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Casual Fridays
Andris Nelsons conducts J.S. Bach, Shepherd and Mendelssohn featuring pianists Thomas Adès, Kirill Gerstein and Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Boston Symphony Orchestra

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Four Friday-evening concerts-one each in October, January, February, and April- are designated "Casual Fridays" this season. You are invited to wear your favorite casual attire, and to arrive early to enjoy a free, pre-concert reception before you take your seat. This lower-priced series also features a special section for Conductor Cam seating, which allows patrons to watch the conductor from the orchestra's perspective. Then, immediately after the performance, head to the post-concert reception, where, besides enjoying live music, snacks, and a cash bar, you are invited to mingle and share what you've just experienced at the BSO concert.

 

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will offer ConcertCue, an innovative real-time program note app during the orchestra's "Casual Fridays" program on Friday, February 9. ConcertCue presents contextual program notes and images on concert-goers' mobile devices in real-time during the musical performance. ConcertCue will run during the second half of the BSO concert, when the orchestra performs the world premiere of American composer Sean Shepherd's Express Abstractionism, a co-commission of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhaus Orchestra. In addition to insightful program notes, the app will include work by such abstract artists as Alexander Calder, Gerhard Richter, Wassily Kandinsky, and Piet Modrian whose work inspired Shepherd's new piece of music. The ConcertCue app was developed by Eran Egozy, the founder of Harmonix Music Systems, which is best-known for the wildly popular video games "Guitar Hero" and "Rock Band." Eran is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Media and Technology Committee, which is headed by former MIT president Susan Hockfield. The February 9 "Casual Fridays" performance is also part of "Leipzig Week in Boston," the first stage of a five-year multi-dimensional collaboration between the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhaus Orchestra (GHO)-both of which have Andris Nelsons as Music Director. 

Featured Performers & Ensembles

Andris Nelsons, conductor
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In 2017-18, his fourth season as the BSO's Ray and Maria Stata Music Director, Andris Nelsons leads the Boston Symphony Orchestra in twelve wide-ranging subscription programs at Symphony Hall, repeating three of them at New York's Carnegie Hall in March. Also this season, in November, he and the orchestra tour Japan together for the first time, playing concerts in Nagoya, Osaka, Kawasaki, and Tokyo. In addition, in February 2018 Maestro Nelsons becomes Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, in which capacity he will bring both orchestras together for a unique multi-dimensional alliance; under his direction, the BSO celebrates its first "Leipzig Week in Boston" that same month. In the summer of 2015, following his first season as music director, Andris Nelsons' contract with the Boston Symphony Orchestra was extended through the 2021-22 season. Following the 2015 Tanglewood season, he and the BSO undertook a twelve-concert, eight-city tour to major European capitals as well as the Lucerne, Salzburg, and Grafenegg festivals. A second European tour, to eight cities in Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg, took place in May 2016.

The fifteenth music director in the history of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons made his BSO debut at Carnegie Hall in March 2011, his Tanglewood debut in July 2012, and his BSO subscription series debut in January 2013. His first CD with the BSO-live recordings of Wagner's Tannhäuser Overture and Sibelius's Symphony No. 2-was released in November 2014 on BSO Classics. April 2017 brought the release on BSO Classics of the four Brahms symphonies with Maestro Nelsons conducting, recorded live at Symphony Hall in November 2016. In an ongoing, multi-year collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon initiated in 2014-15, he and the BSO are making live recordings of Shostakovich's complete symphonies, the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, and other works by the composer. The first release in this series (the Symphony No. 10 and the Passacaglia from Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance and Gramophone Magazine's Orchestral Award. The second release (symphonies 5, 8, and 9, plus excerpts from Shostakovich's 1932 incidental music to Hamlet) won the 2017 Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance. Also for Deutsche Grammophon, Andris Nelsons is recording the Bruckner symphonies with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Beethoven symphonies with the Vienna Philharmonic.

In 2017-18, Andris Nelsons is artist-in-residence at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and continues his regular collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic, leading that orchestra on tour to China. He also maintains regular collaborations with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra. Maestro Nelsons has also been a regular guest at the Bayreuth Festival and at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where he conducts a new David Alden production of Lohengrin this season.

Born in Riga in 1978 into a family of musicians, Andris Nelsons began his career as a trumpeter in the Latvian National Opera Orchestra before studying conducting. He was music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 2008 to 2015, principal conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany, from 2006 to 2009, and music director of Latvian National Opera from 2003 to 2007. Mr. Nelsons is the subject of a 2013 DVD from Orfeo, a documentary film entitled "Andris Nelsons: Genius on Fire."

