The Knights believe that having an enormous amount of fun is the best way of accomplishing serious musical work, so it’s only natural that the world’s happiest orchestra would team up with the world’s happiest violinist.
It is not an exaggeration to suggest that, for many devotees in the audience, this experience was indeed like being in a cathedral, with the voices coming from the stage reaching to the heavens above as well as into their hearts.
Had composer and conductor Oliver Knussen not died in Suffolk last year at the age of 66, he would have presided over this year’s Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music. It seemed fitting as well that the first sounds to put the new hall to test were Knussen’s stunning ‘Prequel to Opening Signal.’
Here was a morning of provocative musical offerings and ear-rattling virtuosity, leaving the listener to wonder from minute to minute, “How is that even possible?” and “How come I never heard these guys?”
Although each speaker offered a unique perspective on their place in and vision for this major new center, two themes ran through everyone’s remarks: the pivotal role of the arts and learning in our society, and the importance of and commitment to the Berkshire community.
The Boston University Tanglewood Institute is an eight-week program of the college to train musicians of middle and high school age by immersing them in the world of professional and deeply exciting music-making.
Jeannette Sorrell, harpsichordist and passionate conductor of Apollo’s Fire, considers “the most distinctive thing about our style is that we are really focused on the concept of Affekt, the idea that the music is there to move the emotional mood of the listeners.