Yo Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble have the honor of being the first attraction of the Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Season on June 22 and 24 In fact, the opening week which leads into the July 4th holiday week should be a big boost to Berkshire tourism, as all four Berkshire theatre companies also undertake their main seasons at the same time. Shakespeare & Company and Barrington Stage Company got underway late in May, and both the Wiliamstown Theatre Festival and Berkshire Theatre Group start their engines as Tanglewood reopens its gates.
The Mark Morris Dance Group makes its annual visit to Tanglewood on June 28 and 29, with the annual visit of A Prairie Home Companion with the inimitable Garrison Keillor, being broadcast live on June 30.
Of course the arrival of James Taylor on July 2,3 and 4 will provide the musical fireworks to match those in the Berkshire skies.
The Tanglewood season runs to September 2, with a spectacular lineup of musical guests and programs that spotlight Tanglewood’s rich tradition of presenting summertime concerts at their best since 1937. Tanglewood continues to be ranked as one of the world’s most beloved music festivals and the famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
For the 75th Anniversary there will be two gala concerts, the first a John Williams 80th Birthday Celebration and the second a Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Gala concert on July 14, each featuring world-renowned artists, many of whom have had close ties with the festival for many years. The July 14 concert has been added to the PBS Arts Summer Festival and will air nationally on Friday, August 10 at 9 p.m. ET as part of the Great Performances series.
A complete day by day calendar of concerts is on our Tanglewood 2012 Schedule page.
The 2012 Tanglewood season also offers a wide variety of family-fun activities and discounted ticket options, including free lawn tickets to those age 17 and under. Further details about the Tanglewood 75th anniversary season are available at tanglewood.org.
FRIDAY, JUNE 22, AND SUNDAY, JUNE 24 – YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE
Globally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma—a beloved Tanglewood fixture who has performed at the festival in all but one summer since 1983—opens the 2012 Tanglewood pre-season with two performances featuring the Silk Road Ensemble in Ozawa Hall Friday, June 22, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 24, at 8 p.m. With musicians from around the globe who specialize in presenting musical riches from along the ancient Silk Road trade routes, the Ensemble performs a special program that reflects a diversity of styles and nationalities, combining Western and non-Western instruments from the old and new worlds in ways that transcend cultural boundaries. Yo-Yo Ma first performed at Tanglewood on July 31, 1983, and has appeared at the festival nearly every season since, performing with the BSO more than 30 times. Ozawa Hall tickets have sold out, but lawn tickets remain available for these performances.
SATURDAY, JUNE 23 – JAZZ ICON DIANA KRALL TAKES THE SHED STAGE
On Saturday, June 23, at 7 p.m., the Koussevitzky Music Shed welcomes back Canadian singer and pianist Diana Krall, who last appeared at Tanglewood in 2009. The double platinum-selling and five-time Grammy Award-winning recording artist is known for her distinctive jazz stylings across a range of repertoire, especially tunes from the American songbook.
THURSDAY, JUNE 28, AND FRIDAY, JUNE 29 – MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP WITH TMC FELLOWS
The Mark Morris Dance Group makes its annual appearance in two highly anticipated concerts Thursday, June 28, at 8 p.m., and Friday, June 29, at 8 p.m., collaborating as usual with Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center. The program this year includes three Morris works:Something Lies Beyond the Scene, set to William Walton’s Façade: An Entertainment and featuring soprano and longtime TMC faculty member Phyllis Curtin as speaker; Rock of Ages, set to Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat, D.897, Notturno; and Festival Dance, set to Johann Hummel’s Piano Trio No. 5 in E, Op. 83. The Mark Morris Dance Group first performed at Tanglewood on June 29 and 30, 2003. These performances are the group’s ninth appearance at Tanglewood. In recent seasons, Mark Morris has worked with Tanglewood Music Center Fellows, directing Stravinsky’s Renard for a performance in 2009, and an evening of Milhaud’s Opéras-minutes in 2011.
SATURDAY, JUNE 30 – GARRISON KEILLOR’S A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, LIVE FROM TANGLEWOOD
American Public Media’s A Prairie Home Companion, with the inimitable Garrison Keillor and a colorful cast of friends from the shores of Lake Wobegon, has become a favorite Tanglewood tradition since it was first broadcast from the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home in 1998. This season, the program once again takes residence and broadcasts live from the Shed Saturday, June 30, at 5:45 p.m.
SUNDAY, JUNE 1, AND MONDAY, JUNE 2 – TANGLEWOOD MUSIC CENTER STRING QUARTET MARATHON
The Tanglewood Music Center, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer academy for young professionals pursuing advanced musical study, hosts its annual two-day String Quartet Marathon, a series of four two-hour performances, which will take place Sunday, June 1, and Monday, June 2 at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days in Ozawa Hall.
MONDAY, JULY 2, TUESDAY, JULY 3, AND WEDNESDAY, JULY 4 – JAMES TAYLOR AT TANGLEWOOD
James Taylor, another beloved and annual Tanglewood guest, returns with his astonishing band and surprise guests for three performances Monday, July 2, Tuesday, July 3, and Wednesday, July 4, all at 7 p.m., of a program called James Taylor at Tanglewood, reflecting the style and the songs that have made him an icon. Mr. Taylor has performed at Tanglewood in concert more than 30 times since his first appearance in 1974, and has made numerous special guest appearances. The proceeds of the July 4 concert, which will be followed by Tanglewood’s annual Independence Day fireworks display, will be donated to Tanglewood. Shed seats have sold out for the July 4 concert, but a limited number of lawn tickets are still available.
THURSDAY, JULY 5 – EMERSON STRING QUARTET PLAYS MOZART, BEETHOVEN, AND THOMAS ADÈS
The 2012 Tanglewood pre-season concludes Thursday, July 5, with the always outstanding Emerson String Quartet. In an 8 p.m. Ozawa Hall program juxtaposing the classic and the new, the group performs Mozart’s String Quartet No. 21 in D, K.575, composed in 1789 on commission from the King of Prussia; internationally acclaimed British composer Thomas Adès’s Four Quarters, which illustrates nature’s changing colors over the course of a single day; and Beethoven’s late String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat, Op. 130, with the original Große Fuge finale.