The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2012 Tanglewood season attendance was 375,776, marking the third highest attendance in Tanglewood’s 75-year history.
The coverage in Berkshire on Stage also attracted record numbers, with some 42,872 readers checking our weekly previews and full summer schedule.
2012 was the best attended year in more than a decade. The 1998 season had the highest attendance in Tanglewood’s history (386,870), followed by the 1997 season (376,533). As part of the 75th anniversary celebration, the BSO invested significantly more in special projects—including the 75th Anniversary Gala celebration on July 14 and the John Williams 80th Birthday Celebration on August 18—which contributed to increased attendance during this special anniversary season.
- July 2, 3, and 4 Shed concerts featuring James Taylor (54,385)
- August 18 John Williams 80th Birthday Celebration (18,028)
- July 14 75th Anniversary Gala Celebration (16,597)
- July 8 Boston Pops concert featuring Bernadette Peters (15,054)
- August 7 Tanglewood on Parade (14,875)
- August 24 Boston Pops concert featuring Maureen McGovern, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Ilya Yakushev (12,037)
- August 31 Train (11,403)
- September 2 Boston Pops with Michael Feinstein, Christine Ebersole, Betty Buckley, and Thomas Wilkins (11,289)
- August 26 Beethoven Symphony No. 9 final 2012 BSO performance at Tanglewood (10,466)
- July 6 Opening Night at Tanglewood (10,188)
- July 22 BSO with Kurt Masur and Ken-David Masur (10,141)
- July 29 Emanuel Ax with the BSO (9,324)
- June 30 A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor (9,114)
The largest crowds at Ozawa Hall for a series were for the Silk Road Ensemble on June 22 and 24 (5,593); Gerhard Oppitz Brahms Complete Works for Piano on July 18, 19, 25, and 26 (4,370); and the Mark Morris Dance Group on June 28 and 29 (3,811). The largest single-concert crowds for Ozawa Hall include Anne-Sophie Mutter on July 11 (3,323); Emerson String Quartet on July 5 (2,633); and Chris Botti on August 5 (1,854).
TANGLEWOOD 2012 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
Tanglewood’s 75th anniversary season presented a spectacular lineup of musical guests, while honoring legendary moments from the festival’s rich tradition of presenting summertime concerts since 1937. The anniversary season also looked to the future with nine world premieres and new media initiatives including international radio broadcasts and major new streaming offers free to a worldwide audience. The Tanglewood 75th anniversary gala concert on July 14 featured many of the iconic artists identified with the festival and was added to the line-up of the PBS Arts Summer Festival and aired nationally on Friday, August 10 at 9 p.m. ET as part of GREAT PERFORMANCES.
Season highlights included a gala celebration with appearances by John Williams, Keith Lockhart, Andris Nelsons, James Taylor, Yo-Yo Ma, Peter Serkin, and Anne-Sophie Mutter performing with the BSO, Boston Pops, andTanglewood Music Center Orchestras (July 14); a special John Williams 80th Birthday Celebration (August 18); an all-Beethoven (BSO opener on July 6) and an all-Wagner program (July 21), replicating two programs from Tanglewood’s first season in 1937; and nine world premiere performances, spotlighting several composers who have had a strong connection with Tanglewood and the BSO, including Michael Gandolfi, John Harbison, André Previn, Gunther Schuller, and Edgar Meyer, as well as composers new to the BSO and its audiences.
The 75th anniversary season also presented James Taylor (July 2, 3, 4), Yo-Yo Ma with his Silk Road Ensemble (June 22 and 24); Joshua Bell (July 7);Jean-Yves Thibaudet (August 5); Mark Morris Dance Group (June 28 and 29); Chris Botti (August 5); Wynton Marsalis (August 20), and Train (August 31). Bernadette Peters (July 8), as well as Maureen McGovern and Brian Stokes Mitchell (August 24), made welcome returns with the Boston Pops. Popular music offerings also included a performance by the rock groupEvanescence (September 1), a Chick Corea concert (August 26), andGarrison Keillor’s annual Prairie Home Companion broadcast (June 30).
In addition to the star-studded gala concerts and historically resonant programming, Tanglewood’s 75th Anniversary reached out to a worldwide audience by way of international radio broadcasts; an extraordinary offer of 75 Free Digital Streams, available for purchase after a 24-hour free period; as well as free digital streams of master classes for the Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center (TMC), the BSO’s renowned summer music academy for the advanced training of young professional-caliber musicians.
The anniversary was also celebrated with a specially commissioned commemorative poster and stamp. In addition, special anniversary banners appeared in towns throughout the Berkshires and a series of musical instrument sculptures were scattered throughout the region to remind visitors of the anniversary.