Tickets & Events

Holiday Pops

2020 Holiday Celebration

Boston Pops

Online

Watch the video here

Available December 10 - January 9

Featured Performers & Ensembles

Keith Lockhart, conductor
Keith Lockhart, conductor View biography in full page >

On May 10, 1995, Keith Lockhart, the 20th Conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, opened his very first Boston Pops season, leading a concert featuring guests Sylvia McNair, Mandy Patinkin, and Doc Severinsen, and repertoire ranging from Wagner to “Charlie on the MTA.” He was only 35 years old—the same age as Arthur Fiedler was when he became Boston Pops Conductor in 1930—and was dubbed “The Kid” by longtime Pops Associate Conductor Harry Ellis Dickson. The press coverage from the time of Keith’s appointment to the position in February 1995 was extensive, commenting on not only his musical talent but also his good looks and enviable head of hair, as well as the challenge of following in the illustrious footsteps of John Williams and Arthur Fiedler. But this baby boomer, born in 1959, came to the position with musical chops, a remarkable work ethic, and a deep appreciation for both the institution of the Pops and its audience. His varied conducting experience encompassed both the symphonic and pops repertoire, as well as performances in concert halls and on recordings; he had most recently served as Associate Conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops, and made his Boston Pops debut as a guest conductor in 1993, just two years before he was appointed Conductor.

Over the next 25 years, with seemingly endless energy, Keith Lockhart, who holds the Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops Conductor chair, would lead the Boston Pops in more than 2,000 concerts, in every imaginable setting—from hospitals to the Super Bowl—and collaborate with nearly 300 guest artists, drawn from the worlds of classical and popular music, rock, jazz, sports, politics, Broadway, and Hollywood.

Although acclaimed around the world, the Boston Pops—sometimes called “America’s Orchestra”—remains a treasured local fixture, as beloved as the region’s sports teams and historic landmarks. Its reputation has been acknowledged in popular culture, recently in a memorable episode of the animated television series “The Simpsons.” The family decided to take a “hate-cation” to Boston—because of Homer’s resentment of the “Boston Americans” football team and its fans—and ultimately fell in love with the city that has “a Symphony AND a Pops.” Through the years, Keith Lockhart has embraced Boston and in return, Boston has embraced him.

Most of the concerts led by Keith Lockhart take place in Symphony Hall, itself a registered historic landmark, during the orchestra’s spring and holiday seasons. He has also led annual Boston Pops appearances at Tanglewood, Pops concerts at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall, 45 national tours to more than 150 cities in 38 states, and four international tours to Japan and Korea. He and the Pops have made 80 television shows, including 38 new programs for the PBS series Evening at Pops, and participated in such high-profile sporting events as Super Bowl XXXVI, the 2008 NBA finals, the 2013 Boston Red Sox Ring Ceremony, and the Red Sox Opening Day game at Fenway Park in 2009. The annual July 4 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular draws a live audience of over half a million to the Charles River Esplanade, and millions more view it on television or live webcast. During Keith’s tenure, the July 4 event was televised by a major national network for the first time. In 2017, with Eaton Vance as presenting sponsor and Bloomberg as the exclusive media partner, the Pops organization presented its first self-produced Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, which was broadcast on Bloomberg Television and all its media outlets. Both companies are continuing their commitments to the event.

Lockhart-led albums on the RCA Victor/BMG Classics label include Runnin’ Wild: The Boston Pops Play Glenn Miller, American Visions, The Celtic Album (Grammy-nominated, the first Boston Pops recording to be so honored), Holiday Pops, A Splash of Pops, The Latin Album (Latin Grammy-nominated), Encore!, and My Favorite Things: A Richard Rodgers Celebration. Recent releases on the in-house label, Boston Pops Recordings, include The Red Sox Album, A Boston Pops Christmas—Live from Symphony Hall, and The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, which was a Boston Pops commission premiered in 2010 during the orchestra’s 125th season. Released at the beginning of the 2017 Pops season, Lights, Camera...Music! Six Decades of John Williams features Keith Lockhart leading the Boston Pops in a collection of Williams compositions from the 1960s onward, including some rarities.

