Article updated June 20, 2018 by Dave Read
The original iteration of the Berkshires as a playground for the obscenely rich was during the last quarter of the 19th century, when it became an autumnal retreat for robber barons and other scallywags who’d grown bored of their Newport and Adirondack estates. In terms of man-made seasons, that was it – the Berkshires’ season was late summer/early fall. The Berkshires today, its essential natural resource polluted in perpetuity by G.E. (the corporate criminal kicked off the Dow Jones just this week), scrambles to make a go of things by converting the arts into a commodity.
One hopes this conversion is less harmful than GE’s conversion of the Housatonic River was. But one bit of harm is the spawning of the awkward phrase “shoulder season.” It seems that where a segment of the local population that otherwise would’ve been engaged in corporate communications and other aspects of internal paper-pushing now toil in the obscenely oxymoronic “cultural economy.” As one who traffics in language, I cannot help but wonder if a segment of a shoulder season would be called a “clavical week?”
…on the shoulders of giants
That’s why metaphor is best left alone by people essentially talking business, because if we imagine Tanglewood as something with shoulders, then we see something hideously ugly – one shoulder comprised of fifteen concerts, the other only one. We know PCBs to be endocrine-disrupting, so we’ll have to find somebody else than GE to blame for this skeletal anomaly.
There’s no more beautiful venue in the world than Tanglewood, regardless the season – or metaphor. And speaking of beautiful, Alison Krauss, accompanied by remnats of Union Station and members of the Cox family, regaled a handsome audience on a quintessential June evening with a ninety minute show that amounted to a sampler of her stunning career.
2018 Tanglewood schedule
The 2018 Tanglewood schedulefeatures a season-long celebration of the centennial of Leonard’s Bernstein’s birth, culminating in the Aug. 25 Bernstein Centennial Celebration hosted by Audra McDonald, with Maestro Andris Nelsons, four guest conductors and soloists Yo-Yo Ma, Midori, and others.
Hotels near Tanglewood
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Tanglewood tickets and box office information
Tickets for the 2018 Tanglewood season available through Tanglewood’s website, www.tanglewood.org, SymphonyCharge at 888-266-1200, and at the Symphony Hall Box Office at 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston MA.
Getting around the Tanglewood campus
The Tanglewood campus, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center comprises several hundred acres in the towns of Lenox and Stockbridge. It is the location of the Koussevitsky Music Shed and Ozawa Hall, where hundreds of thousands attend concerts and a variety of events, including picnics. We always advise new visitors to arrive early and take their daily walking exercise wandering the beautiful Tanglewood grounds. This dynamic map of the Tanglewood grounds includes photos and information for such points of interest as Aaron Copland Library, Highwood Manor House, The Glass House, and The Lion’s Gate.