(all photos by Pete Matthews)
In addition to all of the summer music happenings in NYC, things are finally getting back to normal at the festivals and amphitheaters out of town, many of which have been dormant - or half-baked - for the past two years. Here are some of the things worth a trip:
Tanglewood (July 1-Aug. 28) Boston Symphony Orchestra Music Director Andris Nelsons spends four full weeks in the Berkshires this summer, performing everything from Brahms' German Requiem to a concert performance of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Other highlights include Garrick Ohlsson performing Brahms' complete piano music (Aug. 16-25), a John Williams 90th birthday celebration (Aug. 20), and a new opera by George Benjamin (Aug. 8) performed by the TMC fellows - who also gave the U.S. premiere of his Written on Skin in 2013.
Caramoor (June 30-Aug. 19) The elegant Westchester estate offers one of the most diverse festivals in the northeast - and only an hour's drive north of NYC. Spanning classical, jazz, opera, and new music, highlights include the world premiere of Michael Gordon's “Field of Vision” (July 24), a day-long jazz festival (July 30), Handel's rarely performed opera Theodora (July 31), and appearances by Brian Stokes Mitchell (July 9), Shemekia Copeland (July 29) and Angelique Kidjo (Aug 6).
Bard SummerScape (June 24-Aug. 14) Among this year's offerings at Bard's Fisher Center is Richard Strauss' rarely performed comic opera The Silent Woman (July 22-31) and the 32nd annual Bard Music Festival (Aug. 5-14), dedicated to the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff. In the Spiegeltent, which is back open for the first time since 2019, offerings include Nona Hendryx (July 1), the George Gee Swing Orchestra (July 10) and roots rocker Martha Redbone (July 30).
Glimmerglass Festival (July 8-Aug. 21) The northeast's leading summer opera festival presents both the tried and true (Carmen, The Sound of Music) and the new (The Jungle Book, Taking Up Serpents/Holy Ground, The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson) on the shores of Lake Otsego, just down the road from the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Saratoga Performing Arts Center (July 10-Sept 18) Alongside touring acts such as Tedeschi Trucks Band (July 3) and The Black Keys (July 20), The Philadelphia Orchestra returns to Saratoga for three weeks (July 27-Aug 13) - including four concerts with Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin - while The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center performs twice a day on Sundays. Oh, and there are a few other things to do while you're in town.
Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival (July 14-17) Back in person in the Catskills for the first time since 2019, the northeast's premiere bluegrass festival features heavyweights Sam Bush, The Del McCoury Band, Béla Fleck, Steve Earle, and many more. Bring a tent.
Mass MoCA (July 2 - Sept 25) The massive contemporary art complex in the northern Berkshires features live music throughout the summer, including Bang on a Can's Loud Weekend (July 28-30) and the Fresh Grass Festival (Sept 23-25) with Gary Clark, Jr., Old Crow Medicine Show, Taj Mahal, and many more.
Newport Jazz Festival (July 29-31) Founder George Wein may no longer be with us, but his spirit lives on at this granddaddy of all jazz festivals. Now under the guidance of bassist/broadcaster/impresario Christian McBride, this year's lineup is a who's who of jazz, including Terence Blanchard, Ron Carter, Cécile Mclorin Salvant, Esperanza Spalding, and many more.