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Classical Beat: Great Music Abounds at Tanglewood, Taconic & Tannery Pond
By Stephen Dankner, iBerkshires Columnist
09:16AM / Friday, July 07, 2017
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Tanglewood kicks off its 77th season this week. Above, Ozawa Hall.

Tanglewood, the nation's largest and most prestigious summer music presenter, officially opens its 77th classical festival season. Here's a rundown of the concerts and performers from July 5-11.

As if that's not enough, don't miss out on the brilliant offerings at Taconic Music and Tannery Pond – two additional stellar venues in Manchester, VT. and New Lebanon, NY.

Why go? Great performers interpret iconic music from across historical eras – much of it beloved favorites of audiences worldwide. Read below for the details.


Wednesday, July 5, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: The Cleveland-based Baroque chamber orchestra Apollo's Fire will present a program entitled "Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons' – Rediscovered." Conductor /harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell presents these ever-popular gems of Baroque music as the revolutionary creations of musical storytelling they were meant to be, illustrating the naturalistic effects they represent, so that Vivaldi's pictorial descriptions become fully alive. Also included are Vivaldi's Concerto in G Minor for Two Cellos and Continuo, and Dall'Abaco's Concerto in E Minor "per piú 'strumenti."

• Thursday, July 6, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: In a celebration of Schubert's melodic genius, Tanglewood presents the first of six programs in an ongoing series, "Schubert's Summer Journey," featuring pianist Emanuel Ax, duo-pianists Peter Serkin and Anna Polonsky and Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) soloists clarinetist William R. Hudgins and hornist James Sommerville. The Tanglewood Music Center (TMC) Vocal Fellows join them in a selection of lieder (songs) and piano masterpieces.

Friday, July 7, 8 p.m. in the Shed: Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director/Conductor Andris Nelsons, in an auspicious opening performance, directs the BSO in Mahler's majestic, deeply emotional, and ultimately triumphant Symphony No. 2 ('Resurrection') – among the most philosophical, quasi-religious works in the symphonic repertory. At approximately 85 minutes in length and calling for a huge orchestra in addition to two vocal soloists and full chorus, the Second Symphony shakes the rafters and stirs the soul, defining Mahler's heightened Romantic musical language with its intense spirituality. Soprano Malin Christensson and mezzo-soprano Bernarda Fink are the vocal soloists. The Symphony's finale showcases the outstanding Tanglewood Festival Chorus, prepared by its newly appointed conductor James Burton, who initiates his conductorship of the TFC with this program.  

Saturday, July 8, 8:00 p.m. in the Shed: Tanglewood presents the symphonic version of "Sondheim on Sondheim," with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. Hailed as "a funny, affectionate, and revealing tribute to musical theater's greatest living composer and lyricist," 'Sondheim on Sondheim' is a retrospective of the life and work of Stephen Sondheim, told through his own words via film, live performers, and his music. The concert features a cast of acclaimed Broadway performers: Phillip Boykin, Carmen Cusack, Gabriel Ebert, and Ruthie Ann Miles, as well as Vocal Fellows from the TMC, including Fotina Naumenko, Katherine Beck, Daniel McGrew, and William Socolof.

Sunday, July 9, 2:30 p.m. in the Shed: Maestro Andris Nelsons returns to the Shed podium for his second concert of the season in an afternoon program featuring Swedish violinist Daniel Lozakovich, age 16, in his BSO and Tanglewood debuts, performing Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3. The program also includes Mr. Nelsons' second Mahler symphony of the weekend — Symphony No. 4, the most intimate of his nine symphonies. Soprano Kristine Opolais, who has made several acclaimed appearances with the BSO and at Tanglewood in recent seasons, joins the BSO as soloist.

Sunday, July 9, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: Vocal superstars soprano Dawn Upshaw and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, accompanied by pianist Lee Musiker, members of the Boston Pops and TMC Vocal Fellows present a program entitled "A Centennial Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and the American Songbook."

