“It’s maybe the most beautiful place in the world, that offers the opportunity to spend time with leading artists and to get to know them as mentors and as people. There is such a vast variety of things that pianists do. All the days are full, all the days are rewarding, and many of the days stretch you outside of your box in a way that you didn’t imagine was possible before.” -Dan Overly, Vocal Piano Fellow 2016-2018
The piano program emphasizes collaborative work — chamber music, projects with small and large ensembles, art song, and orchestral playing on a variety of keyboard instruments — alongside weekly opportunities for solo public performance and participation in classes, often open to the public; pianists should come to the Tanglewood Music Center (TMC) prepared with performance-ready repertoire for these events. Classes in recent seasons were taught by Jonathan Biss, Kirill Gerstein, Marc-André Hamelin, Garrick Ohlsson, Paul Lewis, and the TMC resident piano and chamber music faculty, among others. In the orchestra in 2022, pianists worked under conductors including Andris Nelsons, George Benjamin, Thomas Adès, and Stefan Asbury. Chamber repertoire always includes standard works, but there is a significant emphasis on new music and on working directly with major and emerging composers.
Vocal and Instrumental Programs
Pianists applying to the Tanglewood Music Center specify a concentration in either the vocal or instrumental area, noting that the application dates, process, and requirements for each concentration differ significantly. Solo classes are open to participation by members of both programs. Additionally, all instrumental pianists have the opportunity to work with singers in at least one project each summer, and vocal pianists participate in at least one instrumental ensemble or orchestra project.
If an applicant wishes to participate fully in both programs, the applicant should first apply to the vocal piano program. If accepted, the applicant should then audition for the instrumental piano program through the normal application process. If accepted into both, the pianist would enter a program that would balance instrumental and vocal projects equally. Note that the application fee for the instrumental program will be waived for those who have already applied to the vocal piano program.