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James Taylor Will Host a Free Stream Of THE BEST OF TANGLEWOOD ON PARADE

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The video will stream on August 18.

James Taylor Will Host a Free Stream Of THE BEST OF TANGLEWOOD ON PARADE

Hosted by perennial Tanglewood favorite James Taylor, The Best of Tanglewood on Parade is a video stream of highlights from past Tanglewood on Parade concerts-features the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood Music Center orchestras, as well as the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and Boston Symphony Children's Choir, in selections led by conductors Andris Nelsons, Keith Lockhart, John Williams, James Burton, and Seiji Ozawa. The free program is available online on Tuesday, August 18 at 8 p.m. at www.tanglewood.org, and can be viewed through Tuesday, August 25.

This year, as the unprecedented health crisis resulting from the spread of COVID-19 has necessitated the cancellation of live performances with audiences at Tanglewood for summer 2020, the Tanglewood on Parade tradition will continue in the form of The Best of Tanglewood on Parade online concert, hosted by James Taylor.

Along with hosting the program, Taylor will introduce archival performances of two songs he wrote, "Lonesome Road" and "Mean Old Man" performed with James' band, members of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and John Williams and the Boston Pops, from an August 2009 Tanglewood concert. As a recording and performing artist, Taylor's music embodies the art of songwriting in its most personal and universal forms. He is a master at describing specific, even autobiographical situations in a way that resonates with people everywhere. His iconic songs, including "Fire and Rain," "Country Road," "Something in the Way She Moves," "Mexico," "Shower the People," "Your Smiling Face," "Carolina In My Mind," "Sweet Baby James," "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," "You Can Close Your Eyes," "Walking Man," "Never Die Young," and "Shed a Little Light," among others, have had a profound influence on songwriters and music lovers from all walks of life. Mr. Taylor, who regularly performs to sold-out audiences at Tanglewood, has returned to the festival 29 times since his first performance there in 1974.

Among the other highlights of The Best of Tanglewood on Parade program is James Burton's The Lost Words, a reprise of the piece's premiere at the 2019 Tanglewood on Parade concert by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Symphony Children's Choir, Mr. Burton conducting.

The unusual libretto for the piece is The Lost Words, a children's book by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, written in response to the Oxford Junior Dictionary's omission of nature words in 2007 and again in 2015. The book includes illustrations of these words, together with poems (or "word spells") designed to be spoken aloud to bring the lost words back into existence. Published in the U.K. in 2017, and late 2018 in the U.S., The Lost Words has already won various literary prizes and inspired crowd-funding projects, thousands of school projects, a hospital art project in London, and other related artistic projects, including a folk music album and a BBC Prom in August 2019. Through a joint commission between the BSO and the Hallé Orchestra, Burton set 12 of these word spells for children's choir using a variety of musical styles. James Burton, who is the Alan J. and Suzanne W. Dworsky BSO Choral Director and Conductor of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and Boston Symphony Children's Choir, composed this 30-minute piece for children's choir and orchestra, as well a version for piano accompaniment.

In keeping with a cherished tradition, the night will close with a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture-in this case, a recording from the 2015 Tanglewood On Parade concert in which musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra join forces under the direction of BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons. Please see below for the entire program for the 8 p.m. concert.

One of Tanglewood's most beloved traditions, Tanglewood on Parade (TOP) dates back to 1940, when BSO Music Director Serge Koussevitzky organized an "Allied Relief Fund Benefit." This typically day-long event has included performances by students of the Berkshire Music Center (now Tanglewood Music Center) featuring chamber music, orchestral music, brass fanfares, opera scenes, and choral works, culminating with a gala concert in the Shed with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, and Tanglewood Music Center orchestras. In 1946, following WWII, the benefit was renamed Tanglewood on Parade and has become an annual celebration of and a fundraiser to support the activities of the Music Center.

The virtual 2020 Tanglewood on Parade is part of the Tanglewood 2020 Online Festival, available through www.tanglewood.org.


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