Lenox, Mass. — A hush comes over the music shed as guest conductor Eugene Ormandy raises his baton to begin rehearsing the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He causally interrupts the musicians only once as they make their way through Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, the "Eroica."
A few hundred yards away, Seiji Ozawa, regular conductor of the BSO, is working with another orchestra. At one point he tersely instructs his musicians that they must begin to use their own heads as well as follow him.
Between these two orchestras, a dozen lawn sprinklers "tick, tick" away like so many metronomes as they shoot long spurts of water across the vast lawn of this 210-acre estate.Here Ormandy prepares a major symphony orchestra for a one-time perfomance while Ozawa prepares students of the Berkshire Music Center for life-long careers.
This is the spirit of Tanglewood as Serge Koussevitzky, its principal founder , envisioned it -- a summer home for the BSO andm a learning center where students would have the opportunity to study under eminent musicians.
Today the Berkshire Music Center is regarded as a leading resource of professional musicians. Eighteen percent of the members of this country's major symphony orchestras have studied here.
This summer more than a quarter million people will make the trip to western Massachusetts to attend performances at Tanglewood during its nine-week season. While the music shed will seat some 5,000, many will prefer to picnic on the lawn while they listen.