IN: News & Features

New Institute Broadens and Brightens Summer Spectrum


The Boston Symphony Orchestra herein announces the opening this summer of its Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI), an in-depth initiative of cross-cultural activities, at the orchestra’s summer campus in Lenox. This center will be housed at a multipurpose complex of four buildings called the Linde Center for Music and Learning, designed by architect William Rawn (who also designed Ozawa Hall), which will be the first all-season facility at Tanglewood. In coordination with the BSO’s regular Tanglewood season, TLI will present programs that connect the music being performed to broader social and artistic contexts. Centering on four TLI Weekends, the offerings include (in a program called “The Big Idea”) talks by the likes of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on nation-building (keyed to the BSO’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem), historian Doris Kearns Goodwin on leadership (anent Wagner’s Die Walküre), and Harvard psychology professor and conflict-resolution expert Daniel L. Shapiro on issues of freedom and peace (suggested by Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony).

The programming has traditional musical components as well, such as master classes, experimental offerings, composer and performer talks, a program on the music-cinema interface, an intensive eight-day session with the Juilliard String Quartet and members of the Tanglewood Music Center faculty and students, and other extended-learning programs. Details on all of these are available starting February 6th at TLI’s new web site, You can also get a glimpse of the Linde Center, as conceptual drawings and as live work-in-progress, at the fundraising site for the project, [HERE]. The opening weekend for TLI and the Linde Center (with ribbon-cutting!) will be June 28th to July 1st. The BSO envisages that TLI programming will continue, at Tanglewood, in Boston, and online, during the non-summer seasons, though details of these programs were not yet provided. Tickets for all TLI summer programs will go on sale beginning February 10th through the regular Tanglewood channels. Excerpts from the complete BSO press release larded with some images run below the interview after the break.

BMInt has some questions for the Judith and Stewart Colton Tanglewood Learning Institute Director Sue Elliott.

Your wide-ranging background includes “decades of experience in opera, music education, community engagement, creative program building, and distance learning.” Have you surrounded yourself with a program planning committee? What will your relationships be with Anthony Fogg and Mark Volpe?

I have worked closely with Mark Volpe, Anthony Fogg, TMC Director Ellen Highstein, other BSO staff members, and a variety of local, national, and international artists and educators to create TLI’s inaugural summer. TLI is participant-centric, and as such, our work has been led by a set of frameworks that were developed collaboratively and which include approaches, attributes, and intended outcomes. Rather than creating a committee during this nascent period, we have called on expert colleagues and collaborators on an as-needed basis. Generally speaking, I expect that this approach will continue for the next few years as we add programming at Symphony Hall beginning in fall 2019, kick off our fall, winter, and spring programming in the Berkshires this coming September, and launch TLI’s online learning efforts in 2020.

Joyce Linde and Beth Klarman are both well informed and discerning in their arts philanthropy.  They get it.  To what degree has the Linde Family Foundation helped in shaping this vast undertaking.  Were there any special initiatives that the Foundation proposed and were there any elements that the Foundation would not support?  For how much of the creative process leading to the new facility and initiative do the Lindes’ experience with arts education funding in Boston and elsewhere deserve credit?

The Tanglewood Learning Institute is a BSO-driven initiative and a priority of the organization. As a BSO Trustee, Joyce Linde has been involved in TLI from its inception, along with many other members of the BSO’s Board, management, and others.  The Linde family’s generous support of the project gave us confidence in moving forward with such ambitious plans, inspiring more than 450 donors to join in helping the BSO realize this important initiative at Tanglewood.

Meow Meow brings her unique brand of “musical mayhem” to Tanglewood in the first of a three-year collaboration with TLI. (Harmony Nicholas photo)

The cross-cultural dimension is most intriguing, and music certainly should not be composed nor performed in a vacuum.  But aside from cinema, it looks like the framework is largely limited to the fine arts.  Is there any chance that links will be forged to embrace relationships with pop musicians, including rock, folk, and world music specialists?   Any thoughts about getting classical musicians out of their hothouse?

We’re just getting started. The Tanglewood Learning Institute is pan-BSO and musically curious itself, so we will develop programming that explores a wide variety of musical and artistic traditions. A great example of this in summer 2019 is the TLI pre-concert program that will help participants explore the music and artistry of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. Within some of our multi-event programs, the opportunity to explore subjects beyond the fine arts exists and will be explored based on the time and scholars who are available.

For the first summer, we’ve worked closely with colleagues who plan the BSO and Tanglewood Music Center programming. As the lineup of Popular Artists continues to take shape, we’re exploring opportunities to work with non-classical artists as well.

