A sweet selection of the pop-world’s tastiest offerings are included in this year’s Tanglewood lineup: Barenaked Ladies, the Ben Folds Five and Guster.
Barenaked Ladies, a legendary Canadian export, are touring in support of their most recent (and 11th) album “All In Good Time”. They have recently shrunk, from a quintet to a quartet, and return to their roots on this album with the same producer who produced their first album – Michael Philip Wojewoda. The material on the new album grew out of a difficult year for their lead singer, Ed Robertson. An arrest, a plane crash, the death of a parent. Weaving pop music from the threads in these dark corners of life was a welcome challenge for Robinson.
The “Ladies” are joined on this tour by the Ben Folds Five, a band followed by fans who border on obsessed even 10 years since they broke up. It’s easy to see why – their musicality, lyrics, quirk and piano-driven song-craft are inventive, catchy, and honest. They have reconvened on this album with the hope that fans can listen like they are hearing them for the first time. More likely, fans will come to it ready to love them all over again. Even listeners who may not be naturally inclined to love pop music will appreciate their clever musicality.
Rounding out this pop-triumvirate: Guster. Another band with a loyal following, pop cred, thoughtful song-smithing and wide appeal.
This stop of the Last Summer On Earth Tour includes a downloadable copy of the new Barenaked Ladies album with each ticket purchased. Tickets are $27.50-$79.50 through the BSO website. This should be a great show for a summer evening.
July 13th, don’t miss what is sure to be a very special event in this year’s Tanglewood 2013 Season – a performance of Bernstein’s West Side Story score. Much more than a concert, it’s a live movie experience, with the newly remastered film shown as the orchestra plays along – complete with original vocals and dialogue.
West Side Story is a truly American interpretation of an old, old tale – of a love that cannot be, but which the lovers cannot turn away from. Leonard Bernstein’s score simultaneously evokes a specific time and place, but is also an unforgettable music experience that has made the story a classic. The film won ten Academy Awards following its 1961 release.
This will be the debut of conductor David Newman, with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The performance on the evening of July 13th will be preceded by a Saturday morning rehearsal at 10:30am. The rehearsal features the orchestra only -- the film will not be shown and the entire score will not be performed. It could be a very interesting experience, however, for fans of the score, or those who simply love a behind-the-scenes peek.
Tickets for this special performance are $20-$150 and tickets for the sneak-peek morning rehearsal at $10-$30. This will be a popular performance, so make sure to book your Hampton Terrace rooms well in advance – they will fill, and you don’t want to miss our breakfast as a part of your Tanglewood experience.
Big names and big performances are schedule for this summer’s Tanglewood Festival, and tickets are on sale NOW. Audra MacDonald, John Williams, Joshua Bell, Yo-yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, and a thoroughly all-star roster of featured conductors and soloists join the Boston Symphony Orchestra in bringing you the best of Mozart, Verdi and Wagner (in celebration of the bicentennial celebrations of their birth), and many more.
In addition to the sterling performances of classical music, trademark of any Tanglewood season, this season also promises popular music, dance, and radio performances you won’t soon forget.
A Prairie Home Companion returns to Tanglewood this season on June 29th, for an evening of music, humor and fun with renowned story-teller, Garrison Keillor and company.
Grateful Dead fans, rejoice. On June 22nd, the Boston Pops Orchestra performs a Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration, featuring “original compositions as well as timeless standards”.
After 15 years, Jackson Browne returns to Tanglewood, for a special July 4th concert to be followed by a fireworks display.
On July 13th, the Boston Symphony Orchestra tackles a live performance of West Side Story, pairing Bernstein’s iconic score with the newly, re-mastered film, shown in high definition.
These are just the highlights of what we anticipate will be another unforgettable summer in the Berkshires. Book now for best availability of tickets to the shows – as well as lodging. We are here to answer any questions that you may have regarding room availability and accommodations here at Hampton Terrace. We look forward to your visit.
Yo-Yo Ma is not only a world-class musician and probably the most recognizable classical musician of his generation, but he also calls the Berkshires home. It’s not surprise then, that we caught this piece from him in the New York Times.
Interestingly and inspiringly, he claims that his love of Tanglewood and the Berkshires was ignited by a summer he spent here teaching and coaching young musicians. He also extols the virtues of the overall Tanglewood experience, the synergy of music and nature in this beautiful setting.
He also name drops some of his favorite Berkshires locations, including our neighbor, Venfort Hall, and reminds readers that the Berkshires aren’t all about summer, there are things to do here in the winter as well (has he been reading our blog?!).
