Please pick a keywork or category to proceed.

Tanglewood Prepares For A Centennial Summer Celebrating Lenny

By Brian Taylor, Contributing Writer, November 21, 2017

New York City is enjoying a season bursting with Leonard Bernstein, as befitting his hundredth birthday, with everything from rare performances of art songs to various interpretations of the great “Kaddish” Symphony.

But Bernstein had a significant presence at Tanglewood for half the twentieth century, and it is natural that the 2018 Tanglewood season would devote this centennial year to his legacy, with what could only be described as a veritable Bernstein Festival, entitled the Bernstein Centennial Summer—Celebrating Lenny at Tanglewood!

The 2018 season, which extends from June 15 through September 2, will celebrate Bernstein as a composer, conductor, and an educator. The season’s programming centers around Bernstein’s classical output, as well as his music for Broadway and film. But there will also be works by other composers that were central to his life as a conductor and pianist. It looks like a terrific summer of programming, which will be enhanced by the resonance of Bernstein’s significance on the place, and the place’s significance on this great musical figure.

A giant swath of Bernstein’s oeuvre is being performed. Andris Nilsons is conducting such works as the always proud pleasing Chichester Psalms (7/15), the overlooked but delightful Divertimento, the Serenade for Violin and Orchestra, and the ballet Fancy Free (with choreography from Boston Ballet) (8/18). There will be a Boston Pops staged production of On The Town conducted by Keith Lockhart (7/7), a film-with-live-orchestra presentation of West Side Story (7/28), a performance of Trouble In Tahiti (7/12), a performance of Songfest (8/4) and most interestingly (and badly needed), a performance of his 1980’s opera, A Quiet Place by the Tanglewood Music Center Fellows (8/9), as well as a performance of Candide with The Knights (8/22 & 23).

His legacy as a legendary, charismatic conductor is being remembered with performances of great music such as Sibelius’s Fifth with Thomas Adès (7/22), Prokofiev’s Fifth with Charles Dutoit (8/5), and Britten’s Sea Interludes (7/27), and Beethoven’s Ninth with Christoph Eschenbach (8/26), and Copland’s Third, the last piece LB conducted with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (on a program with his Facsimile, 7/23).

In celebrating Bernstein the educator, there will be a concert for “young audiences and their families,” inspired by Bernstein ‘s Young People’s Concerts. There will also be a Colloquium moderated by Michael Tilson Thomas on the subject of Bernstein (8/10-12).

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is currently in discussions about a television broadcast opportunity that would bring the August 25 concert to a worldwide audience, with further details to be announced at a later date. In addition, throughout the summer the Boston Symphony Orchestra will share highlights of its Bernstein celebration through special features posted on its social media platforms and at

There is more. It is a rich season, and fans of twentieth century American music, and of Leonard Bernstein, are in for a treat this summer at Tanglewood!

Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood in 1981; photo: Walter H. Scott.




Cover: Leonard Bernstein conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra; photo: Walter H, Scott.


Popular tags

Art Break at carnegie hall At The Met Fifth Avenue at Whitney Museum of American Art broadway carnegie hall dan ouellette David Geffen Hall David H. Koch Theater jazz notes metropolitan opera new york city ballet New York City Center new york philharmonic nyc NY Philharmonic off-broadway Paul Taylor American Modern Dance Senior Editor ZEALnyc zealnyc