As you may have seen, we’re going beyond the arts with The Big Idea series of keynote speakers. While it’s true their discussions are inspired by connections to classical music, their presentations are focused on the civic and humanistic aspects of related themes in 21st-century society.

Is the TLI interested in cultivating the next generation of listeners as an adjunct to the other programs at Tanglewood which focusing on rigorous instrumental training and interpretative muscle? Or is more of an adult learning program?

The ”next generation of listeners” and ”adult learners” mentioned above are not mutually exclusive. Our matrix of programming has more nuance in its participant segmentation, and is designed, in aggregate, to expand and diversify relationships with our current patrons and to activate and intensify relationships with our lapsed audience members.

When I think about the BSO’s contribution to the larger world, I think about how well we bring people together for shared experiences that, in their own way, help to create a more civil society. TLI will amplify this work at Tanglewood, in Boston, and online.

TLI’s defining quality is curiosity—curiosity in our work and inspiring curiosity in our participants. We believe TLI has immense potential to transform the orchestra’s cultural service, the audience and participant experience, and our role in creating a more civil society.

Will some of the components by aimed at Tanglewood Fellows?

By design this summer, there are four TLI programs in which the TMC Fellows play a starring role. They are the String Quartet MasterPass, the monthly TLI MasterPass, TLI OpenStudio, and the Cinematics/Full Tilt Special Event that features selections from John Cage’s Song Books and film. For all the master classes that TLI is opening to curious adults, TLI Fellows are invited to attend.

Will the general public feel like interlopers at a high-level music camp?

It’s challenging to predict how folks will feel, especially since we anticipate that there will be a wide variety in terms of experience, expertise, and interest among TLI participants. However, some of our programming is designed to dissolve barriers between audiences and performers, to give curious folks a front row seat to the artistic/creative process, and to explore with TLI participants what happens before a polished performance at the Shed or in Symphony Hall. Other elements of TLI are focused more broadly (The Big Idea and our Cinematics series among them), designed to satisfy a wide range of non-musical curiosities about ourselves and our world.

I should add that participant feedback is critical to TLI’s mission. As we dissolve barriers between audiences and performers and create a greater dialogue between the general public and artists, we are confident that user input will inform future programming and help engage an even greater cross-section of participants.

In deciding what sorts of programs to incorporate into TLI generally or even just the first season, what kind of research was undertaken?

The BSO has offered a variety of music appreciation programs for its audiences for decades, both at Tanglewood and in Boston. In addition to those efforts and our assessment of the value they provide, TLI-specific research began in 2012 as part of the feasibility study for the Linde Center for Music and Learning project development. The combination of this research, support from BSO staff, artists, and educators over the past several months, and my experience and expertise in creating game-changing TLI-like initiatives forms the foundation of TLI’s summer 2019 programs.

Will some sort of TLI branding provide a common denominator to the massive groaning board of offerings?

For me, in a non-technical way, branding is what the public perceives an organization is and does. Given that TLI is new, we have developed a distinctive look and feel for TLI.ORG and our other communications, the programming includes both expected and unexpected events, and we’re approaching our work with a sense of great openness.

There are a variety of approaches that prospective TLI participants can take to find the programs that meet their interests this coming summer. The centralized location for all TLI-specific information is TLI.ORG. We have a number of ways to connect with potential participants for any BSO, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood programs and events and we expect that over the coming months we’ll share more about our artists and scholars and connect folks who are interested with related resources.

What sorts of newcomers to Tanglewood, the BSO, or classical music, is this program intended to reach? Or are you preaching to the converted? Will a variety of views be from the wider idea communities be welcome?

TLI is learning-explicit and participant-centric. As we grow into our shared work over the coming months and years, we expect not just to preach to the converted, but also to engage with a wide variety of curious people who have direct and indirect affinities to what we offer, regardless of their musical training or knowledge. Our programs and spaces are:

WELCOMING When the Boston Symphony was established in 1881, one of its founding principles was to “open wide the doors” to music lovers. TLI continues this tradition through innovative, inviting programs and an environment that is safe and welcoming for participants of all backgrounds, ethnicities, orientations, identities, and abilities.

EXPERIMENTAL TLI embraces bold experimentation and creative risk-taking. We use music as a springboard to shape events and interactions that inspire participants to question their assumptions, challenge themselves, and grow as individuals.

INTERDISCIPLINARY Music plays a pivotal role in the human experience. TLI brings this principle to life through programs that link performances to relevant themes across disciplines that range from the visual arts and film to history, philosophy, and current events.

PARTICIPATORY Our programs dissolve the traditional barrier between performer and audience. TLI is a place where you can meet, dine with, and even play with the composers, soloists, musicians, and speakers who participate in our concerts, master classes, and talks.

