The official opening weekend of the Tanglewood Learning Institute began Friday morning with a sunny ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Linde Center for Music and Learning, the new four-building complex built on a ridge overlooking Seiji Ozawa Hall and the Berkshire Hills. Designed by William Rawn Associates, the Linde Center is the largest addition to the Tanglewood campus since the opening of Ozawa Hall — also a Rawn design — in 1994.
“This is a truly special moment for Tanglewood,” remarked BSO president and CEO Mark Volpe during the ceremony, which was viewed online. “There are myriad reasons to love this place. . . . The wonder about Tanglewood is that, no matter your reason or reasons to love this place, it has something all of us can enjoy, and it is open and welcoming to all.”
The launch of TLI, directed by Sue Elliott, marks a transformation and expansion of programming for the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. At its core, the new institute’s mission is to bring people together to participate in interdisciplinary arts experiences, enabling active engagement and learning.
In its inaugural summer, TLI will offer a variety of programs including master classes, lectures, and film screenings, many of them in the new complex. The climate-controlled Linde Center will continue to host TLI and BSO programming in the Berkshires throughout the year, and it will also be available to the Berkshire community for rentals.
“Whether it’s through the Tanglewood Music Center, Tanglewood Learning Institute, Boston Symphony Orchestra events, or those offered by others, it is our hope that the Linde Center becomes a community resource to unite people through shared experiences and that it amplifies a core value of the Tanglewood experience: That is that Tanglewood is for everyone,” said BSO trustee Joyce Linde, who chaired the TMC/TLI Initiative Committee. (The Linde Center is named in honor of Linde’s late husband, Edward H. Linde, who chaired the BSO board for five years until his death in 2010.)
The new spaces of the Linde Center, which include three studios and one cafe, have already been put to use over the past week for rehearsals and public events in the Tanglewood Music Center’s string quartet intensive. The opening of the new buildings is a special boon for the TMC, which has historically been short on performance and rehearsal space. In previous years, it wasn’t unusual to see TMC fellows practicing on the lawns and hoping that they wouldn’t have to flee from a Berkshire thunderstorm at a moment’s notice.
An estimated 400 people attended the ceremony.
Though the BSO’s Tanglewood concert season doesn’t begin until July 5, the Linde Center is hosting free open houses this weekend and a wealth of activities, including performances, an all-ages music and movement class with Lauren Grant of the Mark Morris Dance Group, and a live recording session of WBUR storytelling podcast “Circle Round,” featuring BSO musicians and acclaimed actors including Lauren Ambrose and Thomas Sadoski.
Zoë Madonna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @knitandlisten. Madonna’s work is supported by the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.