• Monday, July 10, 8 p.m. in the Shed: The Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (TMCO) presents its first concert, featuring the music of Prokofiev (the 'Classical Symphony',) Stravinsky (the thrillingly energetic Symphony in Three Movements) and two works by Mark-Anthony Turnage: "From the Wreckage," for trumpet and orchestra, and "Dispelling the Fears," for two trumpets and orchestra. Maestro Nelsons and TMC Conducting Fellows will be on the podium, and trumpet virtuoso Haken Hardenberger will be joined by BSO Principal Trumpet Thomas Rolfs.

• Tuesday, July 11, 8 p.m. in Ozawa Hall: A program, "Humor in Song," will feature Stephanie Blythe, along with TMC Vocal Fellows and collaborative pianist Alan Smith.

Tickets for these and for all Tanglewood events can be purchased online at, via SymphonyCharge, (888) 266-1200 and at the Tanglewood box office located at the main gate, on West Street in Lenox.

Music lovers can also follow Tanglewood via its new social media accounts on Facebook at, on Twitter @TanglewoodMA, and on Instagram @TanglewoodMusicFestival. The Boston Symphony is on Facebook at, on Twitter @bostonsymphony, and on Instagram @bostonsymphony. The Boston Pops is on Facebook at, on Twitter@thebostonpops, and on Instagram @thebostonpops.


Taconic Music

This pioneering Manchester, Vt.-based music festival showcases a concert of rapturous Romantic music, and a superb violin master class this week.

Sunday, July 9, 4 p.m. Festival Concert: Brahms, Piano Trio No. 2 in C major, Op. 87; Ernest Chausson, Concerto in D Major for Violin, Piano and String Quartet, Op. 21.

Performers include: The Horszowski Trio: Jesse Mills, violin, Raman Ramakrishnan, cello and Rieko Aizawa, piano. Also, Joana Genova, violin and Ariel Rudiakov, viola. Special guest artist: violinist Carmit Zori.

The performance will be at The Riley Center for the Arts at Burr and Burton Academy, 57 Seminary Avenue, Manchester, Vt. Prices: Adults $25, students and children $10.

• Tuesday, July 11, 3 p.m. NextGen Masterclass. Carmit Zori, award-winning violinist and internationally acclaimed artistic director of the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, will offer interpretive insights to guide the students enrolled in Taconic's Chamber Music Initiative. The objective is to elevate the students' innate musical aptitude to the highest levels, leading to mastery in performance. The audience will experience an invaluable lesson directly: how chamber music is created, integrated and refined during the learning and rehearsal process.

The master class will be at Birchbrook House, 70 Williams St., Manchester, Vt. Price: $10 at the door.

For complete information and programming, visit Taconic Music at or call 802-362-7162.


Concerts at Tannery Pond

• Saturday, July 8, 8 p.m. Concerts at Tannery Pond, the historic and intimate series in New Lebanon, New York and one of the premiere presenters of chamber music in the region presents the young, gifted pianist Shai Wosner, performing three piano sonatas of Franz Schubert – all masterworks.

Wosner has been called "A Schubertian of unfaltering authority and character" (The Gramophone); he has been deeply engaged with the music of Schubert throughout his career. 

The pianist compares the last six piano sonatas to "thick novels, rich with insight about the human condition. They are like symphonies in their scope yet, at the same time, each is imbued with a sense of intimacy."

The program: Sonata in A Minor, Op. 42, D. 845; Sonata in D Major, Op. 53, D. 850 and Sonata in G Major (Fantasie), Op. 78. D. 894.

Tickets are $30 and $39. For more information, and to reserve tickets call (888) 820-1696 or go online at

Driving directions: Tannery Pond is located on the grounds of Mount Lebanon Shaker Village and Darrow School, New Lebanon, New York, one and a half miles east of the town center on Route 20.

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