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The Tanglewood 2021 Season

Season Highlights

Tanglewood 2021

In the 2021 Tanglewood season, BSO Ray and Maria Stata Music Director Andris Nelsons leads six BSO concerts, including an opening weekend featuring an all-Beethoven program with Emanuel Ax (7/10) and a program featuring violinist Baiba Skride performing Sibelius’ Violin Concerto paired with Dvořák’s Sixth Symphony (7/11); two programs featuring pianists: Daniil Trifonov performing Brahms’ First Concerto (7/17) and Lucas and Arthur Jussen performing Mozart’s Concerto in E-flat for two pianos (7/18); and a concert co-conducted by John Williams, featuring the world premiere of his Violin Concerto No. 2 performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter (7/24).

Other Highlights Include:

  • Principal Pops Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and frequent Boston Pops performer Byron Stripling leads the BSO in an engaging concert experience especially for children ages 3–11 and their families (7/17).
    Julian and Eunice Cohen Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart leads the Boston Pops Orchestra in an all-John Williams program featuring iconic and rare selections accompanied by exclusive filmed interviews (7/23). Maestro Lockhart also joins the podium with John Williams in this year’s Film Night concert (8/13).
  • Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos, and Yo-Yo Ma perform an all Beethoven recital (7/30).
  • Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Branford Marsalis performs a Friday evening recital (8/6).
  • Guest conductor Herbert Blomstedt leads an all-Beethoven concert featuring violin soloist Joshua Bell (8/7).
  • Cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme in a program led by conductor and TMC alumna Karina Canellakis in her BSO debut (8/8).
  • BSO Assistant Conductor Anna Rakitina, Anna E. Finnerty chair, makes her Tanglewood debut with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet performing Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G (8/14).

Two changes to the original 2021 Tanglewood programming announcement

Branford Marsalis will now be joining the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as a featured special guest on August 6; due to a change in schedule, Wynton Marsalis will not be appearing with the JLCO. Due to a complication in the procurement of a visa to travel abroad, Lisa Batiashvili will not perform at Tanglewood this summer; Stefan Jackiw has now been added to the schedule to perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with the BSO under the direction of Alan Gilbert on August 1.

Tanglewood Learning Institute Highlights

Unleash your curiosity with the Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI). For program details visit

The Big idea featuring Bill T. Jones, multi-talented artist, choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer (7/24).
TLI-TMC OpenStudio—Masterclasses on Thursdays at 8pm featuring Andris Nelsons (7/15), Yo-Yo Ma (8/5), and Leonidas Kavakos (8/12).
Full Tilt featuring Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Branford Marsalis (8/6).

Tanglewood Music Center Highlights

The Tanglewood Music Center (TMC), the BSO’s summer academy for advanced musical study, adopted a fully online approach in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This summer, the TMC will return to in-person operations on the Tanglewood grounds in a reduced program, welcoming approximately 60 TMC Fellows. There will be no TMC vocal program in 2021.

TMC Orchestra concerts take place Monday evenings through August 16, with Andris Nelsons leading the TMCO in programs of Copland, Hannah Kendall, and Beethoven (7/12), and Beethoven, Rimsky-Korsakov, Haydn, and Stravinsky (7/19).

TMC Chamber Music Concerts take place each Sunday morning at 10am and Monday afternoon at 2:30pm.

This year’s annual Festival of Contemporary Music (July 25–26) includes a world premiere by Andrew Haig and features music of Kaija Saariaho, Thomas Adès, Judith Weir, and Steve Reich, among others.

New This Year: Online Video Streams

For the first time in the history of the Tanglewood festival, the live performance schedule will be accompanied by select weekly live video streams, available throughout the summer on the orchestra’s online streaming portal, BSO NOW, at Access to the BSO NOW platform to watch the online performance will be available with a weekly, monthly, or seasonal pass. Details for purchasing digital access will be announced later this spring. Patrons who purchase in-person tickets to these concerts will also receive access to watch the corresponding concerts online. Please note that streaming schedules are subject to change.

Popular Artists Concerts in 2021

Tanglewood’s popular artists lineup, originally scheduled to take place in 2020 before that season was canceled due to COVID-19, was rescheduled for 2021.

Rescheduled Popular Artists include Brandi Carlile with very special guest Mavis Staples (8/21); Judy Collins and Richard Thompson with special guest Jesse Colin Young (8/22; AND NPR'S WAIT WAIT ... DON’T TELL ME! (8/26).