FRIDAY, AUGUST 10 – PINCHAS ZUKERMAN AND BSO SOLOISTS HEADLINE ALL-BACH PROGRAM
On Friday, August 10, at 8:30 p.m., Pinchas Zukerman, who first performed at Tanglewood in 1969, acts as both conductor and solo violinist in an all-Bach program—a popular concert format throughout the history of the festival—that highlights some of the exceptional talent within the ranks of the BSO. In addition to Mr. Zukerman and guest harpsichordist John Gibbons, BSO principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe, principal oboist John Ferrillo, and concertmaster Malcolm Lowe take solo turns in an all-Bach program featuring the Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 3 and 5, the Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, BWV 1041, the Concerto in D minor for two violins and strings, BWV 1043, and the Concerto in C minor for violin, oboe, and strings, BWV 1060.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 11 – YO-YO MA AND STÉPHANE DENÈVE JOIN BSO FOR ELGAR’S CELLO CONCERTO
Yo-Yo Ma returns to the Shed stage Saturday, August 11, at 8:30 p.m., as soloist in Elgar’s cathartic Cello Concerto, a grief-stricken yet beautiful piece that was written toward the end of the composer’s career in the wake of World War I and is one of his most enduring works. French conductor Stéphane Denève—chief conductor of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra—leads the orchestra in the concerto and also conducts the world premiere of Music for Boston,a BSO-commissioned new work by André Previn. Concluding the program is Shostakovich’s riveting Symphony No. 5, the composer’s most accessible and popular symphony.
André Previn’s Music for Boston was inspired by both Tanglewood and the orchestra’s namesake city. Since the composer first led the BSO at Tanglewood in a program of Vaughan Williams, Hummel, and Rachmaninoff in 1977, Mr. Previn has appeared at the BSO’s summer home more than 40 times. Since his first appearances, the orchestra has premiered three of his works: Previn’s Owls (a BSO commission) was unveiled in 2008; the composer’s Double Concerto for Violin and Double Bass was premiered by Anne-Sophie Mutter and Roman Patkoló in 2007; and his Violin Concerto, written for Anne-Sophie Mutter, received its world premiere in 2002. The Boston Symphony Chamber Players premiered André Previn’s Octet for Eleven in 2010. Music for Boston is approximately 15 minutes in length.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12 – PAUL LEWIS PLAYS MOZART ON A PROGRAM WITH BEETHOVEN AND STRAUSS
Eminent German-Hungarian conductor Christoph von Dohnányi takes the podium once again Sunday, August 12, at 2:30 p.m., for a program spanning almost 200 years of the Germanic music tradition. Widely acclaimed English pianist Paul Lewis makes his BSO and Tanglewood debuts as soloist in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A, K.488, an intimate work composed in 1786 that trades the usual oboes for clarinets. Bracketing the concerto are Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4—a lively work less often performed but no less deserving than most of the composer’s other symphonies—and Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, one of the composer’s great kaleidoscopic symphonic poems, in this case on the subject of the mischievous German folk antihero Till Eulenspiegel.
PERFORMANCE IN OZAWA HALL ON AUGUST 16
THURSDAY, AUGUST 16 – ÉBÈNE STRING QUARTET’S MOZART, TCHAIKOVSKY, AND JAZZ IMPROVISATIONS
The young and adventurous Ébène String Quartet, which has rocketed to stardom in recent years, brings its fresh approach to string quartet performance to Ozawa Hall on Thursday, August 16, at 8 p.m.
As is typical in Ébène performances, the quartet juxtaposes the classic with the new, first delving into Mozart’s Quartet No. 15 in D minor, K.421—one of six the composer dedicated to his friend and mentor Haydn—and Tchaikovsky’s Quartet No. 1 in D, Op. 11—an early yet accomplished work Tchaikovsky wrote for a public concert to supplement his income in 1870—then changing gears with jazz selections arranged by the ensemble members and filled with improvisation.
In addition to the regular programming, Tanglewood’s annual celebration of modern music will take place this week.
FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC, AUGUST 9-13
The 2012 Festival of Contemporary Music, August 9-13, under the direction of composer Oliver Knussen, will present the east coast premiere of Mr. Knussen’s opera Higglety Pigglety Pop!, based on the award-winning children’s book by Maurice Sendak. This special performance, which will take place on August 12, will feature an interactive multi-dimensional component designed by Netia Jones, a British director and video artist who works frequently in opera and staged concerts, using video, film, and projected media in all of her work. In addition to Higglety Pigglety Pop!, Mr. Knussen, who celebrates his 60th birthday this season, has curated a selection of music that includes works of a 20th-century Italian composer almost unknown in this country—Niccolò Castiglioni—and English composers Harrison Birtwistle, Luke Bedford, and Helen Grime, and Americans Sean Shepherd and Marti Epstein, the latter presenting her new, TMC-commissioned string quartet, Hidden Flowers. The 2012 FCM will also present a reprise (August 13) of Dreamscape,the new Gunther Schullerwork commissioned by the TMC in honor of Tanglewood’s 75th anniversary, which received its world premiere earlier in the season on July 8 under the composer’s direction. On Friday, August 10, at 2:30 p.m. in Ozawa Hall, guest artist Gloria Cheng plays a solo piano recital featuring works of Benjamin, Birtwistle, Harbison, Knussen, Rands, and Salonen. Other composers represented in this year’s FCM include Elliott Carter and David Del Tredici, the latter celebrating his 75th birthday year. A press release with further details about the upcoming Festival of Contemporary Music is forthcoming.
BRIEF OVERVIEW OF TANGLEWOOD
Tanglewood, one of the world’s most beloved music festivals and the famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra located in the beautiful Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, celebrates its 75th anniversary season, June 22-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. Tickets, priced from $9 to $117 for regular season concerts, are available at tanglewood.org or at 888-266-1200; tanglewood offers free lawn tickets to young people age 17 and under and a 50% discount on lawn tickets to college and graduate students.
FREE PRELUDE CONCERTS BY MEMBERS OF THE BSO AND FELLOWS OF THE TANGLEWOOD MUSIC CENTER
The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s free Prelude Concerts in Ozawa Hall take place at 6 p.m., before each Friday-evening Shed concert. The prelude concert on Friday, August 10 will feature the Hawthorne Quartet—violinists Si-Jing Huang and Ronan Lefkowitz, violist Mark Ludwig, and cellist Sato Knudsen—along with clarinetist Thomas Martin and pianist Vytas Baksys, performing Andre Previn’s Quintet for Clarinet and String Trio and Sonata for Clarinet and Piano, as well as John Harbison’s Trio Sonata for violin, viola, and cello. On Saturday, August 11, as part of the Festival of Contemporary Music, Tanglewood Music Center Fellows present a 6 p.m. all-Charles Ives prelude concert, prepared and conducted by Gunther Schuller, including little-known, rarely played works in an extensive variety of styles and genres. The Friday- and Saturday-evening Prelude Concerts are open to all ticket holders for the evening’s Shed concert.
A complete concert listing for these programs appears below.
TANGLEWOOD CONCERT LISTING, AUGUST 9-16
2012 FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC, AUGUST 9-13
Thursday, August 9, 8 p.m. Ozawa Hall
Friday, August 10, 2:30 p.m. Ozawa Hall
Saturday, August 11, 6 p.m. Ozawa Hall
Sunday, August 12, 10 a.m. Ozawa Hall
Sunday, August 12, 8 p.m. Ozawa Hall
Monday, August 13, 8 p.m. Ozawa Hall
Friday, August 10, 6 p.m. Ozawa Hall
Friday, August 10, 7:15 p.m. Shed
Friday, August 10, 8:30 p.m. Shed
Saturday, August 11, 9:30 a.m. Shed
Saturday, August 11, 10:30 a.m. Shed
Saturday, August 11, 8:30 p.m. Shed
Sunday, August 12, 2:30 p.m. Shed
Thursday, August 16, 8 p.m. Ozawa Hall