Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

August 3, 2009

Koussevitzky Memorial Concert

Tanglewood, Lenox, MA
August 2, 2009
by Debra Tinkham

Danish conductor, Thomas Dausgaard, started the concert's rainy Tanglewood program with Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Opus 37. Guest pianist, Norwegian born Leif Ove Andsnes, played masterfully and seemed little bothered by the heavy rain which dampened the sounds of the orchestra. This short, three movement Concerto sounded more like a piano Concerto. The clarity of the piano carried crystally clear. Next came an unannounced deluge of showers along with another mass exodus of concertgoers. The crowd was exceptionally small and the intermission was omitted in order to complete a soggy Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Opus 27.

Three members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) are retiring at the end of Tanglewood's 128th season and they were to be acknowledged at the end of today's concert. That too was omitted, presumably due to the weather. With a combined total of 123 years of devoted service to the BSO, harpist, Ann Hobson Pilot (40 years), violist, Ronald Wilkinson (38 years) and violinist, Amnon Levy (45 years) will hang up their strings ending three very illustrious careers. Pilot writes, "When I was a young student just beginning the harp, I was not given much of a chance, as an African-American female…Forty years ago, the BSO gave me the opportunity to collaborate with world-class musicians and conductors…"

The day was weather rare and fair weather friends. Neither the weather nor the people were fair to Rachmaninoff, the BSO, or Dausgaard because the commotion of packing and moving instruments, unfortunately, dampened a great deal of the program. Let's hope for fairer weather and fairer friends in the future. Mr. and Mrs. Koussivitzky commissioned the building of the Koussevitzky shed back in 1937 for this very reason.