New Music & Learning Center at Tanglewood

The new Music & Learning Center at Tanglewood will officially open on June 28.  At Brook Farm Inn in Lenox, MA, we’re excited because this all-season complex is just one mile from our Berkshires B&B.

Our local newspaper, The Berkshire Eagle,  announced that luminaries from the worlds of music and theater will be there this summer. In addition, leaders from government and academia will join in the exciting programs.

Tanglewood's new Linde Center for Music and Learning is home to the new Tanglewood Learning Institute, set to launch this summer. The four-building complex also will offer year-round programming, and be available for event rental by the Berkshire community.

Tanglewood ‘s Linde Center for Music and Learning

Visitors can attend any of 140 ticketed events this summer.  You will enjoy performances and talks by big-name artists and speakers.  For example, Yo Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax are among the performers.  Madeleine Albright, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Tom Stoppard will present lectures.  You can be there for the seven-week Sunday evening film series, and refresh yourself at the indoor/outdoor cafe.

Check out the four immersion weekends. They’ll feature concert conversations, lectures, films, musical workshops, and personal encounters with the musicians. The announcement from the BSO says that the goal of the Learning Institute is to break down barriers between performers and the public.

In addition, the new space will house the Tanglewood Music Center.  That’s the BSO’s summer academy for advanced music study.  Guests of Brook Farm Inn have always enjoyed performances by the talented young musicians in this fellowship program, and now the new center offers expanded space for this program.

The parking lot for the new Center is at the corner of  Hawthorne Road and Hawthorne Street.  Our Lenox B&B is located on Hawthorne Street, so it’s easily accessible. The new complex is located on the hill right behind Ozawa Hall.  These beautiful new buildings, like Ozawa Hall, fit into the natural landscape. It’s a great place to enjoy the nature and culture that the Berkshires is known for. We’re looking forward to touring the new facility on free open house days — June 29, 30 and July 1st. So that’s a great time to visit the inn!

 

 

Winter Warmth at Berkshires Theaters

Winter warmth at Berkshires theaters beckons now!  See great plays and hear great music in January and February.  Our Brook Farm Inn location in Lenox, MA is near them all.  It’s less expensive than New York or Boston, and parking’s not a problem! Book now at Brook Farm Inn to enjoy winter entertainment, plus a cozy fireplace room and delicious buffet breakfast.

Coming very soon is the Winter Studio of Plays at Shakespeare & Co.  It’s right around the corner from Brook Farm Inn in Lenox, MA.  This annual event is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.  It’s on January 19 and 20th.

 

Valentine’s Day inspires lots of choices to please you and your sweetheart. Winter in the Berkshires theaters includes performances at Barrington Stage Co. It’s in Pittsfield, near our Lenox B&B. From February 14 through March 10, theater goers will love the 10X10 New Play Festival. Every year during the winter season, BSC offers this unique experience of 10 Ten Minute plays by 10 playwrights.

And you won’t want to miss “Shakespeare’s Valentine Surprise” at Shakespeare & Co. It’s hosted by Kevin Bartini, a comedian you may recognize.  For example, he’s worked in comedy clubs and also with Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart and in Comedy Central.  That’s February 16 and 17 and it includes some very famous love scenes — a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

Now, for those who remember famous songsters from the ’50’s like The Drifters and The Platters, this is for you!  At the Berkshire Theatre Group’s Colonial Theatre, you’ll enjoy Solid Gold Saturday Night:  Remember the Fifties Concert. Remember “Under the Boardwalk?”  Or “Save the Last Dance for Me?” How about ” Smoke Gets in Your Eyes?” You’ll have a great nostalgic evening on February 16th.

 

Things to Do

Your Lenox, MA innkeepers look forward to helping you and your sweetheart enjoy winter warmth and a great escape.

Tickets On Sale Soon For Tanglewood Music Festival 2018!

Tanglewood Music Festival 2018Tickets for Tanglewood Music Festival 2018 are set to go on sale January 28th, 2018. This year celebrates Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday through his works and a special gala evening on August 25th.

“Bernstein Centennial Summer — Celebrating Lenny at Tanglewood!” is the title of this year’s summer music festival. Though it won’t be all Lenny, all the time, the season features a wide array of the composer/conductor’s works.