Andris Nelsons, conductor Thomas Adès, piano
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Born in London in 1971, Thomas Adès studied piano and composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and read music at King's College, Cambridge.   Renowned as both a composer and a performer he works regularly with the world's leading opera companies and festivals.  

Recent conducting engagements include a tour with the Britten Sinfonia, concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Gulbenkian Orchestra as part of his Gulbenkian Foundation Residency, the London Symphony and Sao Paulo State Symphony Orchestras, his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC, Finnish and Danish Radio Symphony Orchestras, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (whose Music Director he was between 1998 and 2000), the London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern and the Athelas Ensemble.
He recently conducted productions of The Rake's Progress at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Zurich Opera.  His most recent piano engagements include a recital at Carnegie Hall with Ian Bostridge, and an appearance with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic. In 2010 he undertook a piano recital tour that included Carnegie Hall, and London's Barbican Centre featured the premiere of his new piano work Concert Paraphrase from Powder Her Face.  2010/11 saw Adès return to Australia as an artist in residence at the Melbourne Festival.  Future plans include concerts with the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome, Barry's "The Importance of Being Earnest" with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and a piano recital at the Festival de Saint Denis.

Between 1993 and 1995 he was Composer in Association with the Hallé Orchestra, which resulted in The Origin of the Harp (1994) and These Premises Are Alarmed for the opening of the Bridgewater Hall in 1996. Asyla (1997) was a Feeney Trust commission for Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO who performed it at Symphony Hall in August 1998 in Rattle's last concert as Music Director.   From 1999-2008 he was Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival.
Adès' first opera, Powder Her Face (commissioned by Almeida Opera for the Cheltenham Festival in 1995), has been performed all around the world, was televised by Channel Four, and is available on a DVD as well as an EMI CD. Most of the composer's music has been recorded by EMI, with whom Adès has a contract as composer, pianist and conductor. Adès' second opera, The Tempest, was commissioned by the Royal Opera House and was premiered under the baton of the composer to great critical acclaim in February 2004. It was revived at Covent Garden in 2007 - again with the composer conducting and to a sold-out house - and has also been performed in Copenhagen, Strasbourg and Santa Fe. Recently released to outstanding reviews, The Tempest is also available on an EMI CD and in France, the disc was recently awarded the prestigious Diapason d'Or de l'année and the 2010 Classical Brit Award for Composer of the Year. In September 2005 his violin concerto, Concentric Paths, written for Anthony Marwood, was premiered at the Berliner Festspiele and the BBC Proms, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under his baton. His second orchestral work for Simon Rattle, Tevot, (2007) was commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Carnegie Hall. 

Appointed to the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer Chair at Carnegie Hall for 2007/8, he was featured as composer, conductor and pianist throughout that season.  Adès' most recent works include a 'Piano concerto with moving image' entitled In Seven Days, a collaboration with video artist Tal Rosner, commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and London's Southbank Centre and Lieux Retrouvés, a work for 'cello and piano written for Steven Isserlis and commissioned by Aldeburgh Festival and Wigmore Hall.

Adès' music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious Grawemeyer Award (in 2000, for Asyla), of which he is the youngest ever recipient.

Thomas Adès, piano
Kirill Gerstein, piano
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The multifaceted pianist Kirill Gerstein is rapidly ascending into classical music's highest ranks. With a masterful technique, discerning intelligence, and a musical curiosity that has led him to explore repertoire spanning centuries and numerous styles, he has proven to be one of today's most intriguing and versatile musicians.

Mr. Gerstein is the sixth recipient of the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award, presented every four years to an exceptional pianist who, regardless of age or nationality, possesses broad and profound musicianship and charisma and who desires and can sustain a career as a major international concert artist. Since receiving the award in 2010, Mr. Gerstein has shared his prize through the commissioning of boundary-crossing new works by Oliver Knussen, Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau, Timothy Andres and Alexander Goehr. Mr. Gerstein was also awarded First Prize at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, received a 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award and a 2010 Avery Fisher Grant.

Highlights of his 2015-16 season in North America include performances of Scriabin's Prometheus: Poem of Fire with Ricardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony, Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2 with Semyon Bychkov and the Berlin Philharmonic, Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 1 with the Cleveland Orchestra, and playing both of George Gershwin's piano concertos in the original jazz-band version to open New York's 92nd Street Y's 15/16 season; re-engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as with the Toronto, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Colorado, Utah and Oregon symphonies and the National Arts Centre Orchestra; a tour to Australia and New Zealand; his debut with the Royal Concertgebouw with concerts in Amsterdam and Frankfurt; a European tour with the Czech Philharmonic; and recitals in New York and Houston.