Keith’s personal affinity for American music has led him to program full-length Broadway musicals and invite stars of the musical theater world to perform with the Pops. He has worked closely with hundreds of talented young musicians, including Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center, college students from the Boston Conservatory and Berklee College of Music, and area high school students. He introduced the PopSearch talent competition and the innovative JazzFest and EdgeFest series, featuring prominent jazz and indie artists performing with the Pops. Well aware of the influence of technology on our lives and the concert experience, he was the driving force behind “Pops on Demand,” allowing audience members to vote on their cell phones in such categories as “Favorite Disney Song” and “Favorite John Williams Theme” and see the results in real time. The Lockhart/Pops album Oscar & Tony was the basis of a Pops internet TV broadcast, the first such program offered by a symphony orchestra. In recent seasons, he and the Pops have presented a number of films in concert, both classic (The Wizard of Oz) and contemporary (Home Alone). He is dedicated to building and updating the Boston Pops library of music, which contains over 5,000 arrangements.

With a renewed commitment to bringing the Boston Pops into the Boston community and to important civic events, Keith Lockhart and the Pops have appeared at gubernatorial and mayoral inauguration ceremonies; the holiday tree lighting in Boston’s Public Garden; sporting events including Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics games, and the memorial service for the Boston Marathon bombing victims. He has led free concerts in such major public spaces as the Boston Common and Franklin Park, and each holiday season he brings musicians of the Pops to play for patients at Children’s Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. He is a recipient of the 2017 Commonwealth Awards for Achievement, the state’s highest honor in the arts, humanities, and sciences presented by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

More recently Keith and the Pops initiated a conducting competition for students aged 18 to 30 during the 2018 season-long celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial. As part of a 2019 Pops tour concert in Fort Lauderdale, Keith invited student survivors from the shooting at Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland to perform a song, composed by two of them, honoring the resilience of their community. Back at Symphony Hall, both the spring and holiday Pops seasons in 2019 included a sensory-friendly concert designed for families with children or adults diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or sensory sensitivities.

Keith recently completed a decade-long relationship with the BBC Concert Orchestra, first as principal conductor and then as the orchestra's chief guest conductor. During his tenure as principal conductor, he led the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth II. He continues to serve as artistic director of the Brevard Music Center Summer Institute and Festival in North Carolina. Prior to his BBC appointment, he spent eleven years as music director of the Utah Symphony, which he led at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. He has appeared as a guest conductor with virtually every major symphonic ensemble in North America, as well as many prestigious orchestras in Asia and Europe. Before coming to Boston, he was the associate conductor of both the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops orchestras, as well as music director of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Keith Lockhart began his musical studies with piano lessons at the age of seven. He holds degrees from Furman University and Carnegie Mellon University, and honorary doctorates from several American universities.

Having the gift of being able to communicate with people of all ages, Keith Lockhart readily conveys his passion for the music he loves, which covers a wide spectrum. His programming reflects this breadth of interest and he is completely at ease articulating his professional and personal perspectives. Above all, he believes in and appreciates the experience that only the Boston Pops can provide—an atmosphere of music-making that is both fun and entertaining. He has called the Pops “the great outreach arm of the classical music industry. There’s no orchestra like it in this country or in the world that plays such a wide variety of music at such a high level.”

For more on Keith Lockhart, visit keithlockhart.com or bostonpops.org.

 

Keith Lockhart, conductor Teresa Winner Blume, lyric coloratura
Teresa Winner Blume, lyric coloratura View biography in full page >

Lyric coloratura soprano Teresa Winner Blume is delighted to ring in the Holiday season virtually with you. She was last featured with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops performing “Glitter and Be Gay” and other showstoppers for the Bernstein centennial tribute concerts at Tanglewood. Other memorable performances include premiering Lee Mingwei’s performance art installation Sonic Blossom at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Past credits include Le Nozze di Figaro in concert with Grant Llewellyn and the North Carolina Symphony, as well as multiple roles with the Lyric Stage of Boston, Opera Carolina, and New England Light Opera. Her artistry has been recognized in such competitions as the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards (national semifinalist) and New York Oratorio Society Solo Competition (semifinalist). She is a frequent collaborator with composers of new classical and theater music. Outside of her performance career, Ms. Blume is a highly sought vocal instructor. She serves as the head of voice at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA, where she teaches and directs, designing a thoughtful and comprehensive curriculum for budding young singing artists. She also maintains a thriving home voice studio, directs summer voice and theater programs, and cares for her growing family. Originally from North Carolina, Ms. Blume earned a BM from the University of Illinois and an MM and performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music.

