Stand by: Dolly Parton to open Tanglewood

Stand by: Dolly Parton to open Tanglewood


norman lebrecht

March 25, 2016

Is this what Koussevitsky had in mind?


press release:

Country music icon Dolly Parton makes her Tanglewood debut with a season-opening performance Friday, June 17, at 7 p.m. in the Koussevitzky Music Shed, joining the Tanglewood 2016 Popular Artist line-up.

Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra will also perform in the Shed on Saturday, September 3, at 8 p.m., for “Dancing Under the Stars,” a festive, toe-tapping performance to close out the 2016 season in style. A dance floor will be set up on the lawn for this crowd-pleasing evening of memorable melodies and big band classics. This is the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra’s first-ever performance at Tanglewood….

Tickets for Dolly Parton on June 17 range from $32 to $149. Tickets for the Boston Pops Swing Orchestra on September 3 range from $22 to $124. Tickets for these performances will go on sale Monday, April 4, at 10 a.m. by phone at 888-266-1200 or online at Tickets for previously announced Tanglewood performances are currently on sale. The Tanglewood website also provides full details of the 2016 Tanglewood concert schedule, including performances by the Boston Symphony and Boston Popsorchestras, the Tanglewood Music Center, and guest artists from the worlds of classical, jazz, the American Songbook, Broadway, pop, rock, and film. Tanglewood—this country’s preeminent summer music festival and the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra—is located in the Berkshire Hills between Stockbridge and Lenox, Massachusetts. 



  • musicologyman says:

    What a great precedent! I’m now looking forward to Opening Night at Carnegie Hall with Taylor Swift, Last Night of the Proms with Coldplay, and the Metropolitan Ooera’s new production of Quadrophenia!

    • Frank says:

      It’s only a matter of time. Actually, I wouldn’t mind hearing Quadrophenia at the Met.

      Another question: Do country fans even know about Tanglewood?

      • Milka says:

        Yes they do know of Tanglewood that it is moribund ….
        and Dolly Parton,& Dancing under the stars will bring some life to the place .

        What Koussevitsky had in mind is buried with him , the world has changed .

        • Eddie Mars says:

          Give us a Toby Keith banjo song, eh, Milka??

          I hear ol’ Toby used a Subdominant chord once – until Pat Buchanan told him it was unAmerican.

          • John Nemaric says:

            Bela Fleck could perform his Banjo Concerto with the Boston Symphony. A great concerto and a great musician. I was at his performance of the concerto with the Colorado Symph. some two years ago and it was delightful. Also, he has a new banjo concerto (“Juno”) dedicated to his little son. Either way, perfect for the occasion.

          • Milka says:

            There seems to be more validity to Keith than the subway violin virtuoso Bell

    • Jim says:

      What a stupid comment. Carnegie Hall has hosted hundreds of concerts featuring all genres of music including country, rock and polka. Dolly Parton first appeared at Carnegie Hall years ago. Tanglewood is a stage and instead of sitting empty on June 17 it will be occupied by a truly great singer/songwriter and a lot of money will be earned to support Tanglewood. It all sounds good to me.

    • Max Grimm says:

      Yes, Dolly Parton is performing at the Tanglewood music venue…..I fail to see the significance or newsworthiness.
      The ‘Tanglewood Music Center’, the well known summer academy, has its first concert on June 27th at Seiji Ozawa Hall with an all Bach program, performing four Bach cantatas. Then, on July the 8th, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jacques Lacombe and Joshua Bell are “to open Tanglewood” with a concert consisting of Ravel, Saint-Saëns and Prokofiev.
      So, to translate Norman’s headline:

      • CDH says:

        This is vintage Slipped Disc. Either the host misreads things (frequently) or he misrepresents them (ditto). Although seemingly the ultimate purist when it comes to music, he permits the grossest tabloidism in his approach to journalism. Which comes out, time and time again, as — to put it charitably — as inaccuracy.

  • Bruce says:

    They’ve been doing this kind of thing — a week or two of big pop names before the Boston Symphony comes to town — for many years.

  • Max Grimm says:

    Norman, I think this – – is the opening night you are trying to ascribe to Dolly Parton, whose name appears nowhere in the program.

  • Be Sharp says:

    What’s the big deal? Popular artists have appeared at Tanglewood (The Who, Bob Dylan, Sly and the Family Stone, the Moody Blues, not to mention Sinatra, Fitzgerald, countless others, and, of course James Taylor) with and without orchestral backup virtually since the festival opened.

    • Tony says:

      Dolly Parton is a living Legend and one of the most successful artists on the planet. She sells out stadiums. She will bring new life to sleepy Tanglewood!
      Nice to have someone else besides that sleepy James Taylor year after year.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    I wonder what Arthur Fiedler would make of that program. I think that the light classics repertoire is falling in the cracks between “pops” orchestras, which seem to gravitate away from classical music, and symphony orchestras, which seem to concentrate on an often unconvincing combination the repertoire’s warhorses or contemporary music (the conservative public doesn’t care for contemporary and the contemporary music public doesn’t want warhorses).

    That is a pity. Some of the light classics can be a lot of fun.