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Susan Hagen - Koussevitzky Bass Concert
Susan Hagen - Koussevitzky Bass Concert

Sat, Apr 27


West Stockbridge Congregational Church

Susan Hagen - Koussevitzky Bass Concert

Though Serge Koussevitzky is synonymous with Tanglewood and the BSO, did you know he was a world-class bass player? This special concert promises to be a memorable event as renowned bassist Susan Hagen performs on the Koussevitzky bass.

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Time & Location

Apr 27, 2024, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

West Stockbridge Congregational Church, 45 Main St, West Stockbridge, MA 01266, USA


About the event

Since the founding of Tanglewood in 1940 by Serge Ko, the BSO’s long-time music director and conductor, the Berkshires and Koussevitzky have become synonymous with world-class classical music. 2024 marks the 150th anniversary of Koussevitzky’s birth, and the West Stockbridge Historical Society has an opportunity to participate in the celebration of this occasion and in doing so make some history itself.

Susan Hagen, principal bassist of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and first alternate bassist for both the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra has been honored to be loaned the famed Koussevitzky bass for a series of concerts during the spring of 2024 commemorating this anniversary. Susan, along with renowned British bassist David Heyes, has curated a program of music expressly commissioned for the occasion. In addition to the newly commissioned compositions, their program will include several pieces for bass by composers such as Giovanni Bottesini. Accompanying the two bassists will be pianist Rebecca Plummer and acclaimed soprano Sarah Poole.

After Koussevitzky died in 1951, the bass remained in the care of his wife, Olga, until 1962. Olga presented the instrument to Gary Karr after attending his New York debut recital. She said that she saw the ghost of her husband embrace him on stage and took this as a sign to pass the bass on. Karr continued playing the instrument that became his main bass for over 40 years until he donated it in 2004 to the International Society of Bassists, an organization he founded.The bass is renowned for its tonal quality in solo music, but is considered difficult to play.

See this excellent article and interview in Music in the Berkshires:


  • Susan Hagen Concert

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