ECLECTIC While music will serve as the draw for many program participants, the only thing you need to bring to TLI is your curiosity. TLI’s eclectic offerings have broad appeal not only for music lovers, but for anyone who wants to expand their cultural horizons, increase their knowledge, and connect with kindred spirits.

There are certainly many organizations that provide things like avant-garde music and performance art. What does the BSO bring to this party? Is there a risk that large institutions like the BSO could end up taking oxygen from such smaller organizations?

Given that this is the first year of TLI, and we’re committed to our role as musical/artistic playground and laboratory, it’s not possible at this time to specify the extent of TLI’s contribution to cultural life in the Berkshires and Boston. We have worked collaboratively with local organizations over the past several months to enhance and amplify the programs we plan to offer this summer. Two examples come immediately to mind:

  1. For our Cinematics series we’re collaborating with the Berkshire International Film Festival. We hope that through our partnership, which we believe is mutually beneficial, that BIFF will benefit as much as TLI.
  2. For our Focal Point program on Saturday mornings, we’re collaborating with IS183 Art School of the Berkshires. They will provide Faculty Artists who lead TLI participants through their visual arts classes. This is similar to the partnership with Kripalu for our Saturday morning Yoga on the Lawn program.
  3. And though it’s not a public program, we have been delighted to welcome singers from the Cantilena Chamber Choir and the Berkshire Lyric Chorus, and the Empire State Youth Orchestra to Studio E at the Linde Center for Music and Learning for our acoustical tuning sessions in January and February. They are among the first musicians to sing/play in our new buildings!

We’re only getting started. We’re grateful for the warm welcome our new buildings have received, in large part due to their year-round climate control, and look forward to all of the new partnerships that will develop.

William Rawn Associates Architects’ new Linde Center for Music and Learning gathers around a 100-foot tall Red Oak;
  a serpentine covered walkway connects the four buildings. (Winslow Townson photo)

What other activities will be in the mix to justify the big investment in the building program? Will the fellows be beavering away there, for instance?

The inspiration to expand our facilities at Tanglewood was a conversation between Joyce Linde and the TMC Director Ellen Highstein in summer 2012, in which Ellen discussed the challenge of grappling with a shortage of rehearsal space for Fellows. In November 2012, BSO management and board leadership convened to discuss ways in which Tanglewood could become a better version of itself, and the idea of TLI was born.

The three studios at the Linde Center for Music and Learning will be in constant use during the summer months, during waking hours seven days each week. TLI and the Tanglewood Music Center share the spaces during the summertime, and during the fall, winter, and spring seasons TLI, community organizations in the Berkshires, and event rentals will round out the schedul

Do you see these TLI programs competing in the same space as high-end culture cruises or similar venues? This looks expensive. A TLI MasterPass costs $249 per month. I gather that won’t include formal concerts at the Shed or Ozawa Hall. The four TLI weekends each cost $399 inclusive of the regular BSO main-stage events. Lectures will go for $45 – $68, and regular scale ticket prices apply for individual events. The only discounts I see are offerings of competitions for subsidized admissions for Berkshire-area teachers.

We will offer several TLI Open Houses this summer: complimentary programming that is open to the general public. Some of our Full Tilt offerings cost just $19 for an evening’s worth of programming. And if one looks at the value of the TLI MasterPass, participants could choose to spend up to 45 hours with us over the course of that month, which works out to a rate of approximately $5.00 per hour. That’s less expensive than a movie ticket! Our String Quartet MasterPass includes dinner, four concerts, three masterclasses, and four talks over eight days. That works out to less than $20 per event and a dinner with artist-hosted tables.

In our competitive scan of culture/leisure/educational activities, we found that cruises and other similar experiences cost, on average, more than double what we’re charging for our multi-day packages.

Will that other Tanglewood Institute, the BU Tanglewood Institute remain in the picture?

Absolutely! BUTI will continue to offer their full line-up of Ozawa Hall concerts and will appear in performance at our annual Tanglewood on Parade extravaganza on July 23. We’re increasing the number of Tanglewood-hosted BUTI masterclasses from one to three this coming summer through the TLI MasterPass program and will feature students and faculty from BUTI in the TLI Opening Weekend Open Houses. We’re also thrilled to welcome Dr. Harvey Young, Dean of BU’s College of Fine Arts to TLI’s ShopTalks program on July 25.