Leonard Bernstein had a close relationship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra that spanned fifty years. He was a member of the first Tanglewood class in 1940 and a protégé of BSO conductor, Serge Koussevitzky. In 1990, he conducted his final final concerts with the BSO and Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. (more…)

Don’t Miss the South Mountain Concerts 2017 Season!

South Mountain Concerts 2017 SeasonThe 2017 South Mountain Concerts Season is just around the corner, with 5 concerts of chamber music scheduled between September 3rd and October 1st, 2017. Come to the Berkshires and experience an evening of fine music at one of the nation’s longest-standing chamber music venues, South Mountain Concert Hall.

Each fall, South Mountain Concert Hall, located just outside of Pittsfield MA, presents a series of chamber music concerts. To call the annual chamber music series a tradition is a bit of an understatement. South Mountain Concerts have been put on here, albeit with a few fits and starts, since 1916!

The annual chamber music concert series owes its existence to the vision and generosity of renowned American music patron, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. She founded what was then known as the Berkshire Festival of Chamber Music in 1918 but held the first two annual concerts at her own home.

In 1918, however, wood from an old textile mill was used to construct the colonial style South Mountain Concert Hall. The 440 seat concert hall was designed specifically to showcase chamber music and demonstrates superior acoustics to this very day. It was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. (more…)

The 48th Annual Curtisville Consortium Concert Series

Curtisville Consortium 2017 Summer SeriesDon’t miss the 48th season of one of the Berkshire’s best kept secrets, The Curtisville Consortium. The 2017 season is set to start on Tuesday, July 18th, 8pm at Lenox’ Trinity Episcopal Church.

Did you know that members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform intimate concerts of chamber music each summer at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Lenox, MA?

No, truly.

The Curtisville Consortium is made up of several Boston Symphony players who summer here. While much of the player’s summer hours are spent at Tanglewood, they still make the time to come and play in Lenox on their nights off.

The group was founded in 1969 when BSO members and their families in the Interlaken area of Stockbridge decided to share their musical passions with the Lenox area community. Interlaken was once home to a small community called Curtisville, hence the group’s name. That first series of concerts was a success and 48 years later and they’re still at it, much to our collective benefit. (more…)

Artists Added To The 2017 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series!

2017 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series additions

Diana Ross, Chris Botti, Sting, and others have been added to the 2017 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series.

In the last few weeks, a number of dates have been added to the upcoming Tanglewood Popular Artists Series. Sting, Melissa Etheridge, Diana Ross, and many more will be lighting up the Berkshires this summer. Where will you be? (more…)

Get Your Tickets For The 2017 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series!

Tanglewood Popular Artists Series 2017

What do David Sedaris and Natalie Merchant have in common? They’re both part of the 2017 Tanglewood Popular Artists Series!

Tanglewood may be the summer home to the BSO but their summer festival isn’t just classical music. The Tanglewood Popular Artists Series brings big names from the world of rock, pop, and jazz to the Berkshires’ stage, too!

If you plan to be in the Berkshires this summer, you’ll want to set aside some time for Tanglewood. The festival routinely brings some of the brightest stars of the musical firmament to the Berkshires.

The Tanglewood Popular Artists Series has featured legends as Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton, Jackson Browne, Lady Gaga, and James Taylor. The Tanglewood Popular Artists Series generates lots of anticipation and surprises each year – and this year is no different!

A number of performance dates that have yet to be announced, including  July 3rd, 4th, and Labor Day Weekend. James Taylor, in particular – a regular guest for the series – is noticeably absent from the current schedule. (more…)

Everything You Need to Know About the South Mountain Concerts

The South Mountain Concerts in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, are a favorite musical endeavor for locals and visitors to the Berkshires alike. This venue offers great chamber music concerts and has a rich local history. From its beginnings in the early 1900s as a performance hall to its listing on the National Register of Historic Places, this building has always supported chamber music. Indulge in a piece of the past along with some local history during your stay in the Berkshires at the Brook Farm Inn! Here is everything you need to know about the South Mountain Concert Hall and South Mountain Concerts coming up this year.

South Mountain Concert Hall History

The host of the South Mountain Concerts is the famous historic venue, South Mountain Concert Hall. This performance hall was built in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1918 by Chicago native Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge. Coolidge moved to the Berkshires to improve her husband’s health and was a long-time supporter of chamber music. She was, in fact, a patron of the art, establishing the Berkshire String Quartet, which first gave concerts in her own home. Just two years later, Coolidge had a performance hall constructed on her property.

