Tanglewood Is Building For the Future—Literally

By Doug Hall, Contributing Writer, April 21, 2017

The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home away from Boston, Tanglewood Music Center, is located in the Berkshire Hills, between Stockbridge and Lenox, MA. Recently an exciting and eagerly awaited announcement was made by the BSO and Music Director Andris Nelsons, charting a new and dynamic future. Tanglewood, one of the premier summer festivals in the world and home to the BSO since 1937, is making a major investment commitment with plans to further expand and enhance the Tanglewood Music Center facility and grounds. This extensive plan includes a new four-building complex to support the performance and rehearsal activities of Tanglewood Music Center and serve as the home of the new Tanglewood Learning Institute for visitors to the festival.

Ozawa Hall interior; photo: Steve Rosenthal.

Specifically, the Tanglewood facility expansion will include plans for additional concert space, broadening of educational resources, adding heightened support for the summer Music Academy and Music Center. The largest building will be a multi-season space, which will serve to meet the needs of, and accommodation for, rehearsal and performance activities, providing a new concert venue for more events and programming. Studio 1 will be the largest of the three studios, to “enhance, support and streamline Tanglewood Music Center activities” along with a home for multi-media education and lecture programs, and new social and dining events.

As highlighted in the official announcement, at the heart of the four-buliding complex, Studio 1 (77 ft. x 52 ft.) will provide a “state of the art” space for rehearsals and concert activities. Accommodating audiences of 200 for concerts and 300 for lectures, this dynamic space also provides for retractable seating, and can transform the listener space based on individual performance needs. Further enhancements include multi-media education and lecture program seating, housing the new Tanglewood Learning Institute. This largest of the three studio spaces will, as stated by the architecture firm William Rawn Associates, “be equipped with technologies that maximize its flexibility for performance, rehearsal, and educational offerings of the Tanglewood Learning Institute.” From a performance standpoint, as enthusiastically stated by BSO’s Managing Director Mark Volpe, it will also serve to spotlight, “the extraordinary level of talent exhibited by the Fellows each summer” as well as recognizing a “stellar faculty, including many of today’s most prestigious composers, performers, and conductors.”

Additionally the building expansion will provide for two smaller studios (45 ft. x 37 ft. and 35 ft. x 27 ft.) which will support the TMC’s rehearsals and performances, as well as Tanglewood Learning Institute…

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