Hillary Repass, Executive Director of the Boston University Tanglewood Intitute adds her support:

HR: What makes Boston University Tanglewood Institute distinctive among summer pre-college young artist training programs is its relationship with a major research university, its parent organization Boston University, coupled with its strong affiliation with a major symphony orchestra, the Boston Symphony.  There is no other activity that highlights the unique nature of this latter partnership for our students than the chance for them to perform on Tanglewood grounds as part of the Tanglewood Music Center’s offerings.  In those scenarios, they feel truly part of the Tanglewood community, to which many return as college or pre-professional students, performers, and/or as visitors and audience members throughout their lives.

In addition to our long-time artistic and educational colleagues at the Tanglewood Music Center and Boston Symphony Orchestra, we are now very pleased to be working closely with Sue Elliott to extend and expand this joint programming which is so meaningful to our students.  Sue’s knowledge and expertise, coupled with her genuine curiosity and interest in collaborating, make her a great partner, and we have enjoyed brainstorming ideas into fruition since she first came on board. What is particularly exciting in this first year is the opportunity to showcase our faculty, including BU College of Fine Arts Dean Harvey Young, in the TLI programming as Sue describes.  We’re thrilled that their expertise as young artist trainers and arts education specialists will become part of the broader conversations and connections to classical music that TLI is encouraging.

Another aspect of the programming that is great for us is that the Opening Weekend is concurrent with one of our Registration weekends. It will offer a chance for hundreds of BUTI family members, who will be coming from across the country either to pick up students or drop them off, to be part of this launch.   It’s my hope that the chance to see and experience TLI in action will further establish their relationship with all of us, so that they keep coming back year after year. There can be a place here for everyone.

BSO violist Michael Zaretsky and pianist Yang Bao conduct acoustical tests in Studio E (Winslow Townson photo)

The Official Word from the BSO In Full

Celebrating a transformational new milestone in the history and life of Tanglewood and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the 2019 Tanglewood season will bring the launch of the Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI)—offering participants a wide spectrum of dynamic, engaging, and thought-provoking cross- cultural activities—and the opening of the major new four-building Linde Center for Music and Learning—home to the TLI’s summer activities and supporting the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s acclaimed summer music academy since 1940. In addition, these new multiuse buildings will play an essential role in establishing Tanglewood for the first time as an all-season facility, with TLI programming and event rental and concert use by the BSO and TLI, Berkshire community, and beyond, starting in fall 2019. Spanning all aspects of the organization—including the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood—the Tanglewood Learning Institute will also offer programs in Boston beginning in fall 2019, as well as a series of online learning programs to be unveiled in 2020.

The launch of the Tanglewood Learning Institute in summer 2019 represents a new chapter of dynamic and stimulating programs for the famed 82-year-old summer music festival, alongside its traditional schedule of major performances by the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood Music Center orchestras, as well as a Popular Artist series in the Koussevitzky Music Shed, and chamber music, large ensemble, and recital programs in Ozawa Hall. Link to 2019 season announcement. A major new investment in Tanglewood’s future, the opening of the Linde Center for Music and Learning four-building complex in summer 2019 represents the fourth major milestone in the festival’s history, building upon Serge Koussevitzky’s founding of both Tanglewood, as the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, in 1937, and of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s acclaimed summer music academy, in 1940, and the opening of Ozawa Hall in 1994. The Linde Center is designed by William Rawn Associates Architects, led by William Rawn and Cliff Gayley, and will be the largest building project at Tanglewood in 25 years, since the construction of Ozawa Hall, also designed by William Rawn Associates.

Read a message from Eunice and Julian Cohen President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Volpe.

Read a message from Ray and Maria State Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons.

One of the premier summer music festivals in the world and summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1937, Tanglewood is in the beautiful Berkshire Hills, between Stockbridge and Lenox, Massachusetts. 2019 Tanglewood season details are available at  Details for the first summer of TLI programming at Tanglewood can be found at the newly developed website,, beginning February 6.

Tickets to the first summer season of the Tanglewood Learning Institute go on sale along with tickets for the entire 2019 Tanglewood season on Sunday, February 10, at and 888-266-1200.


The Tanglewood Learning Institute’s wide spectrum of activities, intended for both newcomers to Tanglewood and longtime festival patrons, has been designed in response to a cultural landscape that values active engagement and learning. Introducing a new dimension to the Tanglewood experience, TLI’s expansive programs will explore the ways in which music illuminates the human experience by linking Tanglewood performances to relevant themes from the worlds of visual arts, film, history, philosophy, and current events, and offering experiences that dissolve the traditional barrier between performer and audience. TLI’s immersion weekends, interactive talks, films, open rehearsals, master classes, unconventional performances, and visual arts programs will use music as a point of departure and a gateway leading to spirited dialogue, designed for all who aspire to expand their horizons and connect with other curious knowledge-seekers. Within the atmosphere of the iconic Tanglewood grounds and beautiful vistas, TLI programs will encourage thought-provoking conversation and explore myriad ways to better understand our world through the lens of music.


