Another classical sellout: Lady Gaga to play Tanglewood

Another classical sellout: Lady Gaga to play Tanglewood


norman lebrecht

November 13, 2014

What would Koussevitsky have made of this? Or Lenny. Read:

The 2015 Tanglewood season, June 20-Labor Day Weekend, boasts an abundance of musical riches with concerts by the incomparable Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras, the Tanglewood Music Center, and internationally acclaimed guest artists from the worlds of classical, jazz, the American Songbook, Broadway, pop rock, dance, and film, as well as performances spotlighting special anniversaries, thematic programming, and theatrical presentations.

[Andris Nelsons (photo by Marco Borggreve)]Unique to the 2015 Tanglewood season will be the celebration of two milestones: the inaugural season of BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons and the 75th anniversary of the Tanglewood Music Center, the BSO’s prestigious summer music academy. In a first for the Tanglewood Festival, Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Axwill each take on the newly created title of Koussevitzky Artist—an honorary title reflecting the BSO’s deep appreciation for their generous performance and teaching commitment to the 2015 Tanglewood season, and for each of their extraordinary 30-[Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga]plus-year involvement with the BSO at Tanglewood and at Symphony Hall in Boston. In what is sure to be one of the highlights of the 2015 Tanglewood season, the legendary Tony Bennettand megastar songstress Lady Gaga will perform music from their acclaimed new album, Cheek to Cheek, 6/30.


  • Jeffrey Levenson says:

    Koussey, no.
    Lenny, whatever.

  • NYMike says:

    In the U.S.A., without appreciable government support, orchestras that can program non-classical acts make some of the funding from these very popular shows that support their classical programming. The BSO isn’t the only orchestra doing this.

  • Milka says:

    They’ve had far worse…..

  • Peter Metrinko says:

    Koussevitzky has been dead 63 years. Bernstein loved popular music and contributed some of the best show tunes ever written to the lexicon. Tanglewood has had pop music before. Feinstein was there to sing selections from the Great American Songbook.

  • NYMike says:

    Addendum: How many summer festivals have the wherewithal to put on Mahler’s #8 “Symphony of a Thousand” with huge chorus and expensive soloists? Gaga/Bennett is undoubtedly helping with this.

    • Mark Henriksen says:

      When I was a high school student back around 1970, I recall hearing the LA Phil play Mahler 2, Mahler 3, and put on Stravinsky Marathons; stuff that is rare at a number of music festivals nowadays.

  • Marc Geelhoed says:

    By the numbers:

    No. of classical concerts (BSO, Pops, chamber, piano recital, Tanglewood Music Center): 32
    No. of Boston Pops concerts incl in above: 4
    No. of TMC Orch. concerts in above: 10
    No. of Popular Artist Series concerts: 6

  • Paul says:

    And Nelsons conducting Mahler 8; Kavakos, Ma and Ax in the three Brahms trios, Paul Lewis in the last three Beethoven Sonatas, Ax and Ma in the complete Beethoven cello sonatas. The complete Tanglewood schedule is available on-line If Lady Gaga pays for that, it’s okay with me!

  • william osborne says:

    Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (Lady Gaga) has actually done some very nice work with Tony Bennett. Here’s an example:

  • Christy says:

    This is a bit of a tempest in a teapot. 🙂 Tony Bennett has performed at Tanglewood every season for years. He announced at last summer’s concert that “next year, I’m bringing my friend Lady Gaga.”

    Tanglewood has done popular concerts for decades. Decades. This is simply the same thing they’ve always done.

    In doing so, they support a major high school training program and a young artist program that is one of the best, if not the best, in the nation. Shame on them!

    For what it’s worth, Lady Gaga is a super jazz performer. Tanglewood is lucky to have her.

  • Deborah Belcher says:

    Lady Gaga is a powerful, creative artist/entertainer with solid values. Her message is humanistic & positive. Any organization that hosts/presents her is on my “Hooray” list!

  • Bill says:

    The regular classical weekend concerts are not impacted by this. They have had these type of concerts for a long time. There is no issue here. Why do you have to be so negative about practically everything?

  • Vinyl Hero says:

    The inclusion of Lady Gaga on the Tanglewood program is, by historic standards (The Who, Bob Dylan, Sly and the Family Stone, and countless others), quite tame.

  • Drew says:

    …Gaga is actually a really good singer and Tony Bennett see’s that and the critics are loving the album.

  • lady yawn says:

    TONY BENNETT sold out at Tanglewood with Lady gaga dragging on the ground behind him CLUTCHING to his coattails.

    • JAMA11 says:

      Yes, one of today’s most popular, highly paid, and distinctive superstars is TOTALLY clinging to the coattails of Tony Bennett.