Tanglewood Music Festival
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Tanglewood Music Festival,formerly the Berkshire Festival (until 1984), summer music festival held since 1937 at "Tanglewood," a former estate in the adjoining towns of Stockbridge and Lenox, Mass. The Berkshire Festival was begun in 1934 at a farm in Stockbridge. Henry HadleyHadley, Henry Kimball,
1871–1937, American composer and conductor, b. Somerville, Mass., studied at the New England Conservatory and in Vienna. He composed and conducted in Europe from 1904 until 1909. Upon his return he became conductor of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
..... Click the link for more information. conducted an orchestra composed largely of members of the New York PhilharmonicNew York Philharmonic,
dating from 1842, the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States. The orchestra as it now exists is the result of the merger of the Philharmonic Society of New York with the National Symphony Orchestra (1921), the City Symphony (1923), and finally the
..... Click the link for more information. for two summers. In 1936, Serge KoussevitzkyKoussevitzky, Serge
(Sergei Aleksandrovich Koussevitzky) , 1874–1951, Russian-American conductor, studied in Moscow. He began his career as a double bass player. In 1908 he made his debut as a conductor in Berlin.
..... Click the link for more information. and the Boston Symphony OrchestraBoston Symphony Orchestra,
founded in 1881 by Henry Lee Higginson, who was its director and financial backer until 1918. The orchestra performed at the Old Boston Music Hall for nearly 20 years until the 2,625-seat Symphony Hall was built in 1900; its concerts continue to be
..... Click the link for more information. (BSO) took over the festival, which became its summer home; the BSO's subsequent conductors and music directors have also been, at least nominally, the directors of the festival. In 1940 a summer school, the Berkshire (now Tanglewood) Music Center, was begun in combination with the festival. Today it is one of the world's preeminent training grounds for composers, conductors, instrumentalists, and vocalists. Charles MünchMünch, Charles
, 1891–1968, French conductor and violinist, b. Alsace. Having conducted and directed orchestras in Paris (1933–48), Münch appeared for three seasons from 1947 as guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and was chief conductor of the
..... Click the link for more information. became musical director of the center in 1951 and was followed by Erich Leinsdorf (1963–69). Seiji OzawaOzawa, Seiji
, 1935–, Japanese conductor, b. Japanese-occupied Manchuria. A graduate of the Toho School of Music, Ozawa, who was the first Japanese conductor to gain recognition in the West, won competitions in Europe and the United States and was hired (1961) by the New
..... Click the link for more information. led the BSO's programs there from 1970, the year that Gunther SchullerSchuller, Gunther Alexander,
1925–2015, American composer and conductor, b. Queens, N.Y. He studied French horn and flute, becoming principal hornist with the Cincinnati Symphony (1943–45) and Metropolitan Opera (1945–59).
..... Click the link for more information. assumed leadership of the center. Leon Fleischer succeed Schuller in 1985, becoming artistic director, and in 1998 Ellen Highstein became director of the center.
The Koussevitzky Music Shed at Tanglewood opened in 1938. Its acoustics were enhanced by the addition of an orchestra canopy in 1959. The Shed seats more than 5,000 people and accommodates about 12,000 additional listeners on its vast lawns. In 1986 the festival grounds were expanded from the original 180 acres (73 hectares) to 300 acres (121 hectares). In 1994 an additional facility, the 1,180-seat Seiji Ozawa Hall, was opened. Intended for chamber concerts, rehearsals, recitals, and recording sessions, it also contains a library, performers' pavilion, and other facilities, and accommodates some 2,000 concertgoers on its lawns.
See studies by J. R. Holland (1973), H. Kupferberg (1976), and A. L. Pincus (1989 and 1998).
Tanglewood Music Festival
The festival includes concerts by the Boston Symphony and the Berkshire Music Center Orchestra as well as chamber music, jazz, choral and vocal concerts, and music theater productions. In early August there is a Festival of Contemporary Music that focuses on new works, some of which have been specially commissioned for the festival.
The grounds at Tanglewood open about two hours prior to the concerts so people can picnic on the lawns. More than 350,000 people come to Tanglewood over the course of the festival each summer.
Boston Symphony Orchestra
297 W. St.
Boston, MA 01240
888-266-1200 or 413-637-1600; fax: 413-637-5227
GdUSFest-1984, p. 86
MusFestAmer-1990, p. 81
MusFestWrld-1963, p. 280