Article updated Feb. 21, 2018 by Dave Read
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is Celebrating Lenny at Tanglewood; the Bernstein Centennial Summer has more than a dozen pieces composed by Leonard Bernstein listed in the 2018 Tanglewood schedule. He was born August 25, 1918 in Lawrence, MA, was a member of the first class of the Berkshire Music Center (now Tanglewood Music Center) in 1940 and became the protege of founder Serge Koussevitsky. After a fifty year career, for which there was no template, Maestro Bernstein gave his last performance in the Koussevitsky Music Shed in August 1990, and died two months later. Leonard Bernstein’s artistry spanned ballet, opera, symphony, television, Broadway, and Hollywood – and his politics scared the establishment witless.
“That place [Tanglewood] is very dear to my heart, that is where I grew up and learned so much…in 1940 when I first played and studied there.”
—Leonard Bernstein (November 1989)
Bernstein from Broadway to Hollywood
In addition to concert works including his Chichester Psalms (7/15), alil for flute and orchestra (7/21), Songfest (8/4), the Serenade (after Plato’s “Symposium”) for violin and orchestra (8/18), and the BSO-commissioned Divertimento for Orchestra (also 8/18), performances also include the operas Trouble in Tahiti (7/12) and A Quiet Place (8/9); the Broadway hit On the Town (7/7); Candide (8/22 & 23); the ballet Fancy Free in collaboration with Boston Ballet (8/18), and the Oscar-winning film version of West Side Story with the BSO playing the score live as the movie is shown on large screens in high definition with the original vocals and dialogue intact (7/28). (Photo: Leonard Bernstein conduct rehearsal,
Leonard Bernstein Pieces Being Performed as Part of the 2018 Tanglewood Season
- July 5 – Variations on an Octatonic Scale, for flute and cello (1988-89)
- July 9 – Opening Prayer (Benediction) (1986)
- July 7 – On the Town (1944)
- July 12 – Trouble in Tahiti (1951)
- July 15 – Chichester Psalms (1965)
- July 21 – alil, Nocturne for flute and orchestra (1981)
- July 23 – Facsimile, Choreographic Essay for Orchestra (1946)
- July 28 – West Side Story (1957)
- Aug. 4 – Songfest (1977)
- Aug. 9 – A Quiet Place (1983)
- Aug. 18 – Divertimento for Orchestra (1980)
- Aug. 18 – Serenade (after Plato’s “Symposium”), for violin and orchestra (1954)
- Aug. 18 – Fancy Free (1944)
- Aug. 19 – Three Meditations from Mass, for cello and orchestra (1977)
- Aug. 22 & 23 – Candide (1956)
Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood – Aug. 25
On August 25, Bernstein’s birth-date, The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood, to be conducted by BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, Christoph Eschenbach, Keith Lockhart, Michael Tilson Thomas, and John Williams, will feature an extraordinary array of guest artists, among them Audra McDonald, Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Susan Graham, and Thomas Hampson. In addition, the BSO will be joined for this very special occasion by members of numerous other orchestras with which Bernstein maintained close associations, including the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival, and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.
Hotels near Tanglewood
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Tanglewood tickets and box office information
Tickets for the 2018 Tanglewood season, $12-$160, are 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. Download the 2018 Tanglewood season brochure.
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.