Instrumental Studies at the TMC include work in the TMC Orchestra, in-depth studies in chamber music, as well as classes with members of the BSO and guests, and other special instrument-specific projects.



At no other summer music program in the world does a major symphony orchestra take up permanent residence and assume such an active role in the instruction of emerging musicians.

Fellows have regular contact with BSO members, who are deeply involved in auditions, creating summer assignments, and providing ongoing counsel, often holding informal get-togethers, ensuring a regular collaboration between the BSO and TMC Orchestra.

This relationship between BSO faculty and TMC Fellows is enhanced by the artistic immersion that comes with hearing the BSO perform and rehearse multiple programs each week. Front section seating is available to TMC Fellows for most BSO concerts, and BSO rehearsals are always open to TMC Fellows. All TMC Fellows may sign up to observe daily BSO rehearsals onstage within the sections.  

The TMCO performs under internationally-renowned conductors before sold-out crowds in Seiji Ozawa Hall and the Koussevitzky Music Shed, including an annual gala performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture side-by-side with the BSO. (Check it out!) 2019 TMC orchestral repertoire and conductors will include:

Shostakovich – Symphony No. 1
Wagner – Die Walküre (complete)

Mahler – Symphony No. 4

Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 6

Director, Festival of Contemporary Music


Andris Nelsons with TMC Student Alex

Chamber Music

Fellows participate in substantial chamber music projects, coached by distinguished resident faculty, BSO members, and internationally renowned guests.

Chamber music master-classes are held throughout the summer. In past summers, guest coaches and master teachers have included by Yo-Yo Ma, Thomas Adès, Emanuel Ax, Garrick Ohlsson, and Pamela Frank.

Chamber concerts occur regularly every Sunday morning and Saturday evening, with additional concerts scheduled throughout the summer. All applicants should be aware of the TMC's considerable emphasis on CONTEMPORARY MUSIC, featured prominently in recitals throughout the summer and particularly during the world-renowned Festival of Contemporary Music. (Check out a TMC chamber music performance!)

At the start of the summer, different non-orchestral projects allow the various sections of the orchestra to establish the musical and collegial bonds that will carry them through the summer...

All violinists, violists, and cellists begin their summer with the eight-day String Quartet Seminar, an intensive workshop that explores this repertoire from Haydn through the 20th century. The seminar is led by current and former members of the Juilliard String Quartet, as well as TMC Chamber Music Head and Concord String Quartet alumnus Norman Fischer. Participants concentrate exclusively on the study of pre-assigned quartets in groups carefully constructed by the faculty in advance of the summer. Master-classes are held throughout the seminar, which concludes with a marathon concert.

Other sections of the orchestra begin their summer with ensemble work. This includes an annual brass and percussion concert, woodwind repertoire readings and performances of works such as divertimenti and serenades. Additionally, each year the TMC commissions new works for brass ensemble, woodwind ensemble, and double bass septet.

[TMC Master-Class]Master-Classes

TMC Fellows have weekly classes with BSO members, resident faculty, and visiting artists.

Classes focus on solo repertoire or excerpts, specific technical or artistic issues, or consist of reading sessions of standard orchestral repertoire. In some cases, Fellows may be assigned to play in specific classes in advance.

MOCK AUDITIONS are often held, offering Fellows the chance to experience the pressure of auditioning for panelists from a major symphony orchestra, and to receive immediate, direct feedback.

A large number of TMC Fellows go on to win positions with professional symphony orchestras in the year following their attendance at the TMC. ( Check out the TMC alumni in the BSO!)

Additionally, the TMC holds auditions that offer VIOLIN, VIOLA, AND CELLO Fellows the possibility of PLAYING WITH THE BSO during the Tanglewood season. This audition is conducted exactly in the manner of a BSO audition, with candidates identities not known to the audition committee. TMC Fellows who win the audition are assigned to play one piece with the BSO in the Shed during the summer.

Through the VIOLIN MENTORSHIP PROGRAM, Violin Fellows are split into small groups and assigned a BSO member as a mentor. Throughout the summer, mentors work with Fellows on orchestral repertoire, issues of orchestral playing, and professional issues.

All DOUBLE BASS FELLOWS have the opportunity to PLAY-IN WITH THE BSO over the course of the summer.