Celebration to mark opening of Tanglewood's Linde Center

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LENOX — A red carpet-style event will be held later this month to roll out Tanglewood's new $33 million Linde Center for Music and Learning and its programming arm, the Tanglewood Learning Institute.

The ambitious addition to the Boston Symphony's 524-acre summer home represents the organization's most wide-ranging and costly venture here since the construction and opening of Ozawa Hall 25 years ago.

It's the centerpiece of a $64 million Tanglewood Forever campaign that includes major enhancements to the look of the campus, including the Ozawa Hall entrance and amenities, and a $10 million set-aside to support programming ventures. So far, $62.7 million has been raised.

The heated and air-conditioned Linde Center buildings are Tanglewood's first year-round facilities. Beginning this fall, the complex will be available for Berkshire-based concert and event rentals, with details to be unveiled at summer's end.

"This is a transformational moment, the culmination of many years of work and a symbolic beginning of a new era for Tanglewood," according to BSO Managing Director Mark Volpe.

Construction began in October 2017, with final touch-ups completed last month. The project was conceived in 2012 by Tony Fogg, artistic administrator and director of Tanglewood; Tanglewood Music Center Director Ellen Highstein; and BSO Trustee Joyce Linde, who chaired the TMC/TLI Initiative Committee.

As TLI Director Sue Elliott has said, the performances, talks, master classes and up-close, interactive experiences with artists offered by the institute — 140 events in all this inaugural season — represent a huge programming expansion. It's the most extensive since Tanglewood opened in 1937 and the Tanglewood Music Center for advanced students and young professionals was founded in 1940, then the Berkshire Music Center, by BSO Music Director Serge Koussevitzky."

As TLI evolves over the coming months and years, we expect to engage existing audiences and a wide variety of curious people who have direct and indirect affinities for what we offer, regardless of their musical knowledge," Elliott said. "We're grateful for the warm welcome our new buildings have received and look forward to the new partnerships that will develop."

The TLI's mission, involving the BSO, the Boston Pops and the Tanglewood Music Center, will reach beyond the Berkshires, with Boston programs beginning this fall and online learning experiences to be added next year.

But first, four days of celebration as the orchestra's eight-week residency approaches.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony open to the public is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 28, with speeches by BSO leaders, Linde Center builders and major donors. A public tour of the facility will follow. The new complex overlooks Ozawa Hall and its lawn, and it is accessed via Hawthorne Road on the Stockbridge side of Tanglewood.

The Linde Center's four buildings, centered around a 100-foot red oak, are connected by a winding, covered walkway. Facilities include Studio E, the largest performance and rehearsal space with seating for up to 270 people; two smaller buildings, the Gordon Family Studio and the Volpe Family Studio, and Cindy's Cafe, with indoor seating for 150 and an outside patio with 50 more seats.

The cafe is designed as a hub for visitors, Tanglewood Music Center Fellows and faculty, BSO players and Tanglewood Learning Institute participants.

Additional free, public opening weekend highlights include:

- June 29, 9 to noon; June 30, 1 to 5 p.m.; and July 1, 2-4:30 p.m.: Open houses with activities showcasing the range of TLI offerings this summer and the fall, winter and spring seasons to follow. Performers include string quartet players form the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, a music and movement class with Lauren Grant of the Mark Morris Dance Group and coaching sessions for Tanglewood Music Center's young musicians led by TMC faculty and BSO members. For young people, an Instrument Playground and a "hands-on" percussion demonstration are offered.

- June 30, 1 p.m.: A live performance of Boston public radio station WBUR's storytelling podcast, "Circle Round," with BSO musicians and actors Amanda Seyfried ["Mamma Mia!," "Les Miserables"], Thomas Sadoski ["The Newsroom," "Life in Pieces"], Campbell Scott ["House of Cards," "The Amazing Spider-Man 2"] and Jane Kaczmarek ["Malcolm in the Middle"] to be recorded for download.

- July 1, 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Cindy's Cafe: Bach Cantatas Coffee House featuring conductors John Harbison and Ken-David Masur, with TMC musicians preparing for that evening's concert at Ozawa Hall.

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Additional TLI Open Houses are planned on July 12 [the BSO's Berkshire Night concert], Aug. 6 and Aug. 25.

Bringing people together 

"When I think about the Boston Symphony Orchestra's contribution to the larger world, I think about how well we bring people together for shared experiences that, in their own way, help to create a more civil society," Elliott, the TLI director, said in a statement. "TLI's defining quality is curiosity in our work, and inspiring curiosity in our participants."

The institute aims to offer "a wide-ranging spectrum of dynamic, engaging, thought-provoking cross-cultural programs while also supporting the Tanglewood Music Center," according to BSO leaders. "With a whole new unprecedented layer of activities for patrons curious to get closer to the BSO's world of music and even venture beyond it, TLI programming — which has played a foundational role in the design of the Linde Center — will offer visitors a sense of discovery and participation on a scale never before offered by the Tanglewood festival."

Elliott, who was chosen last summer to lead the learning institute, pointed out that some programs are aimed at attracting participants whose primary focus might not be music. She cited "The Big Idea" speaker series, featuring former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright [July 6] and historian-author Doris Kearns Goodwin [July 27], among others, and the Sunday evening "Cinematics" series of documentary films at Ozawa Hall.

The film series begins June 30 with a screening of the 1991 French film classic, "Tous les matins du monde," portraying the life of Bach's contemporary, the composer Marin Marais. In collaboration with the Berkshire International Film Festival, the weekly Cinematics series is on Sundays at 7 p.m. in Studio E of the Linde Center [single tickets $12].

"Some of our programming is designed specifically to dissolve barriers between audiences and performers, to provide a front row seat to the artistic and creative processes," Elliott said. "Our programs and spaces will be welcoming, experimental, interdisciplinary and eclectic."

TLI summer schedule 

The Tanglewood Learning Institute launches its summer schedule on June 22 with the String Quartet MasterPass, eight days of concerts, master classes, talks and dinner with current and former members of the Juilliard String Quartet and Tanglewood Music Center faculty and students.

The TLI's four deep-immersion weekends, tying in to summer concert highlights with talks, panel discussions, films, master classes, rehearsals, musical demonstrations, workshops and off-stage encounters with performers, include:

- O'Keeffe Weekend: Diva soprano Ren e Fleming and operatic baritone Rod Gilfry present the world premiere of composer Kevin Puts' "The Brightness of Light," based on letters between landscape painter/artist Georgia O'Keeffe and photographer/art promoter Alfred Stieglitz [July 19-21].

- Wagner Weekend: Programs focusing on performances of Wagner's "Die Walkure" led by BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons with opera soloists and the TMC Orchestra [July 26-28].

- Festival of Contemporary Music Weekend: Programs directed by composer-conductor Thomas Ades [July 26-28].

- Film Weekend: Focusing on John Williams' annual Film Night [Aug. 23-25].

The Linde Center for Music and Learning is designed by William Rawn Associates Architects, led by William Rawn and Cliff Gayley.

It is named in recognition of leadership gifts made by Joyce and Edward H. Linde and their family.

"The launch of TLI programming and the opening of the Linde Center marks the beginning of a new journey to bring Tanglewood to the world and the world to Tanglewood," Elliott said.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.


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