Tanglewood is the place to be
James Levine is drawing young talent to the music center
By Richard Dyer, Globe Staff | August 13, 2006
LENOX — James Levine has changed the Tanglewood Music Center not just by the things he’s done, but also simply by being there.
When BSO music director Serge Koussevitzky founded the TMC in 1940, it was unique. Now there are many other places where a talented young musician can go in the summer to develop his or her artistry. For years, the presence of Tanglewood icon Leonard Bernstein made the TMC the place to be, despite the competition. And that phenomenon is happening again because Levine is in the Berkshires.
Many of the outstanding students chose Tanglewood over the alternatives because Levine’s presence and programming attracted them. They get to do things they wouldn’t have the opportunity to do anywhere else, unless someone like Levine were in charge, and there aren’t many “like” Levine. The only other performance of Strauss’s “Elektra” played by young musicians that one can think of was a year ago, at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland — when the conductor was Levine.
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