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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Home, Tanglewood, Turns 75

Here & Now‘s Robin Young — with microphone in hand — attended Tanglewood’s 75th Anniversary Gala concert earlier this month.  The concert airs this Friday night in full on PBS.

Tanglewood, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The Tappan family gave the family’s summer estate – Tanglewood — to Serge Koussivisky and the BSO in 1936. Two years later, a huge performance shed was built for the orchestra, and Tanglewood became a performance space and a school for young musicians.

During her visit, Robin met up with cellist Yo Yo Ma, who first came to Tanglewood as a 27-year-old, beginning a life-long love affair with the Berkshires.

Ma told Robin, “In many ways you have the history of America being right here with you [in the Berkshires].” He points to Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edith Wharton.

Then there’s the music that was made there and the musicians who made it. Leonard Bernstein was in the first class of students and Aaron Copeland was on the first faculty.

Over the years, actors have stopped by Tanglewood, too. The late actor, comedian and singer Danny Kaye, performed there — as a conductor! And history was made when Leonard Bernstein conducted his final concert at Tanglewood on Aug. 19, 1990.


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