Teresa Winner Blume, lyric coloratura
David Guzman
David Guzman View biography in full page >

Colombian tenor David Guzman is known for his exquisite tone and impeccable musicianship. In his 2019-20 season, he was tenor soloist in Orff’s Carmina burana and in Haydn’s The Creation with the Hudson Valley Singers in New York City. Performances as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen with Orlando Opera and Don José in Peter Brook’s La Tragédie de Carmen with Ballet Orlando were scheduled for the season but were canceled due to COVID-19. Mr. Guzman has made his mark in such roles as Ramiro (La Cenerentola with Opera Tampa), Edgardo (in Lucia di Lammermoor with Heartbeat Opera), The Duke (Rigoletto with Opera Tampa), Rafael (To Cross the Face of the Moon with Arizona Opera), and has performed with Lyric Opera of San Diego, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and at Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Mr. Guzman made his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist in Gonzalez’s Misa Azteca with Mid-America Productions, followed by performances of Mozart’s Coronation Mass at Alice Tully Hall and the composer’s Vespers at Avery Fisher Hall. Additional performances of note include The Duke (Rigoletto with North Shore Opera Festival in New York), Rodolfo (La bohème with Opera in the Heights in Houston), Don José (Carmen with Long Island Opera), Nemorino (L’elisir d’amore with Divaria Productions), Alfredo (La Traviata with Bronx Opera), Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi with Salt Marsh Opera), and Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor with Stony Brook Opera). 

David Guzman Renese King
Renese King View biography in full page >

Renese King’s array of musical talents has taken her from spiritual and gospel singing at the church podium to timpani playing on the Carnegie Hall stage. Recognized for her talents as an instrumentalist and arranger, she has appeared on the East Coast and internationally as an accompanist, vocalist, and vocal ensemble director with many Massachusetts-based choral and orchestral ensembles. But it is her soulful and moving voice that garnered her a Boston Music Award as Gospel/Inspirational Artist of the Year. Often singing her own arrangements, Ms. King has performed with many ensembles in the New England area and across the nation. Her voice is featured on the soundtracks of three award-winning PBS documentary films (Emmy, Peabody, and Sundance awards): Freedom Riders (2011), Freedom Summer (2014), and Tell Them We Are Rising (2018). Making her fifth Holiday Pops appearance with this season’s program, Ms. King appears regularly with the Boston Pops, having been a featured and guest soloist in concerts at Symphony Hall and on the Esplanade, in television broadcasts, and on the 2004 CD Sleigh Ride, alongside the Boston Pops Orchestra, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and Boston Pops Gospel Choir. Renese King holds a position in Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion at Berklee College of Music and serves as music director at the Waymark Seventh Day Adventist Church in Dorchester and also of the New England Gospel Ensemble in Boston. She remains committed to the unifying and uplifting message at the heart of gospel music. 

Renese King
Philip Lima, baritone
Philip Lima, baritone View biography in full page >

Philip Lima's performances regularly are marked by critical praise: "His singing was glorious" (The Boston Globe) - "vibrant baritone and a commanding presence" (Cleveland Plain Dealer) - "keen musicianship along with total dramatic intention." (Opera News ONLINE).  

He has sung a wide array of leading operatic roles, including world premieres, for the international Kurt Weill Festival in Germany, the Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Academy of Music and Opera Boston, and numerous regional American opera companies. 

Mr. Lima has appeared in recital in Berlin, New York, and Rome; and appeared as soloist with the Daejeon (Korea) Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Philharmonic of Ukraine, New York's Amor Artis, Boston Ballet, Boston Classical Orchestra, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, and more than sixty orchestras, choral societies, and concert series across the United States. Mr. Lima's performance of Schubert's Winterreise with pianist Beverly Orlove was described by The Boston Phoenix in its review of Boston's "Unforgettable Classical Events of 2005."  

Mr. Lima is a native of New Bedford, MA and an alumnus of Yale University. He studied at the Tanglewood Music Center and with Richard Conrad, and is Conrad's successor as the artistic director of The Bostonians (thebostonianssing.org). More information about Mr. Lima is available at www.philiplima.com, and at his YouTube channel, PhilipLimaSings.

