A Tanglewood Summer of Bach, Wagner and Renée Fleming
Posted November 16, 2018 12:07 a.m. EST
Yo-Yo Ma will bring Bach’s cello suites to Tanglewood. Andris Nelsons will conduct an unusual, staggered concert performance of Wagner’s “Die Walküre” spread over two days. The composer Thomas Adès will organize a contemporary music festival.
And the soprano Renée Fleming will channel artist Georgia O’Keeffe when she sings the world premiere of a new Kevin Puts work, “The Brightness of Light,” inspired by letters between O’Keeffe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz.
It may feel like summer only just ended, but on Thursday the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced details of its plans for next summer’s season at Tanglewood, its bucolic summer home in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, which will run June 15 through Labor Day weekend.
There will be change on the festival’s grounds with the opening of its biggest expansion project in years, the Tanglewood Learning Institute — a complex of four new buildings that can be used for talks, master classes, performances, open rehearsals and more. The institute’s programming will be announced in February, the orchestra said.
— A very Andris Nelsons July
Nelsons, the Boston Symphony’s music director, will spend July in Tanglewood conducting an array of programs — beginning July 5 with Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22 in E flat, with pianist Emanuel Ax. He will also conduct Dvorak, Debussy, Ravel, the premiere of “The Brightness of Light” and a performance of the Verdi Requiem, among other programs.
And Nelsons, a sought-after opera conductor, will continue his efforts to give Tanglewood the flavor of a Bayreuth-in-the-Berkshires by leading the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in an episodic concert performance of “Die Walküre.” Starring Amber Wagner, Christine Goerke and Simon O’Neill, it takes place throughout one weekend: Act 1 at 8 p.m. July 27; and Act 2 at 2:30 p.m. and Act 3 at 6:30 p.m. July 28. Hearing it all will require two tickets: one for July 27 and one for July 28.
— André Previn turns 90
Tanglewood is planning several events to mark the 90th birthday of the conductor and composer André Previn. Star violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, who was once married to Previn, will perform his violin concerto “Anne-Sophie,” which he wrote for her in 2001. And Fleming will join the Emerson String Quartet to perform the world premiere of “Penelope,” by Previn and playwright Tom Stoppard.
— A music festival by Thomas Adès
Adès will return to organize his second Festival of Contemporary Music, planned for Aug. 8-12. It will feature the world premiere of a piece by Andrew Hamilton and the U.S. premieres of works by Richard Ayres, Gerald Barry, Erika Fox, Gyorgy Kurtag, Hilda Paredes, Poul Ruders and Nathan Shields.
The festival will honor British composer Oliver Knussen, who died in July at 66 and who had been involved with Tanglewood for more than four decades, including as the director of its composition program, between 1986 and ’93. A concert Aug. 10 will feature his complete piano works, and Adès will conduct Knussen’s “Whitman Settings,” for soprano and orchestra, on Aug. 12.