Tanglewood opening night an experience for all ages

Saturday June 23, 2012

LENOX -- For Tammy Cracolici, nearly forgetting the night of Yo-Yo Ma's first appearance of the Tanglewood season was an easy problem to fix. When she realized the date, the Pittsfield mom zipped her two younger sons down the road in time for the start of the 75th season.

Joseph, 11, and Nathan, 9, play cello and violin respectively, and were both looking forward to witnessing live for the first time what the master cellist could do.

"Being able to taste it and experience it, that really brings it to life," said Cracolici, 44.

Ma kicked off the historic summer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's seasonal home with his world-music inspired Silk Road Ensemble, which brought the audience to a wowed hush with peculiar instruments like the Galician bagpipe and the clarinet-like Chinese bawu.

Attendance numbers were not available Friday evening, but Ozawa Hall and the lawn both appeared packed.

Plenty of concertgoers came from farther afield to listen to the music from the top of the sloped lawn, where their children could run around as they wished.

Hiroki Sunoagawa, his wife and two sons, ages 3 and 1, traveled from their home in Tokyo, Japan to vacation for a week in Massachusetts.

"I hope my kids listen to good music," Sunoagawa said. "I am a fan of Yo-Yo Ma, but my main purpose is to let my sons enjoy the music."

Other parents and grandparents also found Tangle wood a comfortable place to spend an evening out with their young charges.

Sharing a picnic with friends, Springfield resident Aimee Bouchard, 32, said that feeling welcome to bring her toddler, Connor, to hear live classical music was what set the venue apart.

"He's 1 year old but he's already been here twice," she said.

"It's all of it," said Michelle Driscoll, 33, also of Spring field. "It's being able to be out in nature, listen to music, and be with friends."

On a weekend holiday from Cape Cod, Frank Anigbo, 46, and his wife, Karen, 31, reveled in the casual atmosphere and the clear night.

"More than anything else it's just such a pretty setting," Frank Anigbo said -- so pretty that the couple will be back again tonight at 7 to see jazz singer Diana Krall.


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