Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

July 14, 2020

PREVIEW: Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival

Tanglewood Online Festival
July 1 – August 23, 2020
by Michael J. Moran

Classical music fans who were disappointed when the Covid-19 pandemic forced the Boston Symphony Orchestra to cancel the entire 2020 Tanglewood season can now look forward to  a virtual season of comparable digital programming over the next two months.

Concerts will be presented in several different video-streamed series, all featuring artists who were scheduled to perform live at Tanglewood this summer:  on Monday evenings, full-length concerts by the Tanglewood Music Center (TMC) Orchestra, made up of young musicians starting their careers, in Ozawa Hall; on Wednesday evenings, “recitals from the world stage” recorded at concert venues around the world; on Friday evenings, “BSO musicians in recital;” on Saturday evenings, “great performers in recital at Tanglewood;” on Sunday mornings, chamber music concerts by TMC musicians; and on Sunday afternoons, “BSO encore performances” by the orchestra in the Koussevitzky Music Shed.

Sunday and Monday concerts will be chosen from Tanglewood’s extensive archive of recorded performances from previous seasons. Hosts for these series will include: actress Karen Allen; soprano Nicole Cabell; and Jamie Bernstein, “famous father daughter” of Tanglewood favorite son, composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein.

The Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival will also provide access to video and audio streams from the Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI), which opened its doors in 2019. This newly created and retrospective programming will include Wednesday afternoon master classes with TMC fellows, Boston University Tanglewood Institute (high-school-age) students, and Tanglewood Festival Chorus singers taught by: BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons; pianist Paul Lewis; violinist Midori; mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe; and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. 

Additional TLI offerings will include: TLI Open Forum, exploring the roaring twenties and the romantic spirit (Monday afternoons); TLI Celebrates Beethoven, an in-depth exploration of the composer’s work during his 250th anniversary year (Tuesday afternoons); and TLI Shop Talks, engaging conversations with notable artists of our time (Thursday afternoons).

Most programming will remain accessible online for seven days after its scheduled date, and while many events are free, the cost of others starts at as little as $5.00.

The festival schedule can be found HERE

ITS plans to post a weekly series of reviews and commentaries on the Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival throughout the season.