composer’s most inspiring works performed by an extraordinary lineup of BSO musicians and guest artists well known and beloved by Tanglewood audiences. Many of the works to be performed were composed during the last year of Schubert’s life, in 1828.
Schubert’s Summer Journey begins on July 6 with a vocal and chamber music performance featuring Julia Hsu and Peter Serkin in Schubert four-hands repertoire and BSO principal clarinetist William R. Hudgins, principal horn James Sommerville, TMC Vocal Fellows, and Mr. Ax in chamber and vocal music, including the program’s opening work, The Shepherd on the Rock, for singer, clarinet, and piano — the last work Schubert composed before his death in 1828.
On July 20, the highly acclaimed young Italian baritone Andrè Schuen, in his American debut, joins Thomas Adès for a series of Schubert songs to open the program.
Next on the program, the Emerson Quartet is front and center for a performance of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Shroud for string quartet, written for and premiered by the group in September 2016.
To close the July 20 program, Mr. Adès will join the Emerson Quartet for a performance of one of Schubert’s most beloved works, the Trout Quintet.
On August 3, Mr. Ax, Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Colin Jacobsen, and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, a former TMC Fellow, come together for a program of Schubert songs, including the famous “Gretchen am Spinnrade,” on a program with Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat, and the world premiere of a new work by Jacobsen for mezzo-soprano and piano trio, based on the poetry of Lydia Barker.
On August 8, Garrick Ohlsson will perform a program of piano works by Schubert, including the Sonata No. 20 in A, contrasted with selected piano works of similar form by Scriabin; Mr. Ohlssohn recently recorded the complete Scriabin works for solo piano to be released in the coming year. On August 17, Messrs. Ax and Ma are joined by Pamela Frank for a program of Schubert chamber music including the Arpeggione Sonata for cello and piano, written in the last year of the composer’s life, and the Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat; the program will also feature several major contemporary composers of our time, as well as Tanglewood Music Center Composition Fellows, all of whom have been asked to compose short songs inspired by Schubert. This series ends on August 23 with Mr. Ax performing Impromptus by both Schubert and Samuel Adams, who composed his Impromptus specifically with the intent that they accompany Schubert’s. This program will also include Schubert’s song cycle, Schwanengesang, one of the last works Schubert composed before his death, featuring baritone Simon Keenlyside
In addition to special appearances by Charles Dutoit and Christoph von Dohnányi (described above), the 2017 Tanglewood festival welcomes return appearances by conductors Gustavo Gimeno leading Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, Age of Anxiety, with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet; Bramwell Tovey leading Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green (7/30); Giancarlo Guerrero leading The Rite of Spring (8/11); and David Afkham leading excerpts from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn and Rückert-Lieder with baritone Simon Keenlyside (8/18), as well as BSO Assistant Conductor Ken-David Masur leading Aaron Jay Kernis’s Musica Celestis and music of Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky (7/23). The 2017 Tanglewood season will introduce the prodigiously gifted 27-year-old Israeli conductor Lahav Shani in his BSO debut leading Schubert’s Great C major Symphony and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Joshua Bell as soloist (8/13).
Another highlight of the summer will feature Hans Graf leading a staged production of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a recently devised adaptation by stage director Bill Barclay, featuring vocal soloists, the women of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, four actors performing various passages from the play, along with original stage props, costumes, and lighting, and a video projection designed to contribute to the dream-like atmosphere of the work (8/5).
In addition to appearances by the Mark Morris Dance Group in Lou 100: In Honor of the Divine Mr. Harrison, the series of six Schubert’s Summer Journey concerts, and performances by 2017 Koussevitzky Artist Garrick Ohlsson, all previously mentioned, Ozawa Hall will also present programs featuring Apollo’s Fire in their distinctive take on Vivaldi’s Four Seasons (7/5); Daniil Trifonov in works of Schumann, Shostakovich, and Stravinsky (7/12); the Handel and Haydn Society performing Purcell’s The Fairy-Queen (8/9); and the Boston Symphony Chamber Players performing Bach’s Cantata No. 199, Mein Herze Schwimmt im Blut, with soprano Yulia Van Doren, and works by Gubaidulina and Dvorak — the Piano Quintet with special guest pianist Paul Lewis (8/16).
Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, who will be featured in vocal, chamber music, and orchestral performances throughout the summer, will also participate in performances for the 2017 Festival of Contemporary Music, August 10-15, which has invited TMC alumni pianist Jacob Greenberg, cellist Kathryn Bates, and violist Nadia Sirota—distinguished musicians and active proponents of contemporary music—to curate programs, commission works, and participate in performances. In addition to four world premiere works by Nico Muhly, Anthony Cheung, Nathan Davis, and Kui Dong (with Muhly, Davis, and Dong receiving first Tanglewood performances of any of their music), the festival will feature works by such giants of the contemporary music world as Sofia Gubaidulina (Meditations), Harrison Birtwistle (a selection from Orpheus Elegies), György Ligeti (Clocks and Clouds), and Henri Dutilleux (The Shadows of Time).
