Andris Nelsons conducted Beethoven’s Ninth at Tanglewood August 28, 2016, in a program that included Aaron Copland’s Quiet City, which gave the Boston Symphony Orchestra the opportunity to bid farewell to trumpeter Thomas Rolfs and English hornist Robert Sheena. Before proceeding with Beethoven’s beloved symphony, almost always programmed to close the BSO’s Tanglewood season, music director Nelsons addressed the audience, going on at unexpected length, to voice the organization’s gratitude and best wishes to the departing players, but also to speak of his excitement with the day’s program and with the setting, expressing his gratitude to the audience and inviting them this fall to Symphony Hall in Boston “another great place to make music.” He said also that he is looking forward to returning to the Berkshires next year for the the first two and last two weeks of the Tanglewood season – news that was announced today.
It feels as if Maestro Nelsons is settling in, and perhaps we’re at the beginning of another long tenure, to close out the ferquently unsettled interregnum since the departure of Seiji Ozawa during the 1st Geo. W. Bush administration. Last month, the BSO announced the extension of Nelsons’ contract through the 2021-2022 season, with an evergreen clause for automatic renewal. Today’s concert ratified the wisdom of that bit of business, as the performance was brilliant, with the audience erupting in applause at the glorious conclusion – leading the ovation from his seat in Sec. 3 was another Tanglewood stalwart, James Taylor.
Andris Nelsons is kinetic sculpture on the podium
So soon after determining that the greatest concert we’ve attended was last week’s performance of Aida, which itself was close on the heels of 5 star shows by The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma and the Chick Corea Trio, it’s time to recognize that such absolutes cannot obtain here, at Tanglewood, where breathtaking excellence may be acheived more than once, even a few times in a single month!
Besides the ineffably beautiful music Maestro Nelsons inspires the orchestra and vocalists to produce, he also becomes a work of kinetic sculpture on the podium – balletic, athletic, military, and architectural by turns. And I’ll wade all the way into a metaphorical morass to state that observing his baton gestures close up is like getting to watch the stitchery at the same time as you’re marveling at a beautiful tapestry.
- Boston Symphony Orchestra
- Andris Nelsons, conductor
- Thomas Rolfs, trumpet
- Robert Sheena, English horn
- Rachel Willis-Sørensen, soprano
- Ruxandra Donose, mezzo-soprano
- Joseph Kaiser, tenor
- Wilhelm Schwinghammer, bass
- Tanglewood Festival Chorus
- COPLAND Quiet City
- BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9
About Tanglewood: box office, tickets, getting there, nearby hotels
Tickets for the 2016 Tanglewood season, $12-$124, go on sale January 24 starting at 10 a.m. 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. Tanglewood brochures with complete programs and information on how to order tickets will be available in early February by calling 617-638-9467. For further information, please call the Boston Symphony Orchestra at 617-266-1492 or visit www.tanglewood.org. 2016 Tanglewood schedule – PDF.
Follow this link for Berkshires travel information, including public transportation within Berkshire county and Amtrak and Peter Pan bus schedules.
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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.
Here is a dynamic map of the Tanglewood grounds, with photos and information for such points of interest as Aaron Copland Library, Highwood Manor House, The Glass House, and The Lion’s Gate.