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Tanglewood unveils 2020 online summer music festival lineup

In May, the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced that the 2020 Tanglewood summer concert series would not go forward as planned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead, the BSO will offer a variety of free and paid online video and audio streams, including content set to be recorded at Tanglewood this summer. The Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival will be available starting July 1 on Tanglewood’s website, with participating artists including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Emanuel Ax, violinist Joshua Bell, and pianist Jeremy Denk. Other programming includes a best-of retrospective of “Tanglewood on Parade,” hosted by Tanglewood mainstay James Taylor, set to debut in August.

The full lineup can be viewed on the Tanglewood website, though some events — including the Taylor-hosted retrospective — have times and dates still to be determined. Some online offerings can be viewed free of charge, while others cost between $5 and $12 per stream. Multiple stream packages are also available for $15 to $90, and can be purchased on the Tanglewood website.

The slate kicks off on July 1 with an archival video masterclass in conducting from BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons, who said in a statement that orchestra members are dedicating “all their focus and energies” into the virtual offerings.

“There is no doubt that we are all disheartened over the loss of being together for live music performances this summer, as well as the loss of so many other cultural offerings throughout the Berkshire region,” Nelsons said. “My colleagues at the Boston Symphony Orchestra have dedicated all their focus and energies to creating an innovative online offering for the thousands of music lovers who support Tanglewood. Though nothing can substitute for the community around the live concert experience, these online offerings will be a beautiful bridge of inspiration that will help get us through this difficult period and back to live performances at Tanglewood in 2021.”

BSO President and CEO Mark Volpe said that he hoped Tanglewood fans would take to their own outdoor spaces when enjoying Tanglewood’s online offerings this summer.

“Though we understand that nothing takes the place of a live performance, during this hiatus summerI hope Tanglewood’s loyal supporters will sit in their yards or homes on a Sunday afternoon watching a video stream of a recent BSO performance from the Shed, or spend a Friday or Saturday evening enjoying newly-recorded performance streams,” Volpe said. “This content will highlight our wonderful BSO musicians and treasured guest artists who were to be featured on the stages of the Shed and Ozawa Hall this summer.”


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