We also found this handy piece in Vanity Fair, also featuring Yo-Yo and his comments on the Berkshires where “there are more trees than people”. We agree with him, this is a great place to relax!
The Tanglewood 75th anniversary concert on Saturday, 7/14, featuring Yo-Yo Ma, John Williams and other notables (many with homes in the Berkshires), was filmed for CBS' Great Performances, will be aired August 10 – don’t miss it. That show will include a 12-minute video on the history of Tanglewood. It will give you a change to see what the experience of Tanglewood is like for those of you who have never been (without actually having to come and see it…though clearly, we think you should come see it).
These neighborhood notables could choose to live anywhere in the world, but they choose to live here in our Berkshires back yard because of the natural beauty and the cultural synergy. This is a spot on Earth that you need to see in your lifetime. Come stay with us here at Hampton Terrace to experience the magic.
A very cool deal at the Clark Museum for Tanglewood fans – they offer a Tanglewood ticket package.
When you purchase this special package, you get two admissions to the Clark Museum, and two Tanglewood lawn tickets. There are some restrictions as to which Tanglewood shows are eligible for this offer, but they are specified on the website so you can plan ahead.
The Clark is offering fascinating exhibits this summer about Northern China. Unearthed, Recent Archaeological Discoveries from Northern China, runs from now until October 21, Through Shen-kan: Sterling Clark in China runs from now until September 16, and Then and Now: Photographs of Northern China runs from now until September 16.
Unearthed includes many artifacts never allowed outside of China previously, on loan from a variety of Chinese agencies who are generously sharing these precious artifacts with the Clark.
Sterling Clark was, among other things, a founder of the museum (in order to house his extensive art collection) and the Through Shen-kan exhibit chronicles his scientific expedition to Northern China in 1908 and 1909.
Then And Now compares and contrasts the photographs from Sterling Clark’s 1908 trip with modern photographs from 100 years later, captured by Chinese photographer Li Ju.
In addition to these special exhibits, of course, there are also the museum’s permanent collections…what a great way to enjoy two of the Berkshires’ cultural gems.
Susan and I went to see James Taylor at Tanglewood last night. We’ve seen JT at least 15 times and this was the best performance we’ve ever seen for a lot of reasons.
First, he had an all-star band backing him up (picrure 1 below). There were huge names all over the stage.
Second, he seemed more animated than usual. He always puts on a great show, but this felt special. You could tell. Is it that this is Tanglewood’s 75th anniversary season? I don’t know but there was something exciting in the air last night.
And, the fact that Taylor Swift just dropped in out of nowhere as a guest, indicated to us that this was being filmed. It was pretty obvious that people were going to see this again.
James Taylor has a special connection to Tanglewood. Not only does he live right here in Lenox, but his wife Kim was the marketing director at Tanglewood for years.
Speaking of Kim, she joined him on stage last night for a song, as did his twin sons, Rufus and Henry (picture 4 below).
Between the regular show and the encores, he invited everyone to come on down. Susan and I worked our way down and ended up about six feet from the stage (picture 3 below). Check out the Berkshire Eagle review of the show for more info and some additional pictures.
JT is also performing tonight and tomorrow night. It's beautiful weather for a show on the lawn (picture 2 below). They haven’t announced the special guest but we’re sure it’s going to be special.
Summer isn’t just about the weekends, it’s three months of beautiful days for getaways. We have mid-week specials to make your weekdays: Special.
But let’s come back to those details and talk about what’s here during the week. All of the great restaurants and cultural attractions that make the Berkshires famous for weekend getaways are still here during the week. Even Tanglewood, our fabled summer festival has mid-week offerings.
Thursday, June 28th at 8pm, for example, you can experience the Mark Morris Dance Group. The legendary dancer/choreographer’s troupe will perform at Ozawa Hall, right here in Lenox. You can purchase your tickets ahead, online.
You can also check availability here at Hampton Terrace online. For multiple-night stays Sunday through Thursday, all rooms in the mansion or the Wynnstay Cottage are $199/night and King Suites are $275/night. If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“In August 1934, a group of music-loving Berkshire summer residents arranged for members of the New York Philharmonic to perform three outdoor concerts…”
-from the Tanglewood website
So began the Tanglewood Festival, which Lenox, MA is proud to host. Many, many years and performances later, the festival draws visitors annually from around the world: 350,000 visitors, to be exact. Have YOU visited the festival? Which memorable performance made your visit special – which one made you realize that you had to come back again?
