James Bennett II is a staff writer for WQXR.
Tanglewood's 2017 Season: Contemporary Pieces and New Outdoor Activities
Friday, November 18, 2016 - 09:57 AM
The schedule for the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s annual summer sojourn at Tanglewood has been announced. BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons will lead the renowned orchestra in 10 concerts, including their opening and closing performances: Mahler’s emotional Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection" and Beethoven’s beloved Symphony No. 9, respectively. For the first time, Nelsons will team up with conductor John Williams to lead the Boston Pops for Film Night, a favorite Tanglewood tradition.
Operatic soprano and fellow Latvian Kristīne Opolais will join Nelsons and the BSO for a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. An opera gala will feature Opolais and baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky singing selections from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Verdi’s La traviata and Simon Boccanegra. Another operatic highlight is a concert performance of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, a festival first. There’s a “world first” too — the premiere of Williams's Markings, featuring violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter.
Tanglewood is once again opening its doors for guest conductors, including Giancarlo Guerrero conducting Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring; Charles Dutoit for Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, "The New World;" and Christoph Von Dohnányi leading Schumann’s Cello Concerto featuring Yo-Yo Ma.
In what is sure to excite new music enthusiasts, the Festival of Contemporary Music will feature world premieres from composers such as Nico Muhly, Anthony Cheung, Nathan Davis and Kui Dong. There will also be performances of works by Ligeti and Dutilleux, among others.
Equally as exciting as the music are initiatives that will have listeners engaging with the outdoors in new ways. A first-time collaboration with the Massachusetts Audubon Society will combine leisurely bird walks with beautiful piano music that appropriately include selections from Messiaen’s Catalogue of the Birds. On weekends, the musical atmosphere will be complemented by an all new slate of pre-concert activities. While the full details have yet to be announced, concert-goers can expect educational lectures and musical demos, yoga and Qigong, and food and wine pairings.
Tickets for Tanglewood 2017 go on sale on Jan. 29, and the festival kicks off on June 18. Until then, check out a familiar and uplifting Beethoven excerpt from the end of this past year's festival.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Yo-Yo Ma would be performing a Cello Concerto by Schubert. This has been corrected to Schumann's Cello Suite.