Friday, July 18, 2008

Mass gas benefits

Here's incentive to take that New England vacation this summer -- Tanglewood, Gulf Oil, and the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority have teamed up for a promotion at Gulf gas stations along the Massachusetts Turnpike between Boston and Tanglewood. For every $50 of gas purchased at participating Gulf gas stations, travelers can earn a free lawn pass to Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO). The promotion will run through August 22.

Wow! Does anyone know of any similar promotions in the Hudson Valley?

Here is more of what Tanglewood's media reps say about the promotion:

To redeem lawn passes, travelers need only to bring in their receipts to one of the eleven participating Gulf station stores along the Mass Pike. Each lawn pass permits one person to a regularly priced Shed or Ozawa Hall concert at Tanglewood. With the recent rise in gas prices, nearby residents can collect enough tickets to spend a cost-effective weekend enjoying the music at Tanglewood. The eleven gas stations participating in the promotion are located in Lee, Blandford, Ludlow, Charlton, and Natick eastbound, and in Lee, Blandford, Ludlow, Charlton, Westborough and Framingham westbound along the Mass Pike.

The lawn passes can be used for concerts taking place up to August 24. Blackout dates include Boston Pops (July 8 and July 26), cellist Yo-Yo Ma (August 3), Wilco (August 12), and the Jazz Festival (August 29, 30 and 31).

Highlights from the Tanglewood 2008 season include violinists Midori (July 19) and Joshua Bell (August 1) and the family-friendly Tanglewood on Parade on August 5, featuring maestros Keith Lockhart (a Dutchess County native!) and John Williams, Sir Andrew Davis, and André Previn, but not James Levine.

As I assume everyone has heard by now, Levine (BSO's music director) had to withdraw recently from the balance of the 2008 Tanglewood season to undergo surgery to have a kidney removed. His anticipated recuperation period is six weeks -- leaving time to prepare and conduct the season openings of the BSO and the Metropolitan Opera in September.

UPDATE JULY 22: More about James Levine's condition from the Boston Symphony Orchestra:

Boston Symphony Orchestra Managing Director, Mark Volpe, reported today that its Music Director, James Levine, was released from the hospital this past weekend. According to Mr. Volpe, Maestro Levine was hospitalized on Tuesday, July 15, for surgery to remove a growth in his kidney. Tom Levine, James Levine's brother, reported to Mr. Volpe that doctors "found the growth to be malignant, but it was very small and confined to the central area of his right kidney, which was then removed. Fortunately, as the growth was discovered early enough, it had not spread to the surrounding tissues, blood vessels, or lymph nodes. Doctors reported the surgery was completely curative and no further treatment is necessary." Tom Levine also stated that his brother was very relieved by the doctors' report, is in very good spirits recuperating at home, and looks forward to conducting the opening events of the 2008/2009 seasons of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera in September. Maestro Levine is Music Director of both institutions.

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