THE BIG IDEA: Some of the World’s Great Thinkers Help Illuminate the Enduring Vitality of Music

The Big Idea features dynamic thinkers and luminaries in compelling presentations on a diverse array of subjects and perspectives, contextualizing themes of Tanglewood’s concert repertoire. Presenters in 2019 will include Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary of State (1997–2001) and one of the most celebrated diplomats of our era; Doris Kearns Goodwin, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian; and Daniel L. Shapiro, world-renowned expert on negotiation and conflict resolution, founding director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, and best-selling author of Negotiating the Nonnegotiable. For Ms. Albright’s appearance, TLI invites participants to explore the idea of nation-building in the 21st century, inspired by Giuseppe Verdi’s contributions to the political unification of Italy in the mid-19th century and tied to the BSO’s performance of Verdi’s Requiem on July 13, led by Music Director Andris Nelsons. July 27 and 28’s concert performances of Wagner’s Die Walküre, with its multigenerational saga of power and love, serves as an intriguing backdrop for Goodwin’s discussion of leadership in America. Daniel Shapiro’s talk, which examines the complexities of freedom, peace, and shared humanity in the 21st century, coincides with August 24’s BSO performances of Schoenberg’s Friede auf Erden (Peace on Earth) and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (“Ode to Joy”). The Big Idea presentations will take place on designated Saturdays at 5 p.m. in Ozawa Hall. Visit for further program details and specific dates for The Big Idea presentations.

TLI OPENSTUDIO: Open Master Classes with Andris Nelsons, Renée Fleming, Leonidas Kavakos, Stefan Asbury and Emanuel Ax, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Gautier Capuçon, and Yo-Yo Ma

Led by world-renowned musicians, TLI OpenStudio master classes provide the rare opportunity to witness up close the Fellows of the Tanglewood Music Center—all emerging artists of the highest caliber—fine-tune their interpretive skills and explore nuances of the classical repertoire. TLI participants will have front-row seats to master classes with Andris Nelsons, Renée Fleming, Leonidas Kavakos, Stefan Asbury and Emanuel Ax, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Gautier Capuçon, and Yo-Yo Ma and experience the unique dynamic between teacher and student and the myriad ways in which they challenge, influence, and inspire each other. Most of the TLI OpenStudio presentations will take place in Ozawa Hall, except for the one led by Maestro Nelsons, which will occur in Studio E of the Linde Center for Music and Learning. Visit for further program details and specific dates and times for the TLI OpenStudio master classes.

FULL TILT: Experimental Interactive Programming by Leading Cutting-Edge Artists

Full Tilt invites participants to indulge their curiosities and experience unconventional, subversive performances that are exhilarating, hypnotizing, and deeply human. Participants will explore a wide array of topics through bold, theatrical productions that include The Black Mozart with Bill Barclay and Concert Theatre Works, a survey of the life and music of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745–1799), and performance artist Meow Meow’s masterful deconstruction of a traditional cabaret, entitled Pandemonium. The Australian postmodern diva brings her unique brand of “musical mayhem” to Tanglewood in the first of a three-year collaboration with TLI. In addition, on August 4, participants can immerse themselves in a multisensory presentation of musical selections from the John Cage Song Books and film associated with Mr. Cage; the event is curated by soprano Tony Arnold and pianist Stephen Drury and is presented with the Cinematics series. Visit for further program details and specific dates, times, and locations for the Full Tilt performances.

MEET THE MAKERS: Renowned Creators Discuss Inspiration and Craft in Public Conversations

Meet the Makers features public conversations with some of the world’s most celebrated artists—from composers and playwrights to instrument makers—about the creative process and the inspiration behind their original manuscripts, compositions, and craftsmanship. In 2019, Meet the Makers will feature an array of artists and artisans, including playwright Tom Stoppard, composers André Previn and Joan Tower, Meow Meow, master bow maker Benoît Rolland, piano technician Steve Carver and the Steinway Spirio digital piano-player, and Alan Weiss and Aiven O’Leary from the William S. Haynes Flute Company. The Meet the Makers presentations will take place in Studio E of the Linde Center for Music and Learning. Visit for further program details and specific dates and times for the Meet the Makers presentations.

