Boston Symphony to Open Tanglewood Season on July 10

The all-Beethoven program will feature music director Andris Nelsons and pianist Emanuel Ax


After a canceled 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) will reopen for its 2021 Tanglewood Music Festival season on Saturday, July 10, with an all-Beethoven concert.

The program will include Beethoven's Overture to "The Creatures of Prometheus," Symphony No. 5, and Piano Concerto No. 5 — led by BSO music director Andris Nelsons with pianist Emanuel Ax as soloist. Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is the same work that opened the festival's inaugural season in 1937.

Saturday's concert will kick off a shortened season — July 9 to August 16 — of eight orchestra programs shortened to 80 minutes without intermissions.

Per local health regulations, Tanglewood is limiting attendance capacity to 50 percent, or 9,000 people, an increase from the previously announced attendance cap of 4,500. For the Koussevitsky Music Shed, Tanglewood will enforce three-foot social distancing and a seating cap of 2400. Mask wearing and vaccinations will not be required.

“I am sure we will all experience music’s incredible power on a whole new level,” Nelsons told The Violin Channel in March.  “My hope is that at this moment, we will discover together an even deeper purpose and meaning for music in our lives — as it is sure to fill our hearts and renew our spirits."