A Summer of Beethoven, Stern, Wagner, and More at Tanglewood in 2020

Nov 21, 2019

The Boston Symphony Orchestra has announced its 2020 season at Tanglewood, with celebrations of Beethoven, the centenary of violinist Isaac Stern, and a continuation of Wagner opera performances led by Andris Nelsons.

Update: Live performances of the 2020 Tanglewood season have been cancelled due to COVID-19. WCRB will celebrate the legacy and history of Tanglewood with special broadcasts to be announced at a later date.

The best summer festival experiences offer both escape and deep engagement. That combination is foundational to Tanglewood, the summer home of the BSO in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Legendarily beautiful natural surroundings are the setting of escape from the day-to-day environments of the rest of the year. And through virtually non-stop programming, engagement with the restorative power of music is as deep as one chooses to make it.

The summer of 2020 includes a wide-ranging series of concerts, other performances, and programs by the BSO, the Tanglewood Music Center, and the Tanglewood Learning Institute, along with visiting artists and ensembles. Tony Fogg, the Director of Tanglewood, talked with me about some of the major highlights.

In this conversation, you'll hear about:

  • an All-American Opening Night on July 3, led by Ken-David Masur and featuring soprano Angel Blue in Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and James Carter as soloist in Roberto Sierra's Concerto for Saxophones (listen at 0:59),
  • the Isaac Stern centenary celebration (July 24-26), featuring violinists Augustin Hadelich, Midori, Pamela Frank, Vadim Gluzman, Nancy Zhou, and Joshua Bell, along with pianist Jeremy Denk and cellists Jian Wang and Steven Isserlis (3:15),
  • a full-immersion weekend (July 17-19) of Beethoven's piano concertos with soloist Paul Lewis, the 2020 Koussevitzky Artist at Tanglewood (7:21),
  • the programs to be led by BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, including Act III of Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser (July 11) and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 3 (Aug. 1) (10:15),
  • the 50th anniversary of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus (12:57),
  • the debut of Assistant Conductor Anna Rakitina (July 5) and the legacy of other BSO assistant conductors (16:16),
  • the Festival of Contemporary Music (Aug. 6-10) and BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès (18:05), and
  • the programs of the Tanglewood Learning Institute (19:45).

For more information, see the complete 2020 Tanglewood schedule.