In 1966, the music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Erich Leinsdorf, 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 (TMC). Leinsdorf’s vision was of a program to challenge young musicians to perform at the highest level and allow them unprecedented access to the Tanglewood Music Festival. Stein approached Wilbur Fullbright, the newly appointed director of the Boston University School of Music at the College of Fine Arts. Fullbright’s enthusiasm for the project transformed Leinsdorf’s dream into reality, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute opened for its inaugural season in July 1966.
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 and experience for emerging professionals of exceptional ability. The students of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) share rehearsal and performance spaces, and attend a selection of TMC master classes, rehearsals, and activities – many led by BSO members. BUTI students also enjoy free, unlimited access to all performances of the BSO and the TMC. This all makes for an exceptionally stimulating atmosphere.
This interaction with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center distinguishes BUTI from other summer music programs and offers aspiring young artists a superior, inspiring, and transforming musical experience.