Tanglewood summer samples

The Tanglewood management staff is truly a force to be reckoned with. My seven full-time coworkers are hardworking and intelligent people, responsible for the day-to-day maneuvers of artists and instruments between music halls, practice rooms, hotels, parking lots, airports, dinners, and performances. As the assistant, my biggest goal is to keep these people from stressing out… which means I’ll be heading to work today on my “day off”, but it’s fine by me. I’ve been learning quite a bit about the business of classical music, and it’s fascinating.

Since the last blog post, there have probably been at least 30 musical performances at Tanglewood. A favorite performance of mine was a scene from Strauss’ Rosenkavelier , conducted by Andris Nelsons with soloists Angela Denoke, Isabel Leonard and Sophie Bevan. An absolutely beautiful, swelling melodic counterpoint between two lovers and a third who must let go of one.  I was able to briefly get acquainted with each of the lovely soloists over payment forms and belated 4th of July fireworks.

(This has none of the singers I heard last weekend, and it is long… but beautiful).

Thomas Hampson also gave a sentimental Wednesday evening recital of all Strauss and Mahler pieces. A solid baritone built for German lieder. I sat next to his wife, who is from Austria. She was quite nice, and I fulfilled my artistic team role talking about German lieder and how difficult it is to sing. Thomas also sang Copland American folk songs on Friday, this time in the Koussevitzky Music Shed instead of Ozawa Hall, but I was much more a fan of the lieder.

Joshua Bell came this weekend to perform Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnol. He’s a whiz. On my day off, I drank cider and read sci-fi on the lawn, enjoying blending in with the crowd and listening to a master.

cider_scifi tanglewood
super incognito

This weeks soloists include Håkan Hardenberger (famous Swedish trumpeter), The Knights jazz trio, Dawn Upshaw (I think she came to Tufts once?), the National Youth Orchestra (all 150 of them, and I’m their main contact person, ah), Paul Lewis (the nicest piano player ever according to my coworkers), Sarah Connolly (opera/jazz singer, an idol of mine),  and Camilla Tilling.

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