Boston Symphony’s opening weekend at Tanglewood: Stravinsky, Simon, Adolphe, Bernstein, Gershwin, Ellington, Barber

Posted on: July 8, 2022

Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, 2017. Photo: Hilary Scott

“Boston Symphony Orchestra music director Andris Nelsons wants everything on this summer’s Tanglewood calendar to be a classic,” writes Jed Gottlieb in Friday’s (7/8) Boston Herald. “Nelsons might need to wait half a century before Carlos Simon’s 2021 piece ‘Motherboxx Connection’ or Julia Adolphe’s 2022 work ‘Makeshift Castle,’ both of which he conducts at Tanglewood this summer, get placed beside Mozart masterpieces.… In 1913, the Stravinsky ballet [‘The Rite of Spring’] nearly caused a riot at its debut. In 2022, it has become an indispensable part of the opening night at Tanglewood. Friday’s kickoff features ‘The Rite of Spring’ with Leonard Bernstein’s ‘Opening Prayer’ and ‘The Age of Anxiety’ symphony. ‘The program this summer is very diverse, we have a lot from the 20th and 21st century,’ Nelsons said. ‘Then we have “Don Giovanni,” perhaps one of the best operas ever written.’ … Tomorrow, … [in] an all-American program, Simon’s ‘Motherboxx Connection’ will sit bedside George Gershwin’s ‘An American in Paris,’ Duke Ellington’s ‘New World A-Coming’ and Samuel Barber’s ‘Knoxville: Summer of 1915,’ which the BSO premiered in 1948…. Nelsons says that we may not understand everything new that comes along. But we must engage with it.”