Boston Symphony Orchestra opens its Tanglewood season on July 10

Tanglewood's Koussevitsky Music Shed, photographed in 2018. (Fred Collins).

Tanglewood's Koussevitsky Music Shed, photographed in 2018. (Fred Collins).

LENOX, Mass. — Tanglewood’s summer season kicks off this weekend with a Fourth of July celebration featuring performances by Jon Baptiste, Mavis Staples and the Boston Pops, among others.

Led by Keith Lockhart, conductor of the Boston Pops, the show is sold out. However, it will be live-streamed starting at 8 p.m. on Sunday on Bloomberg TV and radio.

“All of us at the Boston Pops are putting our hearts and souls into planning our Fourth-of-July live concert stream for the many wonderful fans of the Boston Pops and the July 4 holiday. We are thrilled that this special event will launch Tanglewood’s reopening and that we will have a chance to show Boston Pops fans across the country the great beauty and appeal of one of America’s most beloved summer music festivals,” Lockhart said.

The following week, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s season opens on Saturday, July 10, with an all-Beethoven concert led by Andris Nelsons. The season will be shorter than usual, coming in at just six weeks. BSO concerts will be held on Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons and Boston Pops concerts, as well as those featuring notable chamber music artists, will be held on Friday evenings. Each performance will take place in the Koussevitzky Music Shed.

Capacity will be limited to 9,000, which is 50% of Tanglewood’s 18,000 capacity. While mask-wearing and physical distancing are not required, they are recommended for attendees who aren’t vaccinated. For more information visit

Here’s a look at the first two weeks of programming:

8 p.m. Fri., July 9
The Knights, with artistic directors Eric and Colin Jacobsen, perform Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, Vijay Iyer’s Crisis Modes, Mary Lou Williams’ Selection from Zodiac Suite, for piano and orchestra, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, the latter two works featuring pianist Aaron Diehl.

8 p.m. Sat., July 10
Andris Nelsons opens the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s 2021 Tanglewood season with an all-Beethoven program, with special guest Emanuel Ax performing Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor, on a program with the overture to The Creatures of Prometheus and Symphony No. 5.

2:30 p.m. Sun., July 11
BSO will perform Carlos Simon’s Fate Now Conquers, followed by Sibelius’ Violin Concerto with soloist Baiba Skride and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 6

8 p.m. Fri., July 16
Apollo’s Fire is slated to perform works by Telemann (Concerto Polonois), Porpora (an arrangement of an aria from Polifemo), Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 4, and three Vivaldi concertos, with Artistic Director Jeannette Sorrell

2:30 p.m. Sat., July 17
“American Melodies,” part of the Tanglewood Family Concert program, will feature early songs that defined America, performed by members of the BSO, with Byron Stripling in the role of conductor and trumpet soloist.

8 p.m. Sat., July 17
Daniil Trifonov joins the orchestra for Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1; the program opens with Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, Classical.

2:30 p.m. Sun., July 18
Lucas and Arthur Jussen are the soloists for Mozart’s Concerto in E-flat for Two Pianos, K.365 on a program with the Mendelssohn-Hensel Overture in C and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, Reformation.

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