In collaboration with the Berkshire International Film Festival, Cinematics encourages participants to explore and celebrate the relationship between music, cinema, and the human spirit with curated films inspired by Tanglewood’s concert programming. For example, a performance of Bach cantatas at Ozawa Hall will be paired with a screening of Tous les Matins du Monde, which explores the life of Bach’s contemporary, the composer Marin Marais. Similarly, a performance of Verdi’s Requiem takes on deeper meaning when followed by Defiant Requiem, an acclaimed documentary about the performance of the piece by Jewish prisoners at Theresienstadt, the Nazi concentration camp. The presentation of the film The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with a score by André Previn is being presented as part of Tanglewood’s celebration of Mr. Previn’s 90th birthday year, along with a BSO performance of his Violin Concerto, Anne-Sophie, with dedicatee Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist on July 6, and the world premiere of Mr. Previn and Tom Stoppard’s Penelope, featuring soprano Renée Fleming and the Emerson String Quartet, on July 24. The Cinematics film series will take place on Sundays at 7 p.m. in Studio E of the Linde Center for Music and Learning. Further program details for Cinematics film presentations are available at

ShopTalks are weekly Thursday dialogues where Tanglewood artists “talk shop” about life in the arts, share passions and inspirations, and discuss their visions for the future of the art form with creative colleagues. Through authentic, engaging conversations between artists from a variety of personal and professional backgrounds, one can experience candid insights that contextualize and deepen one’s appreciation of classical music. The series begins with a conversation with bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green, whose journey to the stage is memorialized in Daniel Bergner’s Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family. Later pairings include BSO clarinetist Thomas Martin with Margo Garrett, a former race car driver who is now a renowned vocal coach and collaborative pianist, and conductor Giancarlo Guerrero with bass Morris Robinson. ShopTalks take place on Thursdays at 1 p.m. in Studio E of the Linde Center for Music and Learning. Further program details for ShopTalks are available at

From its vibrantly green lawns and maze-like gardens to its breathtaking views of the Berkshire Hills, the Tanglewood campus has provided visitors with a sumptuous feast for the ears—and the eyes—for nearly a century. Through a collaboration with IS183 Art School of the Berkshires, Focal Point gives amateur artists added opportunities to hone their skills in photography, painting, and drawing using the immense natural beauty of the Tanglewood campus as a backdrop. Starting this Tanglewood season, participants can receive one-on-one mentorship from IS183 Faculty Artists—local professional photographers, painters, and illustrators. Focal Point activities take place on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m.; participants will meet at the Martignetti Lobby of the Linde Center of Music and Learning. Further program details for Focal Point are available at

The String Quartet MasterPass will take TLI participants on an immersive, highly interactive, eight-day adventure, June 22-30, with the Juilliard String Quartet and Tanglewood Music Center faculty and Fellows that focuses on the beauty, complexity, and collaborative spirit of this extraordinary genre. The String Quartet MasterPass includes full-length chamber music performances, with beloved works from the canon alongside exciting contemporary pieces. Participants will have front-row seats as talented Tanglewood Music Center Fellows prepare, refine, and perform great works from the string quartet repertoire. In addition to attending string quartet rehearsals and performances, TLI participants will enjoy a table talk dinner with fellow string quartet enthusiasts and members of the Juilliard String Quartet, Tanglewood Music Center faculty, and TMC Fellows. The String Quartet MasterPass activities will take place in Ozawa Hall and the Linde Center for Music and Learning’s Studio E and Cindy’s Café. Visit  for further program details and specific dates and times for all the String Quartet MasterPass activities.

TLI MasterPass provides participants with a multi-spectrum insider’s view of the artistic process, allowing them to choose some or all of 40 different behind-the-scenes musical experiences during the summer. Activities include rehearsals with the BSO, TMCO, and The Knights with violinist Gil Shaham; open master classes that range from mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe leading a class on American Popular Music to pianist Paul Lewis teaching a class on Haydn; and thought-provoking music appreciation talks, such as Avner Dorman discussing his new double concerto for violin and cello, insights about the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra’s fusion of traditional and contemporary music, and a pre-concert introduction to Penelope, a new work for soprano, string quartet, and piano by André Previn and Tom Stoppard, written especially for Renée Fleming and the Emerson String Quartet. Most of the TLI MasterPass activities will take place in the Shed and Studio E of the Linde Center for Music and Learning. Visit  for further program details and specific dates, times, and locations for all the TLI Masterpass activities.

Four TLI Weekends Are Flagship Events of TLI

At the heart of the Tanglewood Learning Institute are four TLI Weekends that will draw upon major highlights of the season’s performances by the Boston Symphony and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestras. Though each of the four TLI Weekends will have their own themes and cast of personalities and artists, they will all involve some combination of dynamic talks and lectures, film presentations, panel discussions, master class and rehearsal access, musical demonstrations, and workshops, as well as offstage encounters with musicians participating in the weekend’s programming. They are specifically designed to encourage a deeper experience of some of the musical themes of the 2019 Tanglewood Season.

