Tanglewood returns to a full summer lineup with premieres, operas and more

January 20, 2022 at 12:33 pm

By Aaron Keebaugh

Andris Nelsons will conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra in music of Bernstein and Stravinsky July 8  at the 2022 Tanglewood Festival. Photo: Marco Borggreve

The Tanglewood Festival will return in full force this summer, marking its first complete season since the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2020 festival and reduced programming last year.

Concerts will run June 17 through September 4 and will feature performances by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and a wide variety of guest artists spread between the Koussevitzky Shed, Ozawa Hall, and Linde Center, all of which will be open to the public after the extended hiatus.

Highlighting the summer BSO performances will be world and American premieres of new works by Julia Adolphe, Caroline Shaw, Elizabeth Ogonek, Helen Grime, and Fazil Say.

Andris Nelsons will lead the orchestra in music spanning from beloved classics to American music. He will conduct Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer 1915 and Duke Ellington’s New World A-Coming on July 9, featuring soprano Nicole Cabell and pianist Aaron Diehl. Nelsons will also lead music by Still, Brahms, and Jessie Montgomery’s Five Freedom Songs, which will feature soprano Julia Bullock, on July 24. The premiere of Helen Grime’s Trumpet Concerto, to be led by Nelsons, will spotlight soloist Håkan Hardenberger on July 29.

Opening night will feature Nelsons leading the BSO in Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety,” and Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet will serve as soloist (July 8).

Concert opera returns to Tanglewood this summer when Nelsons leads the orchestra in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, starring Nicole Cabell, Janai Brugger, Amitai Pati, Will Liverman, and Ryan McKinny, who will star in the title role (July 16).

Nelsons will lead the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra in music by Ravel, Strauss, and Schubert on July 11. He will also conduct the TMC Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and Berlioz’s The Death of Cleopatra, featuring soprano Christine Goerke on July 23.

The Tanglewood Festival Chorus returns to action on July 17 in Brahms’s German Requiem, which will feature soprano Ying Fang and bass-baritone Shenyang as soloists.

Guest conductors to appear this summer include Karina Canellakis in a program of Wagner, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff (July 22). Thomas Adès and JoAnn Falletta will team up to conduct the TMC Orchestra in music by Debussy, Stravinsky, Hindemith, and Wilson (July 31). Adès takes the BSO podium for a concert of Mozart, Holst, and his own Shanty—Over the Sea (August 7). And Falletta will lead the orchestra in music by Roberto Sierra, Respighi, and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, with Joshua Bell as soloist (August 6).

Michael Tilson Thomas returns to Tanglewood to lead the BSO in music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, and Copland’s Symphony No. 3 on August 27. He leads Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in the BSO’s season-concluding concert on August 28.

Dima Slobodeniouk will conduct music by Dutilleux, Ravel, Debussy, and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, featuring Leonidas Kavakos as soloist on August 13. Slobodeniouk returns to the podium August 21 in a program of Unsuk Chin, Brahms’s Symphony No. 1, and Bruch’s Violin Concerto in G minor, featuring Itzhak Perlman in his first Tanglewood appearance since 2012. Cristian Măcelaru leads music by Anna Clyne, Debussy, Enescu, and Elgar’s Cello Concerto, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, on August 14.

Earl Lee will conduct music by Nabors, Mendelssohn, and Poulenc’s Concerto for Two pianos, featuring Christina and Michelle Naughton (August 5). Anna Rakitina follows her successful debut last summer with a return to the BSO podium to lead Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 3, Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, and Dvořák’s Violin Concerto, featuring Gil Shaham (August 26).

Guest soloists slated for next summer include a superstar quintet of pianist Emanuel Ax, violinists Pamela Frank and Leonidas Kavakos, violist Antoine Tamestit, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma tackling music by Dvořák, Kaprálová, and Janáček on August 12.

Ax will team up with pianist Orion Weiss in a duo recital of works by Janáček, Dvořák, and Burleigh July 14. Pianist Garrick Ohlsson explores the complete piano works of Brahms in four concerts at Ozawa Hall (August 16, 18, 23, and 25). Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham and Music from Copland House will present music by Copland, Jalbert, Danielpour, and Dove (July 21). The Takács Quartet joins bandoneonist Julien Labro in a program of Dessner, Labro, Saluzzi, Clarice Assad, Ravel, and Bach (July 27).=

Pianist Paul Lewis explores all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos in Nelsons-led BSO concerts on July 29-31.

The Linde Center will host pianist Stephen Drury in Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never be Defeated! on July 17.

Other groups set to perform include the Silk Road Ensemble on July 28, and the Danish String Quartet in music by Schubert and Sørensen on August 3. Both concerts take place in Ozawa Hall.

The Festival of Contemporary Music will run August 4 through 8, and will spotlight music by Knussen, Adès, Hyla, Wuorinen, Gandolfi, Cage, Davidovsky, Harbison, and Lewis. George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence will be heard in its American premiere, to be conducted by the composer, at the conclusion of the festival on August 8.

The BSO will celebrate the 90th birthday of John Williams in a special concert on August 20, showcasing percussionist Martin Grubinger, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, saxophonist Branford Marsalis, and vocalist James Taylor. Ken David Masur will conduct.

The annual John Williams Film Night will feature Keith Lockhart leading the Boston Pops in a live showing of The Empire Strikes Back (July 15). Lockhart also leads the Pops in a concert in tribute to Stephen Sondheim on August 19, which will spotlight an all-Broadway cast.

James Taylor returns to Tanglewood this summer for his traditional July 4th appearance. Other popular artists to perform include Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band; Brandi Carlile; The Mavericks; Judy Collins; Earth, Wind, and Fire; and Bonnie Raitt.

Tickets for the 2022 Tanglewood season go on sale March 10. tanglewood.org; 888-266-1200

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