The BSO Is Turning into a Magical Shakespearean Forest

For A Midsummer Night's Dream.

bso shakespeare celebration

A still backgrounds that depicts the mood of the Hall during A Midsummer Night’s Dream. / Photo provided by the Boston Symphony Orchestra

January 28 marks the beginning of a musical Shakespeare celebration, where a magical forest will descend upon the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Andris Nelson’s three-week celebration honors the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and its musical performances will be ode to works like Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Hamlet, Macbeth. The first performance—A Midsummer Night’s Dream—is when Symphony Hall will be transformed into whimsical woodlands. With a combination of theatrical lighting, video production, sets, and costumes, passages from the play will be performed during a piece from Mendelssohn.

The Shakespeare celebration lasts beyond the first dream-like forest performance until February 13, throughout which several new works will debut. Coinciding with the celebration is the BSO’s Insight Series, which will feature free chamber music, screenings of 20th-century Shakespeare movies, and more.

Information about the celebration is available at

Photo provided by the Boston Symphony

Photo provided by the Boston Symphony