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Boston Symphony Orchestra and Boston Pops

Fairmont Copley Plaza is the ‘official hotel’ of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and the Boston Pops, proudly supporting the future vitality of the orchestra and its dedication to classical music, education and community outreach. For nearly 20 years, this harmonious partnership between two of Boston’s most beloved institutions have provided luxury experiences for symphony fans worldwide. Both are symbols of Boston’s rich history, and have upheld the City’s traditions of hospitality and culture from the moment they grandly entered society more than a century ago. Starting with the BSO’s inaugural concert in 1881, followed by The Copley Plaza Hotel’s gala opening in 1912. The famous Symphony Hall, home of the BSO, is conveniently located less than a mile away from the hotel, also residing in the distinguished Back Bay neighborhood.

Throughout the years, Fairmont Copley Plaza has had the honor of accommodating conductors, guest artists, celebrity friends, and ticketholders who visit Boston for various concerts and appearances. As the ‘official hotel’ of the BSO, Fairmont Copley Plaza guests receive the best seats in the house, plus the option to book two themed Fairmont Gold suites that celebrate the longstanding musical partnership. Highlights of the BSO Suite include news clippings from the early 20th century, as well as photos of historic Symphony Hall. Artwork in the Boston Pops Suite commemorates the history of America’s Orchestra through its early days with Arthur Fielder to its time with John Williams and to its present with Keith Lockhart.

Now in its 140th season, the BSO reaches millions of listeners through its concert performances, and now reaches an entirely new audience online. The orchestra has vastly expanded its digital streaming capabilities with the introduction of “BSO at Home” and “Boston Pops at Home,” offering free content such as past recordings of performances, playlists of recordings from their archives, conversations with conductors and more.

boston symphony orchestra

The Boston Symphony Orchestra gave its inaugural concert in 1881, realizing the dream of its founder, the Civil War veteran/businessman/philanthropist Henry Lee Higginson, who envisioned a great and permanent orchestra in his hometown of Boston. Today the BSO reaches millions of listeners through not only its concert performances in Boston and at Tanglewood, but also via the internet, radio, television, educational programs, recordings, and tours.


BSO founder Henry Lee Higginson had proposed this new series in the hope of re-creating the ambiance of summer evenings in Viennese concert gardens, while also providing summer employment for the members of the Boston Symphony, who at that point, had to search for other work six months out of the year. In 1900 these performances officially became Pops (short for “popular”) concerts.

For more than 135 years, the Boston Pops has entertained audiences in Boston and beyond, with Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart leading the orchestra since 1995.

Credit: Stu Rosner

symphony hall

Symphony Hall opened on October 15, 1900 with an inaugural gala led by music director Wilhelm Gericke. The architects, McKim, Mead & White of New York, engaged Wallace Clement Sabine, a young assistant professor of physics at Harvard, as their acoustical consultant, and Symphony Hall became the first auditorium designed in accordance with scientifically derived acoustical principles. Symphony Hall is widely regarded as one of the top concert halls in the world.


One of the world’s most beloved music festivals, Tanglewood is the famed summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its training academy, the Tanglewood Music Center, as well as the Boston Pops. In a typical summer, Tanglewood welcomes more than 350,000 visitors between late June and the end of August. Each season offers not only a vast quantity of music, but also a vast range of musical forms and styles, all of it presented with a regard for artistic excellence that makes the festival unique.

Credit: Hilary Scott

july 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular

Nearly 90 years ago, before Arthur Fiedler became Conductor of the Boston Pops, he was struck with an idea that was to transform the orchestra’s relationship to the City of Boston. He believed that if great literature was available for free in public libraries, and masterpieces of art could be viewed for a modest fee in museums, then great symphonic music should be accessible to the masses on a similar basis. On July 4, 1929, the first free Esplanade Concert was performed at the specially constructed acoustic shell along the banks of the Charles River.

In 2017, the Pops opened a new page in its history, as the Pops organization presented its first self-produced Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. This year the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular will mark its 49th year as one of the nation’s proudest holiday traditions.

Credit: Michael Blanchard

holiday pops

A favorite New England tradition, the Holiday Pops concerts were initiated by Arthur Fiedler with a three-concert series at Symphony Hall in 1973. Since that time, as public demand for the performances has grown, the number of performances has increased accordingly and attending a Holiday Pops concert has become an annual ritualfor many families. Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra have released three albums of holiday music: A Boston Pops Christmas—Live from Symphony Hall, Holiday Pops, and Sleigh Ride.

Credit: Stu Rosner

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