Tanglewood takes it name from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Tanglewood Tales”, which Hawthorn wrote in 1850 while staying in a little red house by the shores of Lake Mahkeenac, on grounds owned by the Tappan family. The head of the Tappan family was so charmed by Hawthorn’s book that he re-named his property in honor of it. Music was not part of the landscape of the Berkshires until 1935, when a single concert took place; in 1937 the Boston Symphony Orchestra gave its first performances in the area. Descendants of the Tappan family donated their land to give a permanent summer home to the orchestra, and an open structure to protect the musicians from the elements was constructed in time for the 1938 summer season. Two years later saw the birth of the Tanglewood Music Center, a teaching facility for advanced students that was created by then Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor and music director, Serge Koussevitsky. The center has been open ever since, except for during the second world war.
Over the years, Tanglewood has grown to include the Boston Pops, and to embrace a variety of performers and musicians. Each year brings something new, and each year brings memories of the past. For many people, summer is not summer without a trip to Tanglewood. For others, it is ripe for discovery.