BSO announces new Tanglewood season

Andris Nelsons, a possible contender as BSO’s music director, will lead the orchestra in Verdi’s Requiem.
Marco Borggreve
Andris Nelsons, a possible contender as BSO’s music director, will lead the orchestra in Verdi’s Requiem.

Anniversaries and birthdays will drive some of the more ambitious programs next summer at Tanglewood. The 200th anniversary of the births of Wagner and Verdi will be honored, respectively, with a concert performance of Act III of Wagner’s “Die Walküre” and a performance of Verdi’s Requiem. Britten’s “Curlew River” will be performed to mark his centenary, and John Harbison’s 75th birthday will be celebrated with a performance by Emmanuel Music of his opera “The Great Gatsby.” These and other details of the 76th Tanglewood season were announced today by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Verdi’s Requiem will be led by Andris Nelsons, a conductor thought to be in contention for the BSO’s music director post. Two other musicians also discussed in connection with the BSO’s conductor search will be appearing at Tanglewood: Stéphane Denève returns with a program of Strauss and Poulenc, and Vladimir Jurowski makes his Tanglewood debut leading Wagner, Liszt, and Beethoven. Wagner’s “Die Walküre” will be led by Lothar Koenigs, and will feature a cast that includes Bryn Terfel, Katarina Dalayman, and Amber Wagner. “Curlew River” will be performed at the Tanglewood Music Center and directed by Mark Morris as part of a double bill with Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas.”

The BSO’s summer season opens on July 5 with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos leading an all-Tchaikovsky program, with Joshua Bell as soloist, followed the next night by a performance of Mahler’s Third Symphony. In addition to Frühbeck de Burgos, the roster of returning stalwart guest conductors includes Charles Dutoit, Christoph von Dohnanyi, and Bernard Haitink, who leads Mahler’s Fourth Symphony as well as the annual season-closing performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.


Featured BSO soloists include pianists Leon Fleisher, Leif Ove Andsnes, Emanuel Ax, Yefim Bronfman, Christoph Eschenbach, Garrick Ohlsson, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Peter Serkin, Christian Zacharias, and Lang Lang; violinists Isabelle Faust, Gil Shaham, and Pinchas Zukerman; and cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Lynn Harrell.

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As in past summers, Ozawa Hall will host a series of chamber music concerts, recitals, and other programs, including a visit from the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Daniel Harding, with piano soloist Paul Lewis. The Emerson String Quartet and the Borodin String Quartet will perform, and pianist Menahem Pressler will join the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Recitalists include Terfel, and pianists Ohlsson, Zacharias, and Daniil Trifonov. Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard will direct the Festival of Contemporary Music, which will include the US premiere of George Benjamin’s opera “Written on Skin” and the East Coast premiere of Elliott Carter’s “Instances.”

In the Koussevitzky Music Shed, in addition to the standard slate of BSO programs, the orchestra will perform Bernstein’s “West Side Story” to accompany a screening of the classic film. And Ma will be joined by bassist Edgar Meyer, mandolinist Chris Thile, violinist Stuart Duncan, and vocalist Aoife O’Donovan to perform music from the bluegrass-inspired “Goat Rodeo” project.

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Jeremy Eichler can be reached at