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Tanglewood Music Center: Wikis


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The Tanglewood Music Center is an annual summer music academy in Lenox, Massachusetts, United States, in which emerging professional musicians participate in performances, master classes and workshops designed to provide an intense training and networking experience. The Center operates as a part of the Tanglewood Music Festival, an outdoor concert series and the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO).



The Tanglewood Music Center (TMC) was founded in 1940 as the Berkshire Music Center by the BSO's then music director, Serge Koussevitzky, three years after the establishment of Tanglewood as the summer home of the BSO. He served as director of the Center until one year after his retirement with the BSO, at which time he was succeeded by new BSO director Charles Münch, who ran the TMC from 1951 until 1962. Munch was succeeded by BSO director Erich Leinsdorf, who was TMC director from 1963 to 1970.

In 1970, three years before the start of his directorship of the BSO, Seiji Ozawa took over its activities at Tanglewood. He was also actively involved in the Center, which was directed by Gunther Schuller during this time, with Leonard Bernstein as general advisor. In 1975 also the great Italian conductor Franco Ferrara took over its activities at Tanglewood. Pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher took over the direction of the Center in 1985, but resigned abruptly several years later in 1997 after an apparent dispute with Ozawa. Fleisher was replaced by Ellen Highstein, the current TMC director. Ozawa was succeeded as BSO director in 2001 by James Levine, who conducts some TMC concerts and operas and works with the student conductors in addition to leading Tanglewood BSO programs.

Performance and other facilities

Tanglewood activities take place on 210 acres (0.85 km2) of meadow, most of which was donated to the BSO in 1936 by the Tappan family.

  • The Koussevitzky Music Shed was inaugurated in 1938, with major acoustic refurbishment made in 1959. Originally unnamed, the shed was re-dedicated to TMC's founder in 1988. Most BSO and some TMC orchestra concerts are held there.
  • Seiji Ozawa Hall opened in 1994 and is the place where most Tanglewood chamber concerts, as well as TMC orchestra concerts, now take place. Designed by William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. of Boston, Massachusetts, Seiji Ozawa Hall has been ranked one of the 2 Best Concert Halls in the U.S. built in the past 50 years, one of the 4 Best Concert Halls ever built in the U.S., and the 13th Best Concert Hall in the world (from Leo Beranek's Concert Halls and Opera Houses). Seiji Ozawa Hall has received numerous awards for its architecture, including a National American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Interior Architecture (2000) and a National American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Architecture (1995). The acoustics of the hall were designed in conjunction with the architect by R. Lawrence Kirkegaard, of Kirkegaard Associates.
  • The Aaron Copland library, Theatre, Chamber Music Hall and additional administrative, performance and practice buildings are spread throughout the Tanglewood grounds.

Students of the TMC are typically housed in Miss Hall's School, a boarding school for high-school aged girls in nearby Pittsfield. Until 1999, composition students at the festival were housed separately at the Koussevitzky mansion (Seranak) near the grounds; this practice ended with Highstein's appointment as director.

Students and faculty

Koussevitzky's vision for the TMC was an institution where students would work closely with faculty members of the BSO and guest artists, as well as with each other. The selection process is extremely competitive: in 2007, there were over 1500 applicants and 156 Fellows were chosen.

Alumni of the TMC constitute a significant presence in the professional classical music scene: it is estimated that 20% of American symphony orchestra members, as well as 30% of all first-chair players, have attended the program.[1] Notable alums in composition include John Adams, Luciano Berio, Leonard Bernstein, William Bolcom, Mario Davidovsky, David Del Tredici, Jacob Druckman, Lukas Foss, Michael Gandolfi, John Harbison (who attended as a conductor/vocalist), Ned Rorem, Steve Mackey, and composer and conductor Oliver Knussen, among many others. Conducting alums include Leonard Bernstein, Eleazar de Carvalho, Seiji Ozawa, Lorin Maazel, Claudio Abbado, Michael Tilson Thomas, David Zinman, Christoph von Dohnanyi, and Zubin Mehta. Other notable TMC alumni include Dawn Upshaw, Wynton Marsalis, and Burt Bacharach.


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