Suddenly, Next Summer: Tanglewood 2009
“Thinking about next summer at Tanglewood helps you get through the Berkshire winter,” said Nancy Fitzpatrick at the 2009 Tanglewood Season Preview, which attracted some 200 guests to Shakespeare & Company in Lenox on Thursday, November 20. Fitzpatrick, a Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) trustee, introduced Mark Volpe, the BSO’s managing director, who announced that James Levine had recovered from last summer’s emergency kidney surgery and will be returning as music director. Levine will conduct six concerts, including an all Tchaikovsky program on opening night, July 3. Levine will also conduct Don Giovanni twice with the Tanglewood Music Center Vocal Fellows on July 26 and 27.
While the “pre-season” schedule includes, as usual, Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion on June 27, Tanglewood regulars James Taylor and Mark Morris have new spots on the calendar. In fact, the final week of August will feature four nights in a row of James Taylor: He’ll perform an informal concert with his band in Ozawa Hall on August 27, which will be followed by two benefit concerts for Tanglewood in the Koussevitzky Music Shed on August 28 and 29; he will then perform with the Boston Pops, conducted by John Williams, on August 30.
Choreographer Mark Morris is collaborating with Emanuel Ax and Yo-Yo Ma on two world premieres on August 5 and 6. “They will then take them to the Mostly Mozart Festival so you can see them here first,” said Ellen Highstein, director of the Tanglewood Music Festival, who noted that the festival students learn a great deal from Morris. “He’s a great musician who happens to work with his feet.”
Michael Tilson Thomas is returning to Tanglewood for the first time in twenty years, and he’s bringing The Thomashefsky Project, a tribute to his grandparents who were pioneers of the Yiddish theater in New York, to Ozawa Hall on August 19 and 20. Other heavy hitters on the schedule include Joshua Bell, Sir James Galway, and Andre Previn, who will do an evening of jazz with David Finck in Ozawa Hall on August 16.
The closest thing to a pop concert is jazz singer Diana Krall (video, left), who will perform on July 4, and there are unspoken hopes that her significant other, Elvis Costello, may join her onstage as he did two summers ago ago during the jazz festival. If you want to order tickets now, you need to become a Friend of Tanglewood. Otherwise, tickets don’t go on sale until February 15.