The focus of the festival is classical music offerings – after all, the festival is also the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra itself is even older than the festival, having been founded in 1881, and maintaining a level of artistry that is world-renowned.
Though the classical music offerings are at the heart of the festival, popular music also makes some appearances – James Taylorand his band take the stage July 2nd, 3rd and 4th. Jazz is also represented, though the Tanglewood Jazz Festival that normally occupies the final weekend (Labor Day weekend) is not occurring this year. Some jazz performances have been streamlined into the regular season lineup however, for example, Diana Krall appears on June 23rd. Non-musical offerings this season include a visit from A Prairie Home Companion and performances by the Mark Morris Dance Group.
Because we love to make your life simple and elegant, we’ve created a list of the 75th anniversary lineup here on our site for your convenience: 2012 Tanglewood Festival lineup. And here is a handy link for purchasing tickets to the festival.
Make sure to book your rooms early if you are attending the festival! And please call (1-800-203-0656) or email us if you have any questions about the festival season. We’re festival season pros and we’re happy to help in any way we can.
It has been a while since we did a blog on celebrity relationships at Hampton Terrace. Time to get back to it.
Last month we were honored to host Jerry Williams from California for a week. Jerry is a semi-retired percussionist... who has performed on more than 750 movie scores. Jerry, and his wife Shirley, were in town to enjoy "John Williams Movie Night," conducted by his brother....John Williams, of course.
Did John stay here? Not necessary, because John has a 30+ year relationship with the Berkshires and has his own 2-bedroom cottage (with grand piano) on the grounds of Blantyre.
But he did visit Jerry here at Hampton Terrace, and he played our Steinway Grand. Not content to let that be a "word of mouth" rumor for either Hampton Terrace or the Steinway, we asked Jerry if he would mind asking John to document his visit.
Within the week, the following note arrived:
I consider this extraordinarily generous on the part of John, of course, who took the time to send a letter from California. But especially from Jerry. This is akin to asking a girl if she would fix you up with her better-looking best friend.
But having spent a week with Jerry and his wife, I detected nothing but great respect and admiration for his brother, and a sense of awe at what John has accomplished. In my opinion, John Williams will be remembered as the greatest composer of this generation, and most probably of the century.
John's trip to our piano was not a serendipity. He has a passion for pianos, according to Jerry, and was especially intrigued by this one.
Our 1929 Steinway "L" has been played by many of the world's most famous musicians and singers, including Arthur Fiedler, Emanuel Ax, Van Cliburn, Roberta Peters, Robert Merrill, Jerome Hines, Robert Shaw, Claudio Arrau, Alicia de LaRocha, and others. Many signed the pin block.
How that came to be...will be the subject of another blog.
But add John Williams. Jerry has promised to be back. We are hoping it will be as soon as next summer, when it is a certainty that Tanglewood will do something special for John's 80th birthday.
Everyone knows the theater companies in the Berkshires are Broadway-quality. In fact, most of the summer productions are populated with Tony Award winners and nominees.
Notable actors and directors come to the Berkshires because (1) productions run just several weeks, therefore it is possible to shoehorn a performance between other theater, television or movie obligations, (2) the productions are of such a high level that working in the Berkshires is actually resume-building, and (3) they know the local audiences are appreciative, supportive and sophisticated.
So today we feature Barrington Stage Company, which has a brand new theater right off North Street in Pittsfield.
Julie Boyd, founder and driving force behind every facet of the company, chose the current location because of her penchant for staging lavish musicals. Formally located in Great Barrington (thus the name), Barrington Stage Company wanted to participate in the cultural revival of Pittsfield, and have a location equally convenient to north and south county. The theater she found has a large stage and orchestral pit and as of now, is completely restored and in service.
Fortune smiled upon the company when one of its experimental productions, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," found its way to Broadway, earned several Tony Awards, and then generated licensing funds which were steered into the new facilities.
The company also presents traditional theater in this venue, as well as in smaller-scale venues near-by.
This year's season is already underway and can be seen by clicking on the Barrington Stage website.
It is important to note that local theaters run six or seven days per week, allowing patrons to maximize their days in the Berkshires. In other words, if you plan to patronize Tanglewood on the weekends, why not add several days before or after the weekend to experience Shakespeare and Company, Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jacob's Pillow and dozens of other Berkshire stages? That does not even cover the musical offerings beyond Tanglewood which go six or seven nights per week.
If you stay at Hampton Terrace in Lenox, you will not be wondering what to do with your time. We have assembed lists and resources to help you plan your stay. For your free guide to Berkshire offerings: