by Philip Kampe.
It felt like years since I was on the grounds of Tanglewood.
In actuality, last year when the grounds of Tanglewood were open to the public on selected days, my wife and I would come with a picnic, a hidden bottle of wine and the newspaper to reenact the hundreds of times we spent time on the sacred lawn in Lenox.
There is something special about Tanglewood that evokes the best of out of us. A mission maybe?
Well this year I knew would be a bit different because of Covid. I wanted to take a new journey, a new direction at Tanglewood and decided to attend the programs that the fairly new Tanglewood Learning Institute has initiated.
I wanted to become a student again- at least from a distance.
The Tanglewood Learning Institute has numerous programs this summer running from July 24th to August 12th. I attended the first program in the series that featured the Maestro from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons. He was going to lead a class on conducting-with two student conductors, Kevin Fitzpatrick and Adam Wickcox. Both students took the podium at different intervals. What materialized was marvelous, from an audience perspective.
Mr. Nelsons took notes as each student conducted the band. He would stop the music and point out how possibly you could interpret bar three as gloomy and not as happy as it has been made to sound. Think of it as if you were in an underground prison.
He went on to explain that music is all interpretation and as a conductor being dramatic is an asset.
From the audience perspective, we had an Eagles eye view of how great music is made and the end result is the responsibility of the conductor.