The 2017 Festival of Contemporary Music will also introduce many composers whose work will be performed for the first time at Tanglewood, including Jack Body (Flurry), Phyllis Chen (Chimers), Ben Johnston (Quartet No. 4), George Lewis (Anthem), Lei Liang (Gobi Canticle), Rene Orth (Quartet), Terry Riley (G Song), Caroline Shaw (Blueprint), Dai Fujikura (Tocar e Luchar), Anna Thorvaldsdottir (Hrim), and Huang Ruo (Confluences).
BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons opens the Tanglewood Music Center’s series of Ozawa Hall performances with a program featuring Håkan Hardenberger in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s From the Wreckage and Håkan Hardenberger and BSO principal trumpet Thomas Rolfs in Turnage’s Dispelling The Fears, for two trumpets and orchestra, on a program that also includes Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony and Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements (7/10); Mr. Nelsons also leads the TMCO in a Shed performance of Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony and Beethoven’s Third Piano Concerto with Paul Lewis as soloist (8/20). Stefan Asbury leads the TMCO in a program to include Brahms’s Tragic Overture and Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 (7/17). BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès conducts the TMCO in his own Polaris and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 7, on a program that will also include music from Britten’s Peter Grimes and Sibelius’s The Bard (7/24). Under the direction of Stefan Asbury, the TMCO will also be featured, along with the Lorelei Ensemble, in the final program of the 2017 Festival of Contemporary Music, performing works of Ligeti, Dai Fujikura, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Huang Ruo, and Dutilleux (8/14). They will also perform as part of Tanglewood on Parade on August 1, the details of which are described above. All of the TMCO’s Ozawa Hall performances will also feature TMCO Conducting Fellows leading some selections for each program.
Tickets for the 2017 Tanglewood, season, $12-$124, go on sale to the general public on Sunday, January 29, at 10 a.m. Tickets are available through Tanglewood’s website, through SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200, and at the Symphony Hall Box Office at 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston MA. Tickets will also be available for purchase in person at the Tanglewood Box Office at Tanglewood’s Main Gate on West Street in Lenox, MA, in June 2017. American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover, and cash are all accepted. For further information and box office hours, please call the Boston Symphony Orchestra at 617-266-1492 or visit www.tanglewood.org. $20 tickets for attendees under 40, one of the BSO’s most popular discount ticket offers, will be available for select BSO and Boston Pops performances in the Shed. In addition, Tanglewood continues to offer free lawn tickets to young people age 17 and under, as well as a variety of special programs for children, including Kids’ Corner, Watch and Play, and the annual Family Concert, this year to take place July 22. Additional ticket information appears near the end of this press release.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF TANGLEWOOD, THE BSO’S SUMMER HOME SINCE 1937
One of the most popular and acclaimed music festivals in the world, Tanglewood—the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home since 1937—is located in the beautiful Berkshire Hills between Lenox and Stockbridge, MA. With an average annual attendance of more than 300,000 visitors, Tanglewood has a $60 million impact on the Berkshire economy each summer. Tanglewood presents orchestra concerts by the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and visiting ensembles, featuring many of the greatest classical musicians of our time; recital and chamber music concerts in the intimate setting of Ozawa Hall; programs highlighting the young musicians of the Tanglewood Music Center; and performances by some of today’s leading popular artists. Introduced in 2013, $20 tickets for attendees under 40 will be available for select BSO and Boston Pops performances in the Shed. Tanglewood is family-friendly, with free lawn tickets available for children and young people age 17 and under, and a variety of special programs for children, including Kids’ Corner, Watch and Play, and the annual Family Concert, this year to take place on Saturday, July 22. Tanglewood is also the home of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s preeminent summer music academy for the advanced training of young professional musicians, and Days in the Arts, a multi-cultural arts-immersion program that gives 400 fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-graders from communities across Massachusetts the opportunity to explore the arts in week-long sessions throughout the summer. These are just two of the BSO’s many educational and outreach activities, for which more information is available online at the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s website, www.bso.org—receiving approximately 17 million visitors annually and generating over $118 million in revenue since its launch in 1996. Music lovers can follow Tanglewood via its new social media accounts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TanglewoodMusicFestival/, on Twitter @TanglewoodMA, and on Instagram @TanglewoodMusicFestival. The Boston Symphony is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bostonsymphony, on Twitter @bostonsymphony, and on Instagram @bostonsymphony. The Boston Pops is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thebostonpops, on Twitter @thebostonpops, and on Instagram @thebostonpops.