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As Winter Approaches, BSO Prepares For Summer

John Williams conducted the Boston Pops' Film Night on Aug. 14 this year. (Hilary Scott/courtesy BSO)
John Williams conducted the Boston Pops' Film Night on Aug. 14 this year. (Hilary Scott/courtesy BSO)

Though many Bostonians are gearing up for winter, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is looking ahead to a busy, star-studded June, July and August in the Berkshires.

The BSO on Tuesday announced its Summer 2011 season at Tanglewood, the orchestra's summer home.

The schedule includes performances by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and folk musician James Taylor. But for many, the most anticipated musician to hit the stage might be the BSO's own conductor, maestro James Levine.

James Levine conducting the BSO (Michael J. Lutch/courtesy BSO)
James Levine conducting the BSO (Michael J. Lutch/courtesy BSO)

Levine is slated to lead a number of performances, including opening night. This will mark his return to the podium at Tanglewood after the music director was forced to bow out for summer 2010 because of major back surgery.

Perhaps the BSO's planned schedule signals a sense of optimism on the part of the BSO that Levine’s recuperation from back surgery is indeed going as well as the orchestra and the maestro had hoped.

In June, Levine will kick off the Tanglewood season with an all-Italian concert featuring works by Rossini, Respighi and Verdi. If all goes as planned, Levine will return in July for Berlioz’s "Requiem" and Mahler’s "Fifth Symphony."

Yo-Yo Ma will appear at Tanglewood four times over the course of the summer, once for a performance of Schumann’s cello concerto. Violinist Joshua Bell, conductor laureate John Williams and Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart will also hit the stage.

Other 2011 season highlights include Itzhak Perlman’s return to the Berkshires, both conducting and performing in the first-ever concert performance of the opera "Porgy and Bess." Twenty-six guest artists and ensembles will also make their Tanglewood debuts, including soprano Angela Meade and the Mark O’Connor String Quartet.

As always, the BSO will kiss the summer goodbye with Beethoven’s "Ninth Symphony."

This program aired on November 30, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Andrea Shea Twitter Senior Arts Reporter
Andrea Shea is WBUR's arts reporter.

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