2018 Tanglewood Season Highlights
Throughout the summer of 2018, Tanglewood celebrates the centennial of conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein's birth.
Bernstein's close relationship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra spanned a half-century, from the time he became a protégé of legendary BSO conductor Serge Koussevitzky as a member of the first Tanglewood Music Center class in 1940 until the final concerts he ever conducted, with the BSO and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra at Tanglewood in 1990.
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2018 Tanglewood Season Highlights
Besides concert works including Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms (7/15), alil for flute and orchestra (7/21), Songfest (8/4), the Serenade (after Plato's "Symposium") (8/18), and the BSO-commissioned Divertimento for Orchestra (also 8/18), performances also include the operas Trouble in Tahiti (7/12) and A Quiet Place (8/9); the Broadway hit On the Town (7/7); the ballet score Facsimile (7/23); the ever-popular Candide (8/22 & 23); the ballet Fancy Free in collaboration with Boston Ballet (8/18), and the Oscar-winning film version of West Side Story with the BSO playing the score live as the movie is shown on large screens in high definition with the original vocals and dialogue intact (7/28). On August 25, Bernstein's birth-date, The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood, to be conducted by BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, Christoph Eschenbach, Keith Lockhart, Michael Tilson Thomas, and John Williams, will feature an astonishing array of guest artists, among them Audra McDonald, Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Susan Graham, and Thomas Hampson. In addition, the BSO will be joined for this very special occasion by members of numerous other orchestras with which Bernstein maintained close associations.
Besides his participation in The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood and performances with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (TMCO), Andris Nelsons conducts the BSO in concerts featuring pianists Lang Lang (Opening Night, 7/6), Rudolf Buchbinder (7/8), Yuja Wang (7/15), and Yefim Bronfman (8/17); a complete, semi-staged performance of Puccini's La bohème with soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Piotr Beczała (7/14); a special Young People's Concert evoking those led by Bernstein himself, with Bernstein's daughter, Jamie Bernstein, as host (8/10); an all-Bernstein program featuring violinist Baiba Skride in the Serenade (after Plato's "Symposium") (8/18), and Mahler's Third Symphony with soloist Susan Graham (8/24). Maestro Nelsons also leads the TMCO's annual Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert, this year with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist (8/19), and joins John Williams on the podium for John Williams' Film Night (8/11).
Also leading BSO concerts will be BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès (7/22), BSO Assistant Conductor Moritz Gnann (7/13), and guest conductors Herbert Blomstedt (7/20 & 21), Christoph Eschenbach (8/26), Juanjo Mena (7/27 & 29), David Newman (7/28), Michael Tilson Thomas (8/12), and Bramwell Tovey (8/4). Soloists with the BSO also include pianists Emanuel Ax (7/20), 2018 Koussevitzky Artist Kirill Gerstein (8/3), Igor Levit (8/12), Paul Lewis (7/13), and Garrick Ohlsson (7/27); BSO principal flute Elizabeth Rowe (7/21); and violinists Joshua Bell (8/5), Gil Shaham (7/29), and Christian Tetzlaff (7/22).
Thomas Adès will also direct Tanglewood's 2018 Festival of Contemporary Music and perform an evening of two-piano music in Ozawa Hall (8/1) with Kirill Gerstein-who is also soloist in this year's gala Tanglewood on Parade concert (8/7). Paul Lewis' Ozawa Hall recital (8/2) launches a multi-year survey at Tanglewood featuring him in piano works by Haydn, Beethoven, and Brahms. The 2018 Ozawa Hall line-up also includes the Boston Symphony Chamber Players with Rudolf Buchbinder (7/5); a duo appearance by Pamela Frank and Emanuel Ax (7/18); Leon Fleisher and Katherine Jacobsen Fleisher in a piano recital marking Mr. Fleisher's 90th birthday (7/19); the Emerson String Quartet performing Beethoven's late string quartets (7/24 & 25); Igor Levit with the JACK Quartet (8/15), and the Skride Quartet (8/16).
For the first of four Boston Pops events this summer, star vocalist Audra McDonald is soloist with musical director Andy Einhorn (6/24). Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops Orchestra in On the Town (7/7) and as part of Tanglewood on Parade (8/7). On hand for Tanglewood on Parade and John Williams' Film Night (8/11) is Boston Pops Conductor Laureate John Williams, who shares the Film Night podium with Andris Nelsons. Other surefire crowd-pleasers include the returns to Tanglewood of Wait Wait…Don't Tell Me! (6/21) and A Prairie Home Companion, now with new host Chris Thile (6/30), as well as James Taylor for two shows with his all-star band (7/3 & 4).
As usual, the summer also offers a full schedule of concerts spotlighting the accomplished young musicians of the Tanglewood Music Center; the weekly Friday-evening and Saturday-evening Prelude Concerts in Ozawa Hall featuring BSO members on Fridays and TMC Fellows on Saturdays; Saturday-morning rehearsals; the acclaimed lifelong learning series One Day University (8/26), and "Summer Sundays," offering pre-concert events for all ages each Sunday starting at noon, prior to the afternoon's 2:30pm BSO concert.