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Classical 'High Season' Bursts Upon the Scene
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
02:20PM / Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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The Tempest Trio, featuring violinist Ilya Kaler, cellist Amit Peled and pianist Alon Goldstein, will perform Saturday to kick off the Tannery Pond season.

It's well known that the Berkshires and environs are a mecca for classical music lovers. With the upcoming tourist high season – from late-June through October – concert activity increases exponentially, offering listeners a cornucopia of musical delights to please every taste.

This week, three magnificent presenter "T"s share the spotlight, offering fabulous musical pleasures: Tanglewood, Tannery Pond Concerts and Taconic Music.


Tanglewood Music Festival

Tanglewood in Lenox, the world's grandest outdoor summer music festival, is the summer home of the Boston Symphony, and offers outstanding and varied classical performances from Saturday, June 30, through Sunday, Aug. 26. This is the music festival's 81st anniversary, and there is always a celebratory air to the many concerts and auxiliary events. This year is particularly special: Tanglewood will be celebrating the brilliant music in its full range of Leonard Bernstein (b. 1918). Indeed, the BSO has dubbed the festival this year "Bernstein Centennial Summer."

Why go? It's all about the magnitude and the phenomenal diversity of programming. Whether you enjoy the pristine lawns for bring-your-own picnics, or prefer the proximity to the musicians in the Shed or in Ozawa Hall, Tanglewood, in all its incarnations is an informal, yet breathtaking place to relax and enjoy music in the most bucolic setting imaginable.

Next week I will highlight a few soon-upcoming extraordinary concerts you'll want to attend – the best in chamber and symphonic music. For now, check out the season's offerings online and circle your favorites online.

For tickets for all Tanglewood/BSO concerts (lawn and Shed seating) and special events, call 617-266-1200 or 888-266-1200 (TDD/TTY at 617-638-9289). For local information, call 413-637-1600. You can also order tickets and get information online.


Concerts at Tannery Pond

Concerts at Tannery Pond, the handsome, intimate and rustic-yet-elegant series in New Lebanon, N.Y., and one of the premiere presenters of chamber music in the region, will be celebrating its 28th season. This gem of a series offers outstanding chamber music in a 19th century Shaker-built barn (the "Tannery") located on the grounds of the Darrow School. The first concert of their summer-fall season is Saturday.

• Saturday, June 23, 8 p.m.: The Tempest Trio, featuring violinist Ilya Kaler, cellist Amit Peled and pianist Alon Goldstein, will perform trios of Beethoven (B flat Major, Op. 11), Amy Beach (Op. 150) and Mendelssohn (D minor, No. 1, Op. 49).

Why go? Tannery Pond consistently presents exceptional canonical chamber music brilliantly performed in a historic building possessing outstanding acoustics and situated in a magnificent rural setting. For tickets, call 888-820-1696 or visit online.

Tannery Pond is located on the grounds of Mount Lebanon Shaker Village and the Darrow School, New Lebanon, N.Y., one and a half miles east of the town center on Route 20.


Taconic Music Summer Festival

A unique and stellar three-week music festival, Taconic Music embarks upon its second season this summer.

Why go? Based in Manchester, Vt., co-founders Ariel Rudiakov and Joana Genova will present three creatively varied categories of offerings: four Saturday evening Festival Concerts, two Sunday afternoon "NextGen" concerts featuring "chamber music intensive" student ensembles working with stellar guest artists, and four Friday afternoon masterclasses. There are also four Open Dress Rehearsals scheduled for Saturday mornings.

* Friday, June 22, 2 to 4 p.m.: The public is invited to a masterclass at the Manchester Community Library where the sublime Shanghai String Quartet will coach student string groups from Taconic Music’s Chamber Music Intensive — a rare chance for audiences to experience firsthand how chamber music is refined and brought to a pristine level of performance.  

* Saturday, June 23, 10 a.m.-noon: Taconic Music presents the Shanghai Quartet, this year celebrating their 35th anniversary, in an open dress rehearsal at the Riley Center for the Arts at the Burr and Burton Academy, 143 Seminary Ave., Manchester. This is a perfect opportunity to observe the intense interaction among all the musicians as they put the finishing touches on their program, to be heard this evening.

* Saturday, June 23, 7:30 p.m.: The Shanghai String Quartet presents a rich and fulfilling program of music by Beethoven (the Quartet in F Major, Op. 18, No. 1), the Shanghai Quartet’s second violinist Yi-Wen Jiang ("Chinasong") and Mendelssohn (the Octet in E flat Major, Op. 20). In the Mendelssohn, Taconic faculty/artists violinists Heather Braun-Bakken and Joana Genova, violist Ariel Rudiakov and cellist Thomas Landschoot will join the Shanghai Quartet.

Admission to masterclasses and open dress rehearsals is $10 at the door. Entrance to Festival concerts is $25 for adults, $10 for students and children. Advance purchase discounts for adult admissions and season passes are also available. For information on concerts, tickets and Taconic Music’s year-round programs, call 802-362-7162 or visit online.

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