Andris Nelsons, conductor; Yo-Yo Ma, cello
World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma returns to Tanglewood alongside Maestro Nelsons and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra for the annual Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert. The program celebrates the completion of sculptures that John Williams commissioned for the Tanglewood grounds of three of the Festival’s seminal figures, who are also personal heroes of the composer: Aaron Copland, Serge Koussevitzky, and Leonard Bernstein. The program features Yo-Yo Ma, Andris Nelsons, and the BSO in the world premiere of a new John Williams work for cello and orchestra, specially written for this occasion. Mr. Ma is also featured in Bernstein’s Three Meditations from Mass, for cello and orchestra, the composer’s reworking of selections from ambitious staged pageant/oratorio composed for the 1971 inauguration of Washington’s Kennedy Center. Aptly opening the concert is Copland’s An Outdoor Overture, a 1938 work from the beginning of the composer’s American populist period and the first work by Copland that Bernstein conducted at Tanglewood. Concluding the program is perhaps Koussevitzky’s most famous commission, Bartók’s incandescent Concerto for Orchestra, which the BSO premiered in 1944.