O’KEEFFE WEEKEND: Activities Surrounding the World Premiere of Kevin Puts’ The Brightness of Light, with Renée Fleming and Rod Gilfry, July 1921

TLI Weekends will begin with an immersion weekend centered on the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ The Brightness of Light, an orchestral song cycle based on the letters of Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, the photographer Alfred Stieglitz. TLI Weekend complementary programming will explore artistic partnerships, the creative process and development of new work, and the influence of place on and in the arts. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts will be featured in two sessions, one of which will chronicle the genesis of his new work—how Puts created a song cycle from correspondence between O’Keeffe and Stieglitz—and another on his creative evolution, from his start as an orchestral composer to his move into the world of opera composition. In addition, performers Renée Fleming and Rod Gilfry will detail their experiences bringing new works to life and the ways in which they prepare.

Dr. Sarah Greenough, senior curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., who worked with O’Keeffe in the last decade of her life and is the country’s foremost authority on Alfred Stieglitz, will discuss how the O’Keeffe and Stieglitz letters illuminate our understanding of these artists. Brightness of Light projection artist Wendall K. Harrington, who has designed more than 35 Broadway shows including the 1992 musical Tommy, will present a multimedia Q&A about theatrical projection design. And Franco-American composer Betsy Jolas will deliver a talk entitled “Portrait of the Composer as Artist,” that ties into the weekend theme of the creative process. The O’Keeffe Weekend will also feature a screening of the documentary film The Desert Is No Lady, a profile of nine women artists inspired by the history, culture, and imagery of the American Southwest. For further information about the O’Keeffe Weekend programs and activities, visit

WAGNER WEEKEND: Activities Surrounding the Andris Nelsons-led Wagner’s Die Walküre, July 2628

Presented in conjunction with the BSO’s two-day concert performance of Die Walküre, Wagner Weekend explores Richard Wagner’s world of music and myth. This three-day immersive experience of unique artist insights includes a conversation with the weekend’s Brünnhilde, soprano Christine Goerke, and BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons; lectures by TLI Judith and Stewart Colton Director Sue Elliott and pianist-lecturer Jeffrey Swann that delve into Wagner’s alchemy of music and drama, the Ring cycle’s mythic origins, and the epic struggle between power and love; an exploration of the special brass instruments heard in Die Walküre, such as the Wagner tuba, bass trumpet, and Stierhorn; dinner and screening of Stephen Fry’s 2012 documentary Wagner & Me, in which the British actor investigates his passion for one of the world’s most controversial composers; and an interview with dramatic soprano Jane Eaglen on the realities and myths of Wagnerian singing. Participants can complete their weekend by attending performances of selections from Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder and Wagner piano transcriptions (tickets sold separately). For further information about the Wagner Weekend programs and activities, visit

FCM WEEKEND: Activities Surrounding the Festival of Contemporary Music, August 9–11

What are the key tools used by today’s classical composers? What can contemporary music tell us about our own time and place? Explore these intriguing questions and more during TLI’s FCM Weekend, presented in conjunction with the Tanglewood Music Center’s annual Festival of Contemporary Music, under the direction of Thomas Adès. Through a diverse range of exciting programs—including multimedia presentations, sessions with guest composers from around the world and Tanglewood Music Center Composition Fellows, and the world premiere of new silent-film scores—participants can expand their repertoire, boost understanding of today’s music, and connect with composers, performers, and other new-music aficionados.

Specific activities include a dialogue between BSO Artistic Partner Thomas Adès and music writer Tom Service who collaborated on the recent book Thomas Adès: Full of Noises; a group lunch and silent-film score panel discussion moderated by American composer Michael Gandolfi; a presentation on dramatic elements in contemporary music by Danish composer Poul Ruders; a talk about opera, psychology, and mental illness presented ahead of the August 8th American premiere of Richard Ayres’ 2005 chamber opera The Cricket Recovers; and conversations with composers Chaya Czernowin, Erica Fox, Andrew Hamilton, Zoë Martlew, Hilda Paredes, and Nathan Shields, among others. For further information about the FCM Weekend programs and activities, visit

FILM WEEKEND: Activities Surrounding John Williams’ Film Night, August 23–25

TLI’s Film Weekend explores music as both a core element and a central subject of cinema. Friday events include a working rehearsal of John Williams’ Film Night, followed by a lunch conversation with conductor David Newman and Boston Pops Conductor Laureate and film music legend John Williams. Participants can also enjoy the talks “With & Without: Music Makes the Film,” centering on the importance of a score to a film’s success, and “Music, Motion, and Emotion: The Art of Silent-Film Accompaniment” with Jeff Rapsis.

