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The Classical Beat: Summer 2017 Music Festival Begins
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
12:48PM / Wednesday, June 21, 2017
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John Williams leads the Boston Pops in concert on June 1. A new CD of his classics has been released. (Courtesy BSO.)

The summer concert season is virtually upon us, and how lucky are we music lovers to be living right here, in the Berkshires, at what can only be described as "Music Central"?

With programs in Lenox and in Manchester, Vt., concertgoers will have a wide selection of music in a multiplicity of styles to enjoy in venues large and small: from solo jazz piano to the stellar Chris Botti with the Boston Pops, followed by a celebration of beloved show tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein at Tanglewood. Added to this, Taconic Music offers a feast of chamber music by Strauss and Ravel, and a master class with the distinguished classical cellist/mentor Sharon Robinson.

Scanning the upcoming offerings of the many venues in the region, it looks to be an especially exciting and brilliant summer season. One example: Classical mavens will soon relish the upcoming month of programs at Marlboro Music, the ne plus ultra of chamber music in the region – indeed the world.


Joey Alexander

Friday, June 23, 8:00 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: 13-year-old Grammy-nominated jazz piano prodigy Joey Alexander makes his Tanglewood debut.

This astounding talent has to be heard (and seen) to be believed. Concertizing since the age of 10 (!) his musical gifts have earned him appearances at the Grammy Awards, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and an interview on CBS-TVs Sunday evening weekly interview/news show 60 Minutes.

• Saturday, June 24, 8:00 p.m. in the Shed: the stellar trumpeter Chris Botti joins forces with the Boston Pops, led by maestro Lawrence Loh.

• Sunday, June 25, 2:30 in the Shed: Host Ted Sperling, in a program entitled Something Wonderful! will conduct the Boston Pops featuring the classic show tunes of Rodgers and Hammerstein.

For tickets, call 888 266-1200, or go online. Music lovers can follow Tanglewood via its new social media accounts on Facebook, on Twitter @TanglewoodMA, and on Instagram @TanglewoodMusicFestival. The Boston Symphony is on Facebook, on Twitter @bostonsymphony, and on Instagram @bostonsymphony. The Boston Pops is on Facebook, on Twitter@thebostonpops, and on Instagram @thebostonpops.


Boston Pops/Keith Lockhart release John Williams CD

As part of Tanglewood Music Festival’s celebration of six decades of composer John Williams unparalleled career, and in honor of his 85th birthday, the Boston Pops and conductor Keith Lockhart have released a compilation album of the great composer’s film music, "Lights, Camera…Music!"

Recorded at Symphony Hall in Boston - the home of the Boston Symphony – the album features excerpts from Williams' great, classic movie scores spanning six decades from some of the composer's most familiar works: Heidi (1968), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), The Towering Inferno (1974), Midway (1976), Dracula (1979), E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Witches of Eastwick (1987), Sabrina (1995), Sleepers (1996), The Patriot (2000), The Terminal (2004) and Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015).

To purchase "Lights, Camera…Music!" (BSO Classics 1704), contact the Boston Symphony online or call 888-266-1200.

Taconic Music

Based in Manchester, Vt., this new and exciting music festival makes its debut this week. Co-founders Ariel Rudiakov and Joana Genova-Rudiakov have hit the ground running with varied and extensive offerings. Here are two special events:

Sunday, June 25, 4 p.m., opening concert: Richard Strauss, Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op. 13; Schoenfield, Café Music for Piano Trio; Ravel, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales. Featured performers are Joana Genova, violin; Ariel Rudiakov, viola; Caroline Stinson and Thomas Landschoot, celli, and special guest artist Jon Klibonoff, piano. The concert will be held at the Riley Center for the Arts at Burr and Burton Academy, 57 Seminary Avenue, Manchester, Vt. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for students and children.

Tuesday, June 27, 2 p.m.: Consummate cellist Sharon Robinson and students from Taconic’s "Chamber Music Intensive" will present a master class at the Birchbrook House on the campus of Burr and Burton Academy, 70 Williams Street, Manchester, Vt. The cost is  $10 at the door.

Marlboro Music: Chamber music heaven in July and August

Just a little over an hour from North Adams is Marlboro Music, this year celebrating their 67th season. Located near Brattleboro, Vt., Marlboro is too important a musical destination to ignore; the venue presents the finest in chamber music in the region, and is a necessary stop along the ‘via musica’ for classical music pilgrims.

Located on the campus of tiny Marlboro College, the Music Festival and School offers weekend programs from mid-July to mid-August. Students are young professional concert artists, symphony orchestra members, chamber music artists, and exceptionally gifted conservatory or university students, and are taught by internationally renowned chamber musicians. Programs are only announced a day or two before each concert, but this is incidental to Marlboro aficionados; they come to revel in the music, whatever is offered - it’s that good.

Weekend concerts run from July 15-Aug. 13 and on Friday evenings, July 28 and Aug. 11. Tickets are $15 to $37.50 All programs and open rehearsals take place at Persons Auditorium on the campus of Marlboro College, Marlboro, Vt. For more information and to order tickets, go online or call 215- 569-4690.

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