Memories of Tanglewood Music Center, turning 75

Posted on: August 7, 2015

In Friday’s (8/7) New York Times, Michael Cooper writes that this weekend’s performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony at Tanglewood, to be led by Andris Nelsons, will be “one of this season’s marquee events” celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Tanglewood Music Center, founded in 1940 by Serge Koussevitzky. The “monumental concert [will] be held here on Saturday night and simulcast live in Boston’s Copley Square. (Tanglewood officials said their concert would involve around 333 performers….) The school has a storied history…. The conductor Erich Leinsdorf … told the class of 1965 that ‘as a rule, the artist has no business in politics’ [during his annual convocation speech]. Just five years later, Leonard Bernstein used his speech to try to rekindle hope in a generation anguished and dispirited by the Vietnam War and the assassinations of the 1960s…. When the center commissioned some 30 new works for its anniversary, one went to [composer and conductor Gunther] Schuller. His piece ‘Magical Trumpets’ had its premiere last month after his death. It had parts for 12 trumpets: all the players had close ties to the school.” Among Tanglewood Music Center musicians and composers mentioned in the article are Benjamin Britten, Aaron Copland, Leon Fleisher, Lukas Foss, Michael Gandolfi, Paul Hindemith, and Seiji Ozawa.

Posted August 7, 2015

Pictured: Andris Nelsons rehearses for a 75th-anniversary concert to be held at Tanglewood on Saturday. Photo by Michael J. Lutch / New York Times