It was a special treat to be able to enjoy a nice 375 mile motorcycle trip along with a memorable concert at Tanglewood. The ride from the lakehouse in Pennsylvania to Lenox, Massachusetts took us on mostly state and county roads in the state of New York. We took Route 6 through Milford, PA to Port Jervis, NY and then up route 209 along the historic Delaware and Hudson Canal to Kingston, across the Hudson and then on numerous back roads to Massachusetts, through West Stockbridge and into Berkshire County to Lenox, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. After checking in at the Inn we headed for Tanglewood.
The first concert at Tanglewood was in 1936 and since then a substantial organization and support structure has grown up around the beautiful facility. The capacity is 24,000. Not sure how many were there last night but probably close to the limit. Although the main gate was closed to cars when we arrived the police happily motioned us in. Most big events are very courteous to motorcyclists. They save some choice parking areas that are not big enough for cars but perfect for bikes (or trikes). Most people bring wagons with their folded chairs and tables and dinner. Some make quite an elaborate evening out of the free seats on the lawn and embellish their wines and dinners with candles and even candelabras.
The theme of the concert was to honor the 30th anniversary at Tanglewood of composer John Williams. Williams is more famous than most of us probably realize. He has composed many of the most recognizable film scores in history, including Jaws, the Star Wars films, Superman, the Indiana Jones films, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Home Alone, and three Harry Potter films.
The star studded evening included the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Keith Lockhart, Stefan Asbury, and John Williams all conducted (see stories about my own conducting experiences). The program included selections from Superman, JFK, Seven for Luck, and Harry Potter. As a bonus there was music from the film score of Memoirs of a Geisha conducted by Williams and with an incredible solo performance by Yo-Yo Ma. Ma never ceases to delight and amaze audiences. His first performance was at age five and at age seven he performed for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower. As if the program was not already over the top, nearby resident James Taylor appeared to sing and honor Williams. The evening concluded with Williams conducting Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. There was a fireworks display while the thousands of attendees filed out. For us it was a short three mile ride on the trike back to the Inn.
Today’s ride was mostly backtracking from yesterday but with a few detours to take a slow ride through the main streets of Stockbridge and Woodstock.