Innkeepers can’t usually get out of the kitchen early in the morning in the busy Berkshire summer season, but I managed it this week and made it to the BSO morning rehearsal at Tanglewood. It was a rare treat.

Tanglewood lawn in the morning


When I walked onto this gorgeous lawn just before 10 am, there was literally one man sitting in a lawn chair reading the paper. I had never had the opportunity to gaze across the lovely great lawn with almost no one on it. It is a most beautiful serene spot. Although I didn’t realize that one can’t sit inside the shed during these working rehearsals, there are several staffers patrolling the shed who will lend you one of the folding chairs that the ushers use during concerts. Or bring your own.

I plunked myself down, right in the center, just at the edge of the shed, with perfect sight and sound lines, and for the next hour and a half, I listened to Sir Andrew Davis rehearsing the world class Boston Symphony Orchestra, preparing for the Friday night concert. It was a serious working rehearsal, with a number of stops and starts, lots of laughter, and discussion (or should I say direction from the conductor!) about how certain passages should be played . While I was there, they were working on Sibelius’ Symphony #5 which I love. With no audience sitting in the shed, I felt like the orchestra was playing just for me, and the sound coming across the empty shed just washed over me! It was thrilling.

Other folks did start to straggle in, and by 11:30 when the orchestra took a break, and I left, probably 40 or 50 people were there, enjoying the music and the perfect, cool, breezy, summer day.

You can drop in for these morning working rehearsals on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at no charge. On Saturday mornings at 10:30 there is always the rehearsal of the Sunday afternoon concert, and tickets are required to sit in the shed or on the lawn. But I heartily recommend the mid week rehearsals.

So come spend a mid week night or two or three at the Inn at Green River, enjoy a free morning rehearsal, and don’t forget, if you stay three days, I will provide 2 lawn tickets to one of that weekend’s concerts. Hope to see you soon.

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