Philip Lima, baritone David McFerrin, baritone
David McFerrin, baritone View biography in full page >

Praised by The Miami Herald for his "commanding stage presence and a voice of seductive beauty," baritone David McFerrin has won critical acclaim in a wide variety of repertoire.

Mr. McFerrin's solo concert engagements have ranged from Monteverdi's Vespers of 1610 at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice to the music of Cole Porter with the Boston Pops. Past performances include a Carnegie Hall debut with Gustavo Dudamel and the Israel Philharmonic, and with the Cleveland Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Miami's Seraphic Fire, Cleveland's Apollo's Fire, New York's TENET, and Boston's Handel and Haydn Society and A Far Cry. In 2016 Mr. McFerrin was a runner-up in the Oratorio Society of New York's 2016 Lyndon Woodside Solo Competition, the premier contest for this repertoire. This season he rejoins Handel and Haydn and TENET, debuts with Arion Baroque Orchestra in Montreal, and is a featured soloist in the Cape Symphony's opera gala. Mr. McFerrin also performs throughout the Northeast and in the UK with the Boston-based renaissance ensemble Blue Heron.

Mr. McFerrin is also a mainstay of the Boston opera scene, and has sung on many other leading stages in the US and Europe. A former Emerging Artist with Boston Lyric Opera, he has performed numerous roles with the company, including King Mark in Martin's The Love Potion, Pallante in Handel's Agrippina, and the Officer in Philip Glass' gripping two-character drama In the Penal Colony - a portrayal the Wall Street Journal hailed as "disturbingly eloquent." This season he creates the role of Dr. Ferguson in BLO's world premiere of Julian Grant's The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare. Last season Mr. McFerrin debuted with Boston Baroque as Achilla in Handel's Giulio Cesare. He has also sung with Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Sarasota Opera, and the Rossini Festival in Wildbad, Germany. Additional roles include Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Taddeo in L'Italiana in Algeri and the title role in Britten's Noye's Fludde.

An avid recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. McFerrin has performed at the Caramoor Festival, the Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, New York Festival of Song, Five Boroughs Music Festival, and completed four summer residencies at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. Recently David co-curated and performed a program of songs from World War I. It was presented last season in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and is a part of the upcoming series at the Cosmos Club in Washington DC.

Mr. McFerrin holds degrees from Carleton College, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the Juilliard School. In 2008 he won 2nd place in the Metropolitan Opera National Council New England Region, and was awarded a Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation, annually given to promising young American singers. He lives in the Boston neighborhood of Roslindale with his wife Erin, a preservationist with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and their black lab Holly.

David McFerrin, baritone
Francis Rogers
Francis Rogers View biography in full page >

American lyric tenor Francis Rogers has performed on some of the biggest stages for international audiences with groups such as the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras, Boston Lyric Opera, and Odyssey Opera. Recent credits include Rodolfo in La bohéme, Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Don José in La Tragédie de Carmen, Ramiro in La Cenerentola, and Ruggero in La Rondine. He made his Symphony Hall solo debut performing a collection of songs by Pavel Haas and Gideon Klein, and his oratorio and concert repertoire also includes Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem, and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria. In addition, he is a regular national anthem soloist for the Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox, performing live for audiences of over 70,000 and international television audiences of over 14 million. Mr. Rogers’ 2019-20 season included appearances with Boston Lyric Opera, the Boston Pops, Opera Theater of Cape Cod, Opera North, and the Boston Opera Collaborative, in addition to several solo and collaborative recitals and concerts. During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Francis launched a weekly concert series that has garnered international attention, titled “Tenor Tuesday.” It is hosted via sparrowlive.com. His unique career path and breadth of experience give him an uncommon perspective, immediately evident in his performance and musicality. Francis Rogers currently studies under friend and mentor, tenor Michael Paul. 