Kirill Gerstein's recent North American engagements include performances with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, and the Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco, Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Indianapolis and Montreal symphonies among others. He has also recently appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Chicago's Grant Park, Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony, Blossom with the Cleveland Orchestra, and with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Bravo! Vail Valley Festival, Mann Music Center and Saratoga; and performed in recital at New York's 92nd St. Y and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and in Boston, Toronto, Berkeley, Vancouver, Detroit, Miami and Princeton.

Internationally, Kirill Gerstein has played with such prominent European orchestras as the Czech, Munich, Rotterdam and London Philharmonics, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Dresden Staatskappelle, Finnish Radio Orchestra, Tonkünstler Orchestra Vienna, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne and the Zurich Tonhalle, as well as with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. He has performed recitals in Paris, Prague, Hamburg, London's Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, and at the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He made his Salzburg Festival debut playing solo and two piano works with Andras Schiff and has also appeared at the Lucerne and Jerusalem Chamber Music Festivals as well as at the Proms in London.

Mr. Gerstein's second solo recording featuring Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and Schumann's Carnaval was released by Myrios Classics in June 2014. His first solo recording with works by Schumann, Liszt and Oliver Knussen, also for Myrios, was chosen by The New York Times as one of the best recordings of 2010. He also collaborated with Tabea Zimmerman on two recordings of sonatas for viola and piano for Myrios, released in February 2011 and November 2012. His most recent recording of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 and the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin was released by Myrios in March 2015 and is the first recording using the new critical edition recently completed by the Tchaikovsky Museum in Moscow using the composer's original second version.

Born in 1979 in Voronezh, Russia, Mr. Gerstein studied piano at a special music school for gifted children and taught himself to play jazz by listening to his parents' extensive record collection. At the age of 14, he came to the United States to study jazz piano as the youngest student ever to attend Boston's Berklee College of Music. After completing his studies in three years and following his second summer at the Boston University program at Tanglewood, Mr. Gerstein turned his focus back to classical music and moved to New York City to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky and earned both Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees by the age of 20. He continued his studies in Madrid with Dmitri Bashkirov and in Budapest with Ferenc Rados.

Mr. Gerstein became an American citizen in 2003 and divides his time between the United States and Germany.

Kirill Gerstein, piano Jean- Yves Thibaudet, piano
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For more than three decades, Jean-Yves Thibaudet has performed world-wide, recorded over 50 albums, and built a reputation as one of today's finest pianists. He plays a range of solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire - from Beethoven through Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, and Saint-Saëns; to Ravel, Khachaturian and Gershwin, and to contemporary composers Qigang Chen and James MacMillan.

In 2016-17 Thibaudet is Artist-in-Residence with Orchestre National de France,  Wiener Symphoniker, and the Colburn School in Los Angeles. As part of his residency in Paris, he performs Saint-Saëns's Piano Concerto No. 5 with Stéphane Denève and Khachaturian's Concerto for Piano with Semyon Bychkov; he also curates a special performance with selected students for Radio France. The Vienna residency sees a chamber music programme with principals from the orchestra, performances of Beethoven's Choral Fantasy under Music Director Philippe Jordan, as well as concerts featuring the Grieg and Gershwin concertos - the latter televised by Austrian broadcaster ORF. At Colburn he enters the third year of his residency - the first of its kind - where his passion for education and fostering young musical talent is invested through individual lessons, masterclasses, and performances with students.

Other season highlights include performances of Messiaen's Turangalîla-Symphonie with Gustavo Dudamel and Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar de Venezuela as part of the season-opening concerts at Carnegie Hall and on tour in Europe. He tours China with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, opens the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra season under Music Director Marin Alsop and performs James MacMillan's Concerto for Piano No.3 - a piece he premiered in 2011 - with the Brussels and Los Angeles philharmonic orchestras under Stéphane Denève.

