Summer is here and the festivals are on the rise again, so this month is the time for what is truly one of America’s most beloved outdoor music series. Since 1937, Tanglewood, in Lenox, Massachusetts, has been the summer home of Boston Symphony Orchestra. As always, classical music is at the heart of the program, with a diverse selection of pop and rock names dotting the schedule. Tanglewood’s 2022 summer schedule promises attendees of all ages an exciting assortment of concerts, talks, workshops and open symphony rehearsals, many of which take place in the center’s historic Koussevitzky Music Shed.
This year, Tanglewood takes off with a Beatle in the Berkshires when Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band kick off the season (June 17), an event immediately followed by a night out with Bonnie Raitt and Lucinda Williams (June 18). Next week, the Mavericks with Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets (June 26) and the Black Crowes perform their classic 1990 album Shake Your Money Maker in full (June 29). Tanglewood favorite James Taylor’s two recurring shows are already sold out (July 3 and 4), but tickets remain for the Silk Road Ensemble with Rhiannon Giddens (July 28), Earth, Wind and Fire (August 9), Brandi Carlisle and the Indigo Girls (August 30), Judy Collins and Richard Thompson (September 3) and the festival’s closing party with Van Morrison (September 4).
On the classical side of the spectrum, the BSO’s Tanglewood season officially opens with a concert conducted by the orchestra’s Music Director Andris Nelsons which features the BSO debut of baritone Jack Canfield and includes Bernstein’s Symphony No. The Rite of Spring” by Stravinsky (July 8). Nelsons then conducts the orchestra, which is joined by soprano Nicole Cabell and pianist Aaron Diehl in works by Samuel Barber, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Carlos Simon (July 9); and, with the Tanglewood Music Center Conducting Fellows, a selection of music by Schubert, Strauss and Ravel (July 11). Pianist Emanuel Ax performs two “Pathways from Prague” programs of pieces by Janacek and Dvorak at the center’s Seiji Ozawa Hall (July 7 and 9), and the Boston Pops perform live orchestral accompaniment for The Empire Strikes Back (July 15) . Native American poet Joy Harjo ore (July 30) and bandleader Cristian Macelaru debuts with the BSO and cellist Yo-Yo Ma with works by Anna Clyne, Elgar, Debussy and Enescu (August 14). Tanglewood celebrates composer John Williams’ 90th birthday with an evening dedicated to his beloved film scores and the music he wrote specifically for the BSO and the Boston Pops (August 20), while others Festival highlights include Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Cecile McLorin Savant singing music from her new album, Ghost Song (August 21).