Francis Rogers Erica Spyres
Erica Spyres View biography in full page >

Erica Spyres is an actress, singer, and violinist who toured as a soloist with the Boston Pops for their Gershwin tour. Her credits include Carousel on Broadway, the first national tour of Once, and the Parisian premiere of Sondheim’s Passion, opposite Natalie Dessay and conducted by Andy Einhorn at Théâtre du Châtelet. Ms. Spyres grew up in the Ozarks and folk music is in her blood. Her family was honored as Most Musical Family in Missouri; she was the youngest person to play Pa’s fiddle featured in the Little House books, fiddled on CBS’s Travels with Harry, played with Les Brown, Jr., and Daniel O’Donnell, and performs in the foot-stomping band The Typsy Spyres. Theater credits include Annie Get Your Gun at Bay Street Theater, Paradise Square at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Peter and the Starcatcher, Into the Woods, Avenue Q (for which she won an IRNE Award), and Time Stands Still at Lyric Stage Company of Boston; Tribes (for which she won an Elliot Norton Award) and The Light in the Piazza (IRNE Award) at SpeakEasy Stage; Camelot (IRNE Award) and Marry Me a Little at New Repertory Theatre; and Pirates! at Huntington Theatre. Make a gi 

Erica Spyres
Kristen Watson
Kristen Watson View biography in full page >

Soprano Kristen Watson has made solo appearances with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Classical Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance Group, Handel and Haydn Society, and Boston Baroque at such venues as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Boston’s Symphony Hall. Opera audiences have heard Ms. Watson in productions with Odyssey Opera, Opera Boston, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera New England, Boston University Opera Institute, Opera Providence, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Five College Opera, and Intermezzo Opera in such roles as Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Voice of the Fountain in Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, directed by Peter Sellars. Ms. Watson has been awarded both the Virginia Best Adams Fellowship at the Carmel Bach Festival and the Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellowship with Emmanuel Music, and has spent the past decade as an outreach artist with Sarasa Chamber Music Ensemble, making classical music accessible to neglected and incarcerated youth. A versatile crossover artist, Ms. Watson performed as a featured soprano alongside internationally renowned Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis and shared the stage with veteran actress Shirley Jones in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. She has made several solo appearances with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops, including their Holiday Pops and Mozart’s Greatest Hits programs, and frequent appearances with other New England-based organizations such as the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, A Far Cry, Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Early Music Festival, Aston Magna Festival, Cape Cod Symphony, Cape Ann Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Plymouth Philharmonic. Originally from Kansas, Ms. Watson holds degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Boston University. 

Kristen Watson Boston Symphony Children's Choir
Boston Symphony Children's Choir View biography in full page >

The BSCC performs with the BSO, Boston Pops and Tanglewood Festival Chorus at Symphony Hall, as well as at Tanglewood. After holding auditions for nearly 200 children in the fall of 2017, sixty-five singers grades 5-9 were selected by BSO Choral Director James Burton to take part in the BSO's January 2018 performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 3. These concerts featured the BSO, Women of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and the Mahler 3 Children's Choir under the baton of Maestro Andris Nelsons. Following the success of that project, the Boston Symphony Children's Choir (BSCC) was officially announced as a permanent ensemble of the BSO. The BSCC continues to perform with the BSO, Boston Pops and Tanglewood Festival Chorus in performances during the Winter Season in Symphony Hall, as well as during Holiday Pops, Spring Pops and at Tanglewood.

Boston Symphony Children's Choir
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus, (TFC) View biography in full page >

Tanglewood Festival Chorus
James Burton, BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
John Oliver (1939-2018), Founder

The Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the BSO this season for performances of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Poulenc’s Gloria led by Andris Nelsons (September 19-21, the opening program of the 2019-20 subscription season); Galina Grigorieva’s On Leaving and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 2, also under Maestro Nelsons (November 21-26); Duruflé’s Requiem under Giancarlo Guerrero (February 27-March 3), and Stravinsky’s Perséphone with Thomas Adès conducting (March 26-28). In addition, to mark the TFC’s fiftieth anniversary in April 2020, James Burton leads the ensemble in a post-concert Casual Friday performance of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil (April 17). Originally formed under the joint sponsorship of Boston University and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the all-volunteer Tanglewood Festival Chorus was established in 1970 by its founding conductor, the late John Oliver, who stepped down from his leadership position with the TFC at the end of the 2015 Tanglewood season. In February 2017, following appearances as guest chorus conductor at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood, and having prepared the chorus for that month’s BSO performances of Bach’s B minor Massled by Andris Nelsons, James Burton was named the new Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, also being appointed to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director. Mr. Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky Chair on the Boston Symphony Orchestra roster.

Though first established for performances at the BSO’s summer home, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus was soon playing a major role in the BSO’s subscription season as well as BSO concerts at Carnegie Hall; the ensemble now performs year-round with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. It has performed with the BSO on tour in Hong Kong and Japan, and on two European tours, also giving a cappella concerts of its own on those two occasions. The TFC made its debut in April 1970 at Symphony Hall, in a BSO performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Leonard Bernstein conducting. Its first recording with the orchestra, Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust with Seiji Ozawa, received a Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance of 1975. The TFC has since made dozens of recordings with the BSO and Boston Pops, with Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, James Levine, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Keith Lockhart, and John Williams. In August 2011, with John Oliver conducting and soloist Stephanie Blythe, the TFC gave the world premiere of Alan Smith’s An Unknown Sphere for mezzo-soprano and chorus, commissioned by the BSO for the ensemble’s 40th anniversary. Its most recent recordings on BSO Classics, all drawn from live performances, include a disc of a cappella music marking the TFC’s 40th anniversary; Ravel’s complete Daphnis et Chloé (a 2009 Grammy-winner for Best Orchestral Performance), Brahms’s German Requiem, and William Bolcom’s Eighth Symphony for chorus and orchestra (a BSO 125th Anniversary Commission). On July 4, 2018, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joined Keith Lockhart for the “Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular” on the Charles River Esplanade.

Besides their work with the BSO, TFC members have also performed with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic and in a Saito Kinen Festival production of Britten’s Peter Grimes under Seiji Ozawa in Japan. The ensemble had the honor of singing at Sen. Edward Kennedy’s funeral; has performed with the Boston Pops for the Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics; and can be heard on the soundtracks of Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, John Sayles’s Silver City, and Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. TFC members regularly commute from the greater Boston area and beyond to sing with the chorus in Boston and at Tanglewood. For more information about the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and upcoming auditions, please visit www.bso.org/tfc.

 

James Burton
James Burton, conductor View biography in full page >

James Burton was appointed Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director, in February 2017. He made his BSO subscription-series conducting debut in October 2018, leading the Tanglewood Festival Chorus in Maija Einfelde’s Lux aeterna. In August 2019 he led the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir and Boston Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of his The Lost Words, a BSO co-commission, as part of the summer’s gala Tanglewood on Parade concert. In April 2020 he will conduct the Tanglewood Festival Concert in a post-concert Casual Friday performance of Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil to celebrate the TFC’s fiftieth anniversary. Mr. Burton made his debut with the Boston Pops in December 2017, returned to the Pops podium last December—as he will again for Holiday Pops concerts in December 2019—and led the Pops this past June at Tanglewood in a program celebrating Queen with Marc Martel.

Born in London, James Burton holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. He began his training at the Choir of Westminster Abbey, where he became head chorister, and was a choral scholar at St. John’s College, Cambridge. He has conducted concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hallé Orchestra, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Manchester Camerata. Opera credits include performances at English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Garsington Opera, and the Prague Summer Nights Festival, and he has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera and Opera de Paris. Mr. Burton’s extensive choral conducting has included guest invitations with professional choirs including the Gabrieli Consort, the Choir of the Enlightenment, Wrocław Philharmonic, and the BBC Singers, with whom he performed in the inaugural season of Dubai’s Opera House in 2017. From 2002 to 2009 he served as choral director at the Hallé Orchestra, where he was music director of the Hallé Choir and founding conductor of the Hallé Youth Choir, winning the Gramophone Choral Award in 2009. From 2002 to 2017 he was music director of the Schola Cantorum of Oxford. Well known for his inspirational work with young musicians, he was director of the National Youth Choir of Japan in 2017 and founded the Boston Symphony Children’s Choir in 2018. Mr. Burton has given conducting master classes at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Tanglewood Music Center, and founded a scholarship for young conductors at Oxford. His growing composition portfolio includes works for commissioners including the National Portrait Gallery in London, the 2010 World Equestrian Games, the Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and the Exon Festival, where he was composer-in-residence in 2015. His works are published by Edition Peters. As BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, James Burton occupies the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky Chair, endowed in perpetuity.