Tanglewood Music Center Chamber Concerts

Tanglewood Online Festival | Support the Music - Donate Now

Full-length concert events streamed on Sunday mornings of the Tanglewood Music Center's chamber concerts, chosen from Tanglewood’s vast archive of recorded performances. Hosted by Norman Fischer with TMC Faculty.

Events in This Series:

Astrid Schween

Performance Details
Astrid Schween, co-host
TMC Fellows

HAYDN String Quartet in B-flat, Op. 50, No. 1
HAYDN String Quartet in D, Op. 64, No. 5, The Lark, mvt. I: Allegro moderato & mvt. IV: Finale: Vivace
DVOŘÁK String Quartet No. 11 in C, Op. 61 , mvt. II: Poco adagio e molto cantabile
SIBELIUS String Quartet in D minor, Op. 56, Voces intimae, mvt. V: Allegro
BERG String Quartet, Op. 3, mvt. II: Mäßige Viertel
John HARBISON String Quartet No. 4, mvt. II: Allegretto
BEETHOVEN String Quartet No. 12 in E-flat, Op. 127, mvt. I: Maestoso; Allegro
MENDELSSOHN String Quartet No. 6 in F minor, Op. 80

Highlights of the String Quartet Seminar
Hosted by Norman Fischer, with special guest Astrid Schween

July 5 

Each summer, TMC String Fellows begin their Tanglewood journey with the String Quartet Seminar, an intensive workshop exploring landmarks of the repertoire through coachings, masterclasses, and a marathon performance of three concerts over two days—the quality of which belies the fact that these musicians have been playing together for little more than a week. Featuring performances from 2016 to 2019, this broadcast exhibits the seminar’s comprehensive scope, from Haydn, who established the basic syntax of the genre, and Beethoven, who redefined its narrative capabilities; through the Romantic era to Alban Berg’s pithy modernism, and including an example of more recent vintage in Pulitzer Prize-winning TMC faculty member John Harbison.

Available July 5, 2020 at 10AM through July 12


Norman Fisher

Performance Details

Tom Siders, co-host
TMC Fellows

POULENC Sextet for Piano and Winds
BRUCKNER Three Motets: Ave Maria
GRIEG Funeral March for Rikard Nordraak
TOMASI Fanfares Liturgiques, mvt. II: Apocalypse (Scherzo)
STRAUSS Festmusik der Stadt Wien
Theo CHANDLER Two Taylor Songs, mvt. I: child in kitchen

Music for Woodwinds and Brass
Hosted by Norman Fischer, with special guest Tom Siders

July 12

Many TMC Woodwind and Brass Fellows come to Tanglewood expressly to play in the orchestra under such conductors as BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons and to benefit from the mentorship of seasoned BSO musicians. But the study of chamber, ensemble, and new music is another important part of their summer. Brass and Woodwind Fellows begin their summers playing in smaller wind and brass ensemble music, bonding personally and learning to blend musically.

In this macho and muscular Festmusik der Stadt Wien, Fellows play alongside not only their BSO mentors, but also a special guest in the trumpet section: Maestro Nelsons. These woodwind and brass concerts also include the world premieres of works commissioned from recent TMC Composition Fellows. Two 2018 world premieres are offered here: Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade’s grooving brass and percussion fanfare Table Talk and Theo Chandler’s mercurial Two Taylor Songs, featuring soprano Ally Smither.

Available starting July 12, 2020 at 10AM


Dawn Upshaw

Performance Details
Dawn Upshaw, co-host
BACH Cantata No. 109, Ich glaube, lieber Herr, mvt. III: Aria
BACH Cantata No. 127: Herr Jesu Christ, wahr Mensch und Gott, BWV 127, mvt. III: Aria
MARX “Es zurnt das Meer”, “Nachtgebet”, and “Hat dich die Liebe beruhrt”
MAHLER (arr. SCHOENBERG) Songs of a Wayfarer, mvt. III: "Ich hab' ein glühend Messer"
GRANADOS “Elegia eterna” and “No lloréis, ojuelos”
RAVEL Histoires naturelles: “Le Martin-Pecheur” & “Le Cygne"
Elizabeth VERCOE Irreveries from Sappho
Fred LERDAHL Fire and Ice
BRITTEN Canticle V: The Death of Saint Narcissus, Op. 89
SCHOENBERG String Quartet No. 2 in F# minor, Op. 10

Highlights of the Vocal Arts Program
Hosted by Norman Fischer, with special guest Dawn Upshaw

July 19

Under the leadership of soprano Dawn Upshaw, the TMC Vocal Arts Program offers singers diverse projects in the song, chamber, and contemporary repertoire, all of which are featured in this broadcast of performances from 2015 to 2019. Vocal Fellows begin their summer studying Bach’s foundational cantatas under composer and Bach specialist John Harbison. Art song projects are drawn from both the old canon—like those of Viennese composer Josef Marx—and the new, as with Elizabeth Vercoe’s wonderfully witty Irreveries from Sappho. Experience in new music is central for Vocal Fellows, who often give world premieres of works like Fred Lerdahl’s sultry Fire and Ice, commissioned by the TMC for its 75thanniversary (and featuring BSO Principal Bass Edwin Barker). The fruits of essential collaborations between Vocal Fellows and their instrumental colleagues can be heard in performances of Britten’s vivid Canticle V, Mahler’s despairing Songs of a Wayfarer, and Schoenberg’s searching String Quartet No. 2.

