Tanglewood: The Clash Between Tradition and Change
Tanglewood: The Clash Between Tradition and Change (Hardcover)
An internationally renowned and beloved music festival, Tanglewood is summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and site of the Tanglewood Music Center, a prestigious academy for advanced studies in classical music. Set on spacious lawn overlooking the picturesque Berkshire hills of western Massachusetts, this idyllic place attracts thousands of picnickers and concertgoers for music under the stars.
Yet Tanglewood's tranquillity masks the many challenges facing the festival as it strives for success and survival in the coming years. This provocative work explores the dynamics affecting Tanglewood within the larger context of recent trends in American musical life, including dwindling audiences for classical music and growing commercialism in the arts. Andrew L. Pincus begins his lively narrative with an account of Tanglewood's rich history, from founder Serge Koussevitzky's vision of a great music festival and academy, to Seiji Ozawa's controversial tenure as BSO director. He describes the construction of the acclaimed Seiji Ozawa Hall and the publicity glitz surrounding its gala opening in 1994 as both a turning point for Tanglewood's passage to a new era and a link to its past. Pincus traces Ozawa's demanding conducting career, fully exploring mounting criticism of his repertoire and commitment to the BSO and Tanglewood, and recalls how Leonard Bernstein and other important figures influenced Tanglewood's legacy.
Against this backdrop of the festival's evolving relationship between tradition and transition to the innovative and unknown, Pincus examines recent clashes among leaders and artists over both programming decisions and the direction of the Music Center. The staging ofhighly-publicized events and gala performances to attract larger and broader-based audiences raises thorny questions about whether or not serious art is being compromised for the sake of commercial success.
This fascinating book illuminates the ways in which Tanglewood represents both the best and the worst aspects of musical culture. It also captures the enduring spirit that will lead this extraordinary festival into the next century.