Thibaudet's recording catalogue of more than 50 albums has received two Grammy nominations, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Diapason d'Or, the Choc du Monde de la Musique, the Edison Prize, as well as Gramophone and Echo awards. This season he releases Bernstein's Age of Anxiety with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop, with whom he previously recorded Gershwin (2010), which featured big jazz band orchestrations of Rhapsody in Blue, variations on "I Got Rhythm" and the Concerto in F. In 2016, on the 150th anniversary of Erik Satie's birth, Decca released a box set of Satie's complete solo piano music performed by Thibaudet - one of the foremost interpreters and champions of the composer's works. On his Grammy-nominated recording Saint-Saëns, Piano Concerti Nos. 2&5, released in 2007, he is joined by long-standing collaborator Charles Dutoit and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Thibaudet's Aria-Opera Without Words, which was released the same year, features aria transcriptions, some of which are Thibaudet's own. His other recordings include the jazz albums Reflections on Duke: Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays the Music of Duke Ellington and Conversations With Bill Evans.

Thibaudet has also had an impact on the world of fashion, film and philanthropy. This season he features in Aaron Zigman's soundtrack for Wakefield, a drama by Robin Swicord released in September 2016. He was soloist in Dario Marianelli's award-winning scores for the films Atonement (which won an Oscar for Best Original Music Score) and Pride and Prejudice, andrecorded Alexandre Desplat's soundtrack for the 2012 film Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. He had a cameo in Bruce Beresford's film on Alma Mahler, Bride of the Wind, and his playing is showcased throughout. In 2004 he served as president of the prestigious charity auction Hospices de Beaune. His concert wardrobe is designed by Dame Vivienne Westwood. 

Jean-Yves Thibaudet was born in Lyon, France, where he began his piano studies at age five and made his first public appearance at age seven. At twelve, he entered the Paris Conservatory to study with Aldo Ciccolini and Lucette Descaves, a friend and collaborator of Ravel. At age fifteen, he won the Premier Prix du Conservatoire and, three years later, the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York City. Among his numerous commendations is the Victoire d'Honneur, a lifetime career achievement award and the highest honour given by France's Victoires de la Musique. In 2010 the Hollywood Bowl honored Thibaudet for his musical achievements by inducting him into its Hall of Fame. Previously a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Thibaudet was awarded the title Officier by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012.

Jean- Yves Thibaudet, piano
David Kravitz, baritone
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Hailed as "a charismatic baritone" by the New York Times, "magnificently stentorian and resonant" by Opera News, and "a first-rate actor" by Opera (UK), David Kravitz's recent opera engagements include lead roles at Washington National Opera (Davis Miller in the world premiere of Approaching Ali), Chautauqua Opera (Captain Balstrode in Peter Grimes), Skylight Music Theatre (Scarpia in Tosca), Opera Santa Barbara (The Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen), Grand Harmonie (Don Pizarro in Fidelio), Opera Saratoga (Don Magnifico in La Cenerentola), Ash Lawn Opera (Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof), Boston Lyric Opera (Abraham in Clemency), Emmanuel Music (Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress and Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby), and the New England Philharmonic (Wozzeck in Wozzeck). He recently created the lead role of De Sade in Nicola Moro's Love Hurts at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, Italy, and at Symphony Space in New York. His many concert appearances include the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Emmanuel Music, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and Boston Baroque.

In the 2017-18 season, Mr. Kravitz appears with the Boston Symphony for The Damnation of Faust, for Tristan und Isolde, and for Schumann's Neujahrslied, the latter two under music director Andris Nelsons; Odyssey Opera for Dunois in Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans; the Boston Chamber Music Festival for Schoenberg's Ode to Napoleon; Emmanuel Music for Creon and the Messenger in Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex; Longy School of Music's celebration of Leonard Bernstein's centennial for Arias and Barcarolles with mezzo-soprano Sandra Piques Eddy; the Defiant Requiem Foundation for Hours of Freedom; and Grand Harmonie for On Behalf of a Madman, a new pastiche opera.

An exceptionally versatile artist, Mr. Kravitz's repertoire ranges from Bach to Verdi to Sondheim to cutting-edge contemporary composers such as Matthew Aucoin, Mohammed Fairouz, Paul Moravec, and Elena Ruehr. Mr. Kravitz has recorded for the Naxos, BIS, Sono Luminus, Koch International Classics, BMOP/sound, Albany Records, and New World labels. His distinguished legal career has included clerkships with the Hon. Sandra Day O'Connor and the Hon. Stephen Breyer.

David Kravitz, baritone
The Choir of St. Paul's Harvard Square
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
Tanglewood Festival Chorus
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Tanglewood Festival Chorus
James Burton, BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus
John Oliver, Founder and Conductor Laureate

This season at Symphony Hall, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra for performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 3 (January 18-20) and Schumann's Nachtlied and Neujahrslied (February 8-10) under BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons; Grieg's incidental music to Peer Gynt under BSO Associate Conductor Ken-David Masur (October 19-24); Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust (October 26-28) and Ravel's complete Daphnis et Chloé (February 15-17) under Charles Dutoit, and Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 3, Kaddish, under Giancarlo Guerrero (March 15-17). Members of the chorus also participated in this season's all-Bernstein program on Opening Night. 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 John Oliver, who stepped down from his leadership position with the TFC at the end of the 2014 Tanglewood season. Awarded the Tanglewood Medal by the BSO to honor his forty-five years of service to the ensemble, Mr. Oliver now holds the lifetime title of Founder and Conductor Laureate and occupies the Donald and Laurie Peck Master Teacher Chair at the Tanglewood Music Center. In February 2017, having prepared the chorus for that month's BSO performances of Bach's B minor Mass led by Andris Nelsons, the British-born James Burton was named the new Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, also being appointed to the newly created position of BSO Choral Director.

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. Now numbering more than 300 members, the ensemble performs year-round with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. It has performed with Seiji Ozawa and the BSO in Hong Kong and Japan, and with the BSO in Europe under James Levine and Bernard Haitink, also giving a cappella  concerts of its own on the two latter occasions. The TFC made its debut in April 1970, in a BSO performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Leonard Bernstein conducting. Its first recording with the orchestra, Berlioz's La Damnation of 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 James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Leonard Bernstein, 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 led by John Oliver and released to mark the TFC's 40th anniversary; and, with James Levine conducting, Ravel's complete Daphnis and 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). Besides their work with the BSO, TFC members have performed Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic; participated in a Saito Kinen Festival production of Britten's Peter Grimes  under Seiji Ozawa in Japan, and sang Verdi's Requiem with Charles Dutoit to help close a month-long International Choral Festival given in and around Toronto. 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, western Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, and TFC alumni frequently return each summer from as far away as Florida and California to sing with the chorus at Tanglewood. Throughout its history, the TFC has established itself as a favorite of conductors, soloists, critics, and audiences alike.

James Burton
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James Burton was appointed Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, and to the new position of BSO Choral Director, in February 2017. Born in London, Mr. Burton began his training at the Choir of Westminster Abbey, where he became head chorister. He was a choral scholar at St. John's College, Cambridge, and holds a master's degree in orchestral conducting from the Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with Frederik Prausnitz and Gustav Meier. He has conducted concerts with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hallé, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, and Manchester Camerata; in early 2016 he made his debut with the Orquestra Sinfònica Nacional with concerts in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Opera credits include Don Giovanni and La bohème at English National Opera, Così fan tutte at English Touring Opera, The Magic Flute at Garsington, and Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica at the Prague Summer Nights Festival. He has served on the music staff of the Metropolitan Opera, Opéra de Paris, English National Opera, Opera Rara, and Garsington Opera, where he was honored with the Leonard Ingrams Award in 2008. He has also conducted in London's West End and led a UK tour of Bernstein's Wonderful Town in 2012. His 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 at the Dubai Opera house in its inaugural season earlier this year. 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. He returned to Manchester in 2014, preparing the choirs for a Grammy-nominated recording under Sir Mark Elder of Vaughan Williams's Sea Symphony. From 2002 to 2017 he was music director of the chamber choir Schola Cantorum of Oxford, touring all over the world and recording with Hyperion Records. He collaborates regularly with leading young musicians and in 2017 appeared as guest director of the National Youth Choir of Japan and the Princeton University Glee Club, as well as the Genesis Sixteen. He teaches conducting, and has given master classes at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Welsh College of Music. In 2011 he founded a conducting scholarship with Schola Cantorum of Oxford. His compositions and arrangements have been performed internationally, and his orchestral arrangements for Arlo Guthrie have been performed by the Boston Pops, by many other leading U.S. orchestras, and at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. His commissions have included the music for the 2010 World Equestrian Games opening ceremony, a setting for chorus and orchestra of Thomas Hardy's The Convergence of the Twain commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, and a recent Christmas carol premiered by the Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge, live on BBC Radio 3. His choral 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.

Program Notes Audio
J.S. BACH - Concerto in D minor for three pianos, BWV 1063 (15 min)
Sean SHEPHERD - Express Abstractionism (world premiere; BSO co-commission) (15 min)
MENDELSSOHN - Symphony No. 3, Scottish (39 min)
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