Violin Stars Will Celebrate Isaac Stern at Tanglewood

Violin Stars Will Celebrate Isaac Stern at Tanglewood


A small string section’s worth of violin stars will celebrate the centenary of the violinist Isaac Stern. Andris Nelsons will conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the third act of Wagner’s “Tannhäuser.” And Paul Lewis will play the five Beethoven piano concertos.

Those are among the highlights of the 2020 season at Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony’s summer festival in the Berkshires, which was announced on Thursday.

The soprano Angel Blue, who opened the Metropolitan Opera’s season as Bess in “Porgy and Bess,” will also open the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood season on July 3, singing Barber’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915,” conducted by Ken-David Masur.

The 100th anniversary of the birth of Stern, the violin virtuoso who led the effort to save Carnegie Hall, will be lauded with a series of concerts the weekend of July 24. The violinist Midori will play Bernstein’s “Serenade (after Plato’s ‘Symposium’),” which Stern premiered with its composer conducting the Israel Philharmonic in 1954. The violinist Augustin Hadelich will play Dutilleux’s “L’Arbre des Songes,” which was written for Stern.

The Stern celebration will culminate with a concert featuring the violinists Joshua Bell, Vadim Gluzman, Pamela Frank and Nancy Zhou, who will join the cellists Steven Isserlis and Jian Wang (who, as a child, was featured in the award-winning documentary “From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China”) and the pianist Jeremy Denk in a program featuring Bach’s Concerto in D minor for two violins and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

Mr. Nelsons, the music director of the Boston Symphony, will conduct 12 programs, including symphonies by Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Berlioz; Poulenc’s “Gloria” with Nicole Cabell; and the Beethoven piano concerto cycle with Mr. Lewis. And, in what has become an annual tradition of Wagner, he will conduct the third act of “Tannhäuser” on July 11. The cast will include the tenor Christopher Ventris in the title role, Sarah Jakubiak as Elisabeth, Marina Prudenskaya as Venus and Michael Nagy as Wolfram.

Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music is being organized for the third season by the composer Thomas Adès. It will open Aug. 6 with the American premiere of a piece by Andrew Haig.

And talk will be back, too. The Tanglewood Learning Institute, the lecture program which opened last summer in the facility’s new Linde Center, will offer master classes, talks with visiting artists, and weekend-long programs devoted to Beethoven; film and music; and Stern.



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