Tanglewood Adds To Its Lineup And Music Is Only Part Of It
By Lisa Green
And the countdown begins: the first official event on the Tanglewood grounds under BSO auspices happens in just a week, marking the definitive start of the season, and bringing with it this year a host of new options, musical and otherwise. The 2014 season offers more events for families and kids, a selection of pre- and post-concert tastings and a long list of artists making their Tanglewood premieres.
Have no fear, though, if you were counting on the regularly scheduled stalwarts. James Taylor is back (but already sold out); Tanglewood On Parade, the John Williams/Boston Pops Film Night, the Festival of Contemporary Music, performances by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and open rehearsals are all on the schedule. Plan ahead or play it by ear; there’s always a place for a last-minute picnic on the Lawn.
Here’s what’s new.
Andris Nelsons Let’s start with the most obvious, and perhaps the most anticipated: the BSO’s new conductor. Felled by an accident last summer, his Tanglewood debut was postponed until this season. For Nelsons’ first festival appearances as BSO Music Director Designate, he will conduct four concerts in July.
Highwood Manor House Open for Dinner and Brunch Not prone to picnic? This year Tanglewood opens the Highwood Manor House to the public for pre-concert fine dining, with a pre-fixe buffet dinner on Friday and Saturday ($65 per person) or Sunday brunch buffet ($45). Cocktails, bottled wine and a la carte desserts will also be available. For reservations, call (413) 637-4486.
Date Night Tanglewood turns concierge as it plans a date for you and your honey. It includes a pre-concert dinner for two at Highwood and two premium tickets in the Shed ($150), or two lawn tickets and two lawn chairs and the pre-concert dinner at Highwood ($100). If it’s a first date and you need to get the conversation rolling, the package includes a tour of the grounds. Date Nights are scheduled for July 18, July 25 and August 8 (all Friday evenings).
Tanglewood Family Day Not to be confused with the Tanglewood Family Fun Fest (June 27) or Tanglewood on Parade (August 5), Family Day on July 27 will offer activities for the whole family throughout the afternoon, leading up to the 2:30 p.m. BSO concert. Expect arts and crafts, face painting, musical demonstrations, and a gift bag for all the kids (who, by the way, are free, so only the grownups need to buy tickets).
Tanglewood Chocolate Dessert Brunch Music may be the food of love — that’s just a metaphor — but chocolate is the real thing. On Sunday, August 3, you can exit the Shed and follow your nose to the dessert “brunch” featuring decadent chocolate creations. A lawn ticket, which includes a ticket to the brunch, is $40. Shed patrons can purchase brunch tickets separately for $25.
Microbrewery Beer Tasting They don’t miss a trend, these Tanglewood people. The tasting under the tent will offer samples of beers from microbreweries around the region. Appetizers and snacks will be included, as will one lawn ticket for the concert that night, which falls on Friday, August 15.
Artists new to Tanglewood 2014 sees the festival and BSO premieres of conductors William Eddins and Rob Fisher; soprano Marjorie Owens, mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop, tenor Issachah Savage and many others. Other soloists and ensembles new to Tanglewood include trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger, the Chamber Ensemble from the Boston Lyric Orchestra, violinist Leonides Kavakos and pianist Nikolai Lugansky.