Available July 19, 2020 at 10AM through July 26


Alan Smith

Performance Details
Alan Smith, co-host
TMC Fellows

BEACH Piano Quintet in F-sharp minor, Op. 67
STRAVINSKY Sonata for Two Pianos
Sarah GIBSON I prefer living in color
VILLAS-LOBOS “O Boizinho de chumbo” from A prole do bebe Book II
Alan SMITH To the Muse, mvt. V
BEETHOVEN Piano Trio in B-flat, Op. 97, Archduke

Highlights of the Piano Program
Hosted by Norman Fischer, with special guest Alan Smith

July 26 

Piano Fellows at the TMC wear many hats. They work with their colleagues in the string program on such core works as Beethoven’s noble Archduke Trio, or in the too-often-overlooked territory of American Romanticism, as in Amy Beach’s Piano Quartet. They work together, making eye contact across their pianos, aligning gestures and timing in duos like Stravinsky’s Sonata for Two Pianos. They work with living composers as well: in 2018 Composition Fellow Sarah Gibson’s work I prefer living in color, which calls for some piano strings to be muted with Blu-Tack adhesive. And there are opportunities for solo playing in masterclasses and recitals—heard in “O Boizinho de chumbo”—“The Little Lead Ox” from Heitor Villas-Lobos’ three-volume collection of character pieces, A prole do bebe (The Baby’s Family)—a surprisingly graceful ballet on four hooves.

Available starting July 26, 2020 at 10AM


Norman Fisher

Performance Details
TMC Fellows
BEETHOVEN String Quartet in F, Op. 135
WEINBERG Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 18, mvt. III: Presto
SCHUBERT Octet in F, D. 803, mvt. II: Adagio
Joan TOWER Second String Force
MENDELSSOHN Octet in E-flat Op. 20

TMC Chamber Music
Hosted by Norman Fischer

August 2

It is the tremendous talent collected at the TMC that allows monumental works of the chamber music repertoire to be put together in short periods of time and to such a high degree of excellence. Faculty member Andrew Jennings prepared both Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 135—the slow movement of which receives a performance of miraculous tenderness, with only the softest of touch—and Second String Force by TMC faculty member Joan Tower, performed here by New Fromm Player Chi Li. TMC Head of Chamber Music and cellist Norman Fischer coached Schubert’s Octet—another remarkable slow movement of sentiment and delicacy—and Weinberg’s Piano Quintet, in which Fischer plays as well, adding another dimension to the Fellows’ experience. And the Mendelssohn (is there a more joyous first movement of any work anywhere?) was prepared by visiting TMC faculty member Yo-Yo Ma, always an unforgettable experience for those Fellows that work him.

Available August 2, 2020 at 10AM through August 9


Michael Gandolfi

Performance Details
Michael Gandolfi, co-host
Thomas ADÈS Court Studies from The Tempest
NANCARROW (arr. ADÈS) Studies nos. 6 and 7 for two pianos
Harrison BIRTWISTLE Cortege
Francisco COLL Four Iberian Miniatures

Highlights from the Festival of Contemporary Music
Hosted by Norman Fischer, with special guest Michael Gandolfi

August 9

Tanglewood’s longtime commitment to new music reaches its peak each summer with the Festival of Contemporary Music, a focal point not only for presenting this music for audiences, but for immersing TMC Fellows in the diverse music of the present and recent past. In 2018 and 2019, BSO Artistic Partner and musical polymath Thomas Adès served as Director of the FCM, and all three of Mr. Adès’ musical guises are featured on this broadcast: as composer in Court Studies from his opera The Tempest, as conductor in Francisco Coll’s Four Iberian Miniatures, and as pianist in his own arrangement of Nancarrow’s Studies 6 and 7. Coll’s piece and Ruth Crawford Seeger’s String Quartet feature the New Fromm Players, the TMC’s new music ensemble in residence, supported by a grant from The Fromm Foundation.

Available starting August 9, 2020 at 10AM



Norman Fisher

Performance Details
Michael Nock, co-host
TMC Fellows

BRAHMS Piano Trio in C, Op. 87
Nathan SHIELDS Vigil - I. Introit
PENDERECKI Quintetto per archi: Leaves of an Unwritten Diary
George LEWIS Thistledown
BEETHOVEN String Quartet No. 9 in C, Op. 59, No. 3, Razumovsky

TMC Chamber Music
Hosted by Norman Fischer, with special guest Michael Nock

August 16

The finale to this series of Sunday morning broadcasts is bounded by two pillars: the C major Piano Trio of Brahms, about which the composer (modestly) wrote to his publisher that “you very likely have not published its equal in the last ten years,” and third of Beethoven’s Op. 59 Razumovskyquartets in which he expanded the proportions and gravity of the quartet genre beyond anything that come before. In contrast, the central portion of the broadcast contains all 21st century works—two by TMC composers, and one in memoriam. Nathan Shields was a Composition Fellow in 2015 and the recipient of the following summer’s commission for brass and percussion—a work of both terror and humor that he entitled Vigil, which received a tour-de-force premiere. Composer-performer-improvisor-theorist George Lewis is a member of the Composition Faculty; his Thistledown is written for piano, percussion, and cello, though its sounds transcend the size of the ensemble. And Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki—known for his groundbreaking explorations of texture and allusions to musical forms of the past—passed away on March 29, 2020. The Quintetto per archi is an arrangement of his 2008 String Quartet No. 3 that expands the group to include a double bass.

Available August 16, 2020 at 10AM through August 23

RESERVE EVENT: August 16, 10AM

Keep the music playing with a single click! Your donation shares music online with all, and ensures we’ll be ready to welcome you back when we open our doors again.

Donate in One Click