Exploring Tanglewood—past and present

Posted on: June 25, 2012


As the Tanglewood Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts begins its summer season, the Boston Globe has published five articles over the weekend (6/23 and 6/24) devoted to the festival’s 75th-anniversary celebrations. On Sunday, Jeremy Eichler explores the history of the festival since its founding in 1937. “Tanglewood has been compared over the years to both the Salzburg Festival and to Coney Island. It is always dancing between past and future. Beneath it all, however, lies the idealistic vision of Koussevitzky himself, its undisputed patriarch. As the BSO’s music director from 1924 to 1949, Serge Koussevitzky was a remarkable figure who inspired devotion not just through his interpretations of the canonical repertoire but through his vision of the larger role that the orchestra as an institution could play in modern American life. On his watch, classical music harbored claims not simply to broad relevance in society but to deeper powers of transformation. He also championed the work of living composers with a zeal that made music’s present and future feel continuous with its storied past…. Koussevitzky’s spirit still hangs over the place, whether as inspiration or as a kind of artistic conscience.” On Saturday (6/23), Matthew Guerrieri writes about Tanglewood’s thriving new-music tradition, which during the festival’s 75th-anniversary year features nine world premieres by composers including Michael Gandolfi, Marti Epstein, John Harbison, Andre Previn, Gunther Schuller, and Edgar Meyer. On Saturday (6/23), Geoff Edgers speaks to Boston Symphony Orchestra Managing Director Mark Volpe about the BSO’s ongoing search for a new music director. On Sunday (6/24), Christopher Muther goes people-watching at the festival, and Marian Daniells catches up with Bruce Peeples, Tanglewood’s grounds supervisor, who tends the grass on Tanglewood’s famous lawn as well as its greenhouses and one-and-a-half miles of hedgerows.

Tanglewood photo by John Ferrillo

Posted June 25, 2012