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At Tanglewood, Tchaikovsky and Mahler in a veteran’s hands

Violinist Joshua Bell performs with the BSO under the direction of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos on Friday at Tanglewood.
Violinist Joshua Bell performs with the BSO under the direction of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos on Friday at Tanglewood.Paul Marotta

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LENOX — The Boston Symphony Orchestra has named its next leader, but it still faces over a year before that conductor, Andris Nelsons, officially takes up his post. The continued absence of a music director makes itself felt in numerous ways but rarely more palpably than at ceremonial events like Friday night’s season-opening performance at Tanglewood.

No doubt seeking to project continuity in a time of transition, the orchestra once again tapped the Spanish maestro Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, perhaps its most frequently returning guest conductor. And leaving nothing to chance, the BSO also signed up violinist Joshua Bell, returning for his 25th consecutive summer, as soloist. The program too, was a kind of classical music comfort food, with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto paired with Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.

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