In 1966, Erich Leinsdorf, then music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, invited Edward Stein, dean of the Boston University College of Fine Arts, to create a summer training program for high school musicians as a counterpart to the BSO’s Tanglewood Music Center. Envisioned as an educational outreach initiative for the University, this new program would provide young advanced musicians with an unprecedented opportunity for access to the Tanglewood Music Festival. Stein took this idea to Wilbur Fullbright, the newly appointed director of the Boston University School of Music at the College of Fine Arts, in January of 1967. Fullbright’s enthusiasm for the project quickly transformed Leinsdorf’s goal into reality: the Boston University Tanglewood Institute opened for its inaugural season the following June.
The Tanglewood Music Center, established in 1940 by the legendary Boston Symphony Orchestra music director Serge Koussevitzky, provides a broad range of intensive musical learning experiences for emerging professionals of exceptional ability. As part of the community of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, participants work with outstanding artists in an exceptionally stimulating atmosphere.
The students of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute participate in this unique environment by sharing rehearsal and performance spaces and attending a selection of BSO master classes, rehearsals, and activities. Students also enjoy free, unlimited access to all performances of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center. In addition to orchestral concerts, the program includes chamber music, instrumental and vocal recitals, the Festival of Contemporary Music, and student performances-as many as 15 or more events each week of the Tanglewood season.
Offering aspiring young artists an unparalleled, inspiring, and transforming musical experience, this interaction with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center distinguishes BUTI from other summer music programs.