This performance hall was assembled to resemble a church, featuring a cupola on the roof, along with a porte cochere (carriage porch). The timber for the performance hall was taken from an old textile mill, and the seats were pews taken from a church. Coolidge also had cabins built for housing for the performers. Thus, the South Mountain Performance Hall became the venue for the very first South Mountain Concerts. In 1973, the hall was initiated on the National Register of Historic Places.

2016 South Mountain Concerts

The slated 2016 South Mountain Concerts will take place in September and October. These prestigious chamber music performances will feature some premier artists. The schedule includes a show on every Sunday from September 4 to October 9. The South Mountain Concerts kick off with Wu Han on piano, David Finckel on cello, and Philip Setzer on violin. This trio will be performing on September 4. The Juilliard String Quartet will then be playing on September 11. Tickets range between $35 and $40 per show. Next up will be the Dover String Quartet on September 18, followed by the Emerson String Quartet on September 25. The Johannes String Quartet and Richard Stoltzman on clarinet will finish up the South Mountain Concerts this fall on October 9.

After the South Mountain Concerts

After enjoying these exclusive South Mountain Concerts, explore the rest of the culture that the Berkshires has to offer. Indulge in a spa experience at Brook Farm Inn to relax and rejuvenate. Then, explore the area with a hiking trip or enjoy more performance art with the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. When you arrive back at Brook Farm Inn, you will experience a great night’s sleep before waking up to gourmet breakfast in the morning. We can’t wait to see you here in the beautiful Berkshires. For more to do and see in the area, download our free vacation guide!

What is So Fascinating About the Lenox Library?

The Lenox Library is a historic landmark, hosted in a 200-year-old courthouse building since 1874. The library itself has a rich history, from its famous visitors to its special collections, featuring the Tanglewood Papers. The Lenox Library also hosts modern youth programs and a distinguished lecture series, which keep the library active in the community while also continuing a tradition in furthering the literary and intellectual.

200-year-old Courthouse Building

Since 1874, the Lenox Library has been housed in the same building, which is now designated a National Register Historic Building. The Greek Revival structure with magnificent ionic columns, elaborate cupola, and a stately facade, was constructed on Main Street in 1815-1816. Designed by Captain Isaac Damon, it served as the county courthouse until 1868. Adeline Schermerhorn bought the building shortly after in 1871 specifically to use as a public library and reading room for the residents of Lenox. The Lenox Library Association, which was incorporated in 1856, moved into the courthouse building in 1874. It shared the space in the 1890s with Lenox’s town doctor, a jail, offices for the Lenox National Bank, as well as the town’s first telephone switchboard and fire alarm system.

Famous Associates

The Lenox Library had a strong relationship with surrounding cottages. From the mid-1800s to early 1900s, famous tenants took summer vacations in the surrounding homes. Some of these characters included the Vanderbilts, Carnegies, Morgans, Sloanes, and Westinghouses. Their summer homes in Lenox gave the area an established reputation for housing culture and style. During these years, the Lenox Library was a civic center for the entire community.

Music Collection

The Tanglewood Papers are housed at the Lenox Library. These historic papers document the history of the Berkshire Symphonic Festival and Berkshire Music Center before the founding of Tanglewood, as well as the official founding of Tanglewood and its music pavilion, The Shed. The collection is available through appointment with the music and reference librarian.

Youth Programs

The Lenox Library is a great resource for kids, hosting several youth programs such as homework help centers and a summer reading program. The website also hosts a page of book series suggestions based on grade ranges and youth reference databases that are free to any Massachusetts library card holders. Kid’s search engines and information portals are also available as wonderful resources.

Lenox Library Distinguished Lecture Series

A monthly distinguished lecture series is hosted at Lenox Library, featuring intellectuals and artists that all seek to inspire with words. The series covers a range of cultural endeavors, from literature, art, and music to science, history, and politics. These free lectures are open to the public, and speakers have included a Nobel Prize Winner, an actor from Shakespeare & Company, a professor at Boston University, and several authors.

Keep Things Literary at Brook Farm

With its extensive poetry collections in the bed and breakfast library, Brook Farm Inn holds literature very dear. A good selection of popular novels are available alongside both traditional and contemporary poetry collections for guests to browse and read during their stay. The inn also hosts poetry readings in the library at tea time, during which guests can also enjoy homemade scones and strawberry jam! For information on what else to do during your stay in Lenox, download our free vacation guide.