Summer at Tanglewood, from WCRB

With Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts at the Koussevitzky Music Shed cancelled for 2020, hear full BSO concerts each weekend, as well as seven mini-festivals of BSO performances, Monday through Friday nights.

Among the many great disappointments of these times is the lack of live concerts by one of the world's great orchestras at its iconic summer home in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. But as the global pandemic continues, riveting and inspirational Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts are, nevertheless, on the radio this summer.

Full-length concerts, curated from the last few Tanglewood seasons, will air on WCRB each Saturday night at 8pm. These broadcasts will also air at different times on WAMC in Albany, New York; New England Public Radio in Springfield, Mass.; and WMNR in Monroe, Conn. For specific scheduling, check with your local station.

In addition, Tanglewood performances from the last 30 years are part of WCRB's weeknight mini-festivals, Monday through Friday, at 8pm, from July 6 through Saturday, August 22. Each week is organized around thematic connections.

The final Tanglewood mini-festival (August 17-22) is "A Celebration of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus at 50," and includes these performances:

  • Mon., Aug. 17 - Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, conducted by Robert Shaw on Aug. 24, 1996
  • Tue., Aug. 18 - Beethoven's Mass in C, conducted by John Oliver on July 5, 1998
  • Wed., Aug. 19 - Orff's Carmina Burana, conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos on Aug. 8, 2009
  • Thu., Aug. 20 - excerpts from Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (translation), conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos on July 17, 2004
  • Fri., Aug. 21 - Haydn's The Creation (libretto), conducted by Simon Rattle on Aug. 15, 1993
  • Sat., Aug. 22 - Berlioz's Requiem, conducted by Seiji Ozawa on Aug. 5, 1995

Learn more about the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and hear an interview with BSO Choral Director James Burton.

These mini-festivals began with "BSO Signature Works at Tanglewood," and included the following performances:

  • Mon., July 6 - Beethoven's Symphony No. 6, "Pastoral," led by Bernard Haitink on July 11, 2008
  • Tue., July 7 - Debussy's La Mer, led by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos on July 31, 2009
  • Wed. July 8 - Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, led by Andris Nelsons on July 16, 2017
  • Thu., July 9 - Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, led by Neeme Järvi on July 10, 1993
  • Fri. July 10 - Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, led by Andris Nelsons on July 26, 2017

The following week featured all five of Beethoven's Piano Concertos in a nod to the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth. Originally, Paul Lewis was to have been the soloist in these works during a single weekend at Tanglewood. And while hearing Paul Lewis perform this music is never a bad idea, these are the performances featured on WCRB:

  • Mon., July 13 - Piano Concerto No. 1, with soloist Imogen Cooper and led by Gustavo Dudamel on August 25, 2006
  • Tue., July 14 - Piano Concerto No. 2, with soloist and conductor Christian Zacharias on August 11, 2013
  • Wed. July 15 - Piano Concerto No. 3, with soloist Leif Ove Andsnes and led by Thomas Dausgaard on August 2, 2009
  • Thu., July 16 - Piano Concerto No. 4, with soloist Emanuel Ax and led by Sir Andrew Davis on July 20, 2001
  • Fri. July 17 - Piano Concerto No. 5, "Emperor," with soloist Alfred Brendel and led by Seiji Ozawa on July 18, 1992

Our third mini-festival featured several of the guest soloists who were to have been at Tanglewood for a centennial celebration of violinist Isaac Stern this summer, in their own past performances in the Berkshires:

  • Mon., July 20 - August Hadelich in Barber's Violin Concerto, recorded on Aug. 17, 2012
  • Tue., July 21 - Cellist Jian Wang in Strauss's Don Quixote, recorded on Aug. 12, 2005
  • Wed. July 22 - Vadim Gluzman in Beethoven's Violin Concerto, recorded on July 24, 2015
  • Thu., July 23 - Pamela Frank in Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5, recorded on July 25, 1997
  • Fri. July 24 - Conductor Michael Stern (one of Isaac Stern's sons) leading Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, recorded on July 7, 2012, as well as Dvorák's Romance with soloist Isaac Stern, recorded on July 13, 1997

On July 27, we began three weeks devoted to memories of several BSO musicians and the performances they feel are personally significant. This first week included the following: