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Front Page May 3, 2002  RSS feed

Taking the Tanglewood Trail

By David R. Zukerman, NYC and Winsted

With May upon us, can Tanglewood be far behind? The April 14 edition of the New York Times carried an article by Dan Barry, a metropolitan reporter for the paper, about his family's weekend visit to the Berkshires in March. Mr. Barry acknowledged that he got lost driving on back roads to Great Barrington and New Marlborough.

Perhaps I should not have waited until now to suggest that weekenders and people heading to Tanglewood from New York City take the "Tanglewood Trail" to the Berkshires. I refer, of course, to Route 183—which is just a right turn off Route 44 on the outskirts of Winsted.

The map accompanying Mr. Barry's travel piece showed the Taconic Parkway in New York State, and Route 23, Route 7 and Route 57. Perhaps this is because a sidebar to the article advised drivers to take the Taconic to the Berkshires. There goes the New York Times, once again, using its reputation for printing everything people need to know—to avoid doing just that!

Motorists who prefer to drive north within the State of New York could, as an alternative to the path mapped out by the Times, take Route 22 and head over to Route 7 by way of Route 44. This course would be of particular interest, perhaps, to Democrats, as it would give them the chance to see Millerton, NY, whose native sons include Samuel R. Berger, national security advisor to President Clinton. (This route would, however, bypass the highly scenic part of Route 7 in Connecticut between New Milford and Canaan.)

For people heading to Tanglewood, I strongly recommend Route 183 as the best bet. Take Route 8 (from either Interstate 95, the Merritt Parkway, or Interstate 84) north to Winsted, and stay in town for a meal and visit. Then pick up Route 183 off Route 44 and proceed directly to Tanglewood, briefly joining Route 57 in the vicinity of New Marlborough, and then, for a very short time, Route 7 above Great Barrington. Watch carefully for the left off Route 7 back to Route 183 and stay on this Tanglewood Trail to Hawthorne Street, which is right behind Tanglewood and has a parking lot at the northern edge of Gould Meadow.

Drivers should be advised that this route would avoid traffic jams in Stockbridge and Lenox and at the main parking lot to Tanglewood. Motorists who might miss New York's gridlock should, of course, follow Route 7 into Lenox and then to Tanglewood's main gate.

Boston Symphony Orchestra’s opening night at Tanglewood is July 5, with a performance of Mahler's Symphony No. 2. Boston Symphony Music Director Seiji Ozawa will conduct at Tanglewood only during the weekend of July 12-14 this season, with concerts celebrating his 29 years with the orchestra.

Kurt Masur brings the New York Philharmonic to Tanglewood the following weekend, performing the Brahms Double Concerto and Mahler's Symphony No. 1 on July 20, and a Beethoven program, including Symphony No. 3, on July 21.

John Williams will conduct the Boston Pops on August 3 and the Boston Symphony on August 4, in honor of his 70th birthday.

The concluding Boston Symphony concert this season will be August 25, with a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. The Boston Pops will return the next evening with a celebration of the music of Richard Rodgers. The Tanglewood Jazz Festival will be held August 30 to September 1.

I have listed above just a few of the programs that will be presented at Tanglewood this summer. There is plenty more, including Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Bruch and Sibelius, to be heard at Tanglewood before the summer ends.

Tanglewood-goers from New York City are free, of course, to stick by the route suggested in the New York Times—or, there is the Tanglewood Trail. Wishing a season of wonderful music to all …

And perhaps, what with Oklahoma! again being a hit in revival on Broadway—the latest of several Broadway revivals—the day will yet arrive for the establishment of an American Musical Theater Repertory Company, to be located not very far from where Route 183 meets Route 44 in Winsted. Alternatively, with this year's Richard Tucker Career Grant Auditions having been held on April 9 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City—again pointing to the operatic talent of young people, even in our MTV age—perhaps a summer opera institute will one day be created at the southern end of the Tanglewood Trail.