The Tanglewood campus covers 529
acres in the scenic Berkshires Hills of western
Located in the village of Lenox, it is close to the major cities of New England and New York, with many options for air travel.
Driving time is one hour from Albany, NY, Hartford, CT, and Springfield, MA; two hours from Boston, MA; and 3 hours from New York, NY. Commercial bus service is available to Lenox from all of these cities.
In August 1934, a group of music-loving Berkshire summer residents arranged for members of the New York Philharmonic to perform three outdoor concerts at Interlocken, a successful venture that was repeated in 1935. The Festival Committee then invited Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra to take part the following year. The orchestra's Trustees accepted, and on August 13, 1936, the BSO gave its first concert in the Berkshires, at Holmwood.
In the winter of 1936, Mrs. Gorham Brooks and Miss Mary Aspinwall Tappan offered Tanglewood, the Tappan family estate, with its buildings and 210 acres of lawns and meadows, as a gift to Koussevitzky and the orchestra. After thunder and rain disrupted the concert that opened the 1937 festival's second weekend, Miss Gertrude Robinson Smith, one of the festival's founders, made an appeal to raise funds for a permanent structure. This would become the Koussevitzky Music Shed, in which the BSO still plays today.
By 1941, the Theatre-Concert Hall, the Chamber Music Hall, and several small studios were finished, and the festival was attracting nearly 100,000 visitors annually. The 1986 addition of the adjacent Highwood estate expanded Tanglewood's public grounds by forty percent and became the site of Seiji Ozawa Hall, which opened in 1994. Today Tanglewood annually draws over 350,000 visitors.