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Tanglewood Music Center

Piano Fellowships

The acclaimed Tanglewood Music Center Piano Program prizes versatile talent and diverse musical perspective.

“It is a precious thing to be around so many special musicians at Tanglewood, from faculty to Fellows to visiting artists. I can't imagine another place where such adventurous programming can happen, and at such a pace! I was lucky in my two years at the TMC to take part in a great variety of projects, from premiering unearthed songs written in the first half of the 20th century, to performing a work for four pianos, to participating in solo piano masterclasses and workshops. This is besides numerous duo partnerships with singers, exploring repertoire from the 17th century until today. I already loved this rich mixture of musical roles (aren't pianists always chameleons!), and I am so happy that in the coming years, this approach will define the Piano Program even more.”

—Elias Dagher, Piano Fellow 2022 and 2023

The TMC encourages a wide range of strengths and interests for all young pianists entering the field, from solo to a significant variety of collaborative work. For the first time in 2024, all pianists at the Tanglewood Music Center will participate in both the instrumental and vocal areas, giving the piano program an innovative and uniquely broad focus. The faculty for this inaugural summer of the combined piano program will include Javier Arrebola, Emanuel Ax, Steve Drury, Margo Garrett, Jacob Greenberg, and other exciting guests to be announced.

A pianist may specify in their application a preferred concentration in the vocal studies area, and if accepted, this preference will guide the balance of their summer assignments.

Instrumental and Vocal Chamber Music

Weekly concerts at Seiji Ozawa Hall and the Linde Center for Music and Learning feature instrumental chamber music from the canonic repertoire and newer works. These are coached by esteemed TMC faculty members as well as players from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and renowned composers and conductors. For TMC vocal program events, singer and pianist contribute equally in the creative process. Every pianist Fellow deepens their engagement in vocal chamber music (including duo voice/piano repertoire) with the guidance of Head of the TMC Vocal Program, Dawn Upshaw, and the exceptional vocal program faculty.

Ensembles and Contemporary Music

For the Festival of Contemporary Music, pianists are spotlighted with solo, chamber, and ensemble pieces that display a spectrum of unusual playing techniques. Pianists also collaborate with major and emerging composers, as well as the composition fellows, to develop brand-new TMC-commissioned works.

Piano and non-piano keyboards are often essential to larger ensemble music, and at the TMC, pianists have many opportunities to play in these less commonly encountered settings; for example, a concert of Bach cantatas or larger chamber works. Every pianist plays a variety of keyboard instruments in the TMC Orchestra, led by Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons and the TMC Conducting Fellows. In the orchestra in 2022 and 2023, pianists also worked under distinguished conductors including Andris Nelsons, Susanna Mälkki, George Benjamin, and Thomas Adès.


Prestigious master classes are often open to the public on the Tanglewood grounds. In 2024 master classes will be taught by Emanuel Ax, Jeremy Denk, Kirill Gerstein, Orli Shaham, among others. In the past these classes have included Andreas Haefliger, Marc-André Hamelin, Garrick Ohlsson, Paul Lewis, and the TMC resident piano faculty.

The piano program offers regularly scheduled repertoire classes with resident faculty and visiting artists, in a collegial gathering of Fellows. Instrumental classes feature solo works; voice classes address skills needed by song pianists, as well as language and stylistic concerns. An intimate class size ensures dedicated attention from faculty and Fellows alike.

Vocal Focus Option

Piano applicants have the option to declare a vocal focus for their summer at Tanglewood. If admitted, fellows with this concentration will spend a significant amount of their summer workload as vocal collaborators. They will participate in weekly vocal studio classes, recitals, work as rehearsal pianists for vocal projects, and more. These fellows will enjoy increased time with vocal piano faculty including Margo Garrett and Javier Arrebola as well as vocal faculty including Head of the Vocal Program Dawn Upshaw and Randall Scarlata.

If you are interested in the vocal focus option and have questions please feel free to contact the TMC office at!