Film Weekend includes a demonstration by renowned Foley artists who play an indispensable role in the sound effects in film. Further activities on Sunday afternoon begin in the Theatre with the Sunday Showcase event “Beethoven on Film,” followed by the 2:30 p.m. Shed performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, led by conductor Giancarlo Guerrero and featuring a quartet of soloists and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. The weekend ends with a Cinematics screening of The Score, an award-winning documentary about Hollywood’s most celebrated film composers and their enduring contributions to cinema. (Tickets for the Shed performance and The Score screening sold separately.) For further information about Film Weekend programs and activities visit

Most of the TLI Weekend activities will take place in the Shed and Studio E of the Linde Center for Music and Learning, with some activities also taking place in Ozawa Hall and the Linde Center’s Cindy’s Café. Visit  for further program details and specific dates, times, and locations for the TLI Weekend activities.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and the Opening Weekend of TLI and Linde Center for Music and Learning, June 28-July 1

The opening of the four-building Linde Center for Music and Learning complex and the Tanglewood Learning Institute programs on June 28 to July 1 will include a special ribbon-cutting ceremony for members of the public, builders, funders, and staff on Friday, June 28; open houses with activities free to the public on June 29, 30 and July 1; and special recognition events in gratitude to the funders that have supported the new building and programming initiative.

TLI will offer additional free and family-friendly open houses at the Linde Center for Music and Learning during the summer, including on July 12 (Berkshire Night), August 6, and August 25.

Additional Programming Details

Sunday Showcase continues as part of Summer Sundays in 2019 with engaging, informal pre-concert activities that span centuries, cross genres, and deepen concert-going experiences. Sessions this summer include: “Considering the Art of John Williams” (July 7), “On Beethoven’s Fourth” with Ken-David Masur (July 14), Boston Symphony Children’s Choir (July 21), “Wagner and Humor” (July 28), BUTI Cello Master Class with Amanda Forsyth (August 4), “The Birds of Tanglewood” (August 11), Vocal Ensemble Music from the Renaissance to the 21st Century (August 18), and “Beethoven in Film” (August 25). Sunday Showcase sessions begin at 12:30 p.m. at the Theatre and are free to Sunday concert ticket holders.

In July, the Concord River Institute will offer an interdisciplinary and experiential professional development workshop for educators, school administrators, and graduate students in partnership with the Tanglewood Learning Institute. Over two one-week sessions, July 14–20 and July 21–27, participants will observe, participate in, and experiment with a model instructional environment based on the nationally-recognized Rivers and Revolutions program. Particular focus will be given to the ways in which the arts help to create and support learning communities, while nurturing a more holistic and balanced student-teacher relationship. Link to Concord River Institute.

TLI is proud to offer ticket discounts for TLI activities to teachers and educators as part of the TLI Berkshire Scholars Program.  Open to school- and community-based educators who reside in the Berkshires, the program subsidizes admission to Tanglewood Learning Institute program and events through a competitive application process. More information about the TLI Berkshire Scholars Program and the application process will be available online at starting on March 15, 2019. Applications for summer 2019 TLI Berkshire Scholars will open on April 3, 2019.

Sue Elliott, appointed the Judith and Stewart Colton Tanglewood Learning Institute Director in August 2018 (link to press announcement), is responsible for overseeing and developing the programming for the Tanglewood Learning Institute.

Read a message from TLI Director Sue Elliott.


Tickets for TLI programs, ranging from $19 for some Full Tilt events to $399 for each of the four TLI Weekends, and tickets for the entire 2019 Tanglewood season, ranging from $12–$130 (regular season prices), will go on sale on February 10 at and 888-266-1200. (Link to season announcement)

Ticket prices for TLI events throughout the summer:

  • TLI Weekends—O’Keeffe Weekend, June 1921; Wagner Weekend, July 2628; FCM Weekend, August 812; and Film Weekend, August 2325 are priced at $399.
  • String Quartet MasterPass is priced at $150 for activities taking place June 22–30.
  • TLI MasterPass, offering 40 different activities throughout the summer, is priced at $249 per month.
  • The Big Idea presentations are priced at $68, $58, and $45 per event.
  • TLI OpenStudio master classes are priced at $58, $47, and $35 per event ($49 for Music Director Andris Nelsons’ conducting class).
  • Meet the Makers tickets are priced at $34 per event.
  • Full Tilt tickets are priced at $19 per event ($58, $47, and $35 for Meow Meow’s performance).
  • Focal Point tickets are priced at $34 per class.
  • Cinematics film presentations are priced at $95 as a full series and $12 per single ticket (single tickets available at a later date).
  • ShopTalks are priced at $125 as a full series and $19 per single ticket (single tickets available at a later date).


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