Bard College Catalogue

The Bard College Catalogue contains detailed descriptions of the College's undergraduate programs and courses, curriculum, admission and financial aid procedures, student activities and services, history, campus facilities, affiliated institutions including graduate programs, and faculty and administration.

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Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Bard College Catalogue 2013-14

Cultural Programs

Bard Music Festival
The Bard Music Festival (BMF) entered its 24th season in 2013. Since 1990 the festival has been presented on the Bard campus each summer over two consecutive weekends in August. In 2003 the festival moved into The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where it continues to offer an array of programs whose themes are taken from the life, work, and world of a single composer. Concerts presented in the Fisher Center’s 900-seat Sosnoff Theater and 200-seat Theater Two, as well as in the 370-seat Olin Hall, offer both the intimate communication of recital and chamber music and the excitement of full orchestral and choral sound. The weeks of the festival are filled with open rehearsals throughout the campus, and orchestral musicians are often invited to perform in chamber groups. Special events are arranged to complement the performances. 

Through a series of preconcert talks and panel discussions by eminent music scholars, composers are examined within the cultural and political contexts of their careers. In 2013, Igor Stravinsky was the featured composer; other recent subjects have included Camille Saint-Saëns, Jean Sibelius, Alban Berg, Richard Wagner, Sergey Prokofiev, Edward Elgar, Franz Liszt, Dmitrii Shostakovich, and Aaron Copland. Related articles and essays are published by Princeton University Press in a companion book edited by a major music scholar; the series was honored with an ASCAP Deems Taylor Special Recognition Award in 2006. The combination of innovative programs built around a specific theme and an outstanding level of professional musicianship has brought the festival international critical acclaim from publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Financial Times.

Bard Center Evenings

Bard Center Evenings give trustees and friends of the College opportunities to meet distinguished experts during a series of thought-provoking panel discussions. These evenings are held at least three times a year and explore issues of intellectual, ­cultural, and social concern. Recent topics have included “Syria, Resistance, and the Future of Arab Uprisings,” “American Guns and Gun Violence: Is There a Political Solution?” and “What Has Philanthropy Accomplished for American Education?”

Lecture and Performance Series

The Bard College Conservatory of Music in 2012–13 presented master classes, chamber music, and orchestra concerts by students, faculty, and guest artists. Conservatory concerts at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts included Mendelssohn’s Elijah, featuring members of the American Symphony Orchestra, Conservatory Orchestra, Bard College Chamber Singers, Cappella Festiva Chamber Choir, and singers of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program; a concert of works by Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky; and a “Music Alive!” program of contemporary music and works by living composers directed by Joan Tower, Asher B. Edelman Professor in the Arts, and Blair McMillen, artist in residence. 

The John Ashbery Poetry Series, named for Bard’s distinguished Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor Emeritus of Languages and Literature, brings leading contemporary poets to campus for readings and discussion in an intimate setting. In the spring of 2012, Ron Padgett, Anselm Berrigan, and others read from their work. The final spring event featured readings and a performance with music, in conjunction with Bard’s Center for Curatorial Studies. In the fall of 2012, Jena Osman, author of Public Figures (Wesleyan University Press, 2012), read from her work. 

Aston Magna

The Aston Magna Foundation for Music and the Humanities is dedicated to the performance and study of 17th- and 18th-century music. Founded in 1972, the Aston Magna Festival—the oldest summer festival in America devoted to music ­performed on period instruments—has been held in the Berkshires every year since its inception and at Bard since 1984. Under the artistic direction of Daniel Stepner, Aston Magna’s performances aim to interpret as accurately as possible the music of the past as the composer imagined it. The performance style for these concerts has been developed through interpretation by internationally recognized specialists, and the instruments played are originals from the period or historically accurate reproductions.

Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle

Founded in 1950, the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle has attracted a large and loyal regional ­following that has enjoyed annual June performances by some of the finest classical ensembles and soloists in the world. In 2013, featured artists included the Daedalus Quartet (celebrating Joan Tower's 75th birthday), Miami String Quartet, and Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.   


Founded in 1981, Bard’s influential literary journal, Conjunctions, publishes innovative fiction, poetry, translations, essays, and interviews by contemporary masters and exciting new voices from the United States and around the world. Edited by Bard professor and novelist Bradford Morrow, the journal appears biannually, in the spring and fall. The May 2012 issue, Conjunctions:58, Riveted: The Obsession Issue, explores the world of fixation through stories, poems, and memoirs by Joyce Carol Oates, Fiona Maazel, Christopher Sorrentino, Sigrid Nunez, Lyn Hejinian, Chinelo Okparanta, Urs Allemann, and many more. The October 2012 issue, Conjunctions:59, Colloquy, featured an assortment of works not bound by any theme by Jonathan Lethem, Cole Swensen, Edie Meidav, and Keith Waldrop, among others, along with two portfolios—”On the Monstrous,” edited by Peter Straub, and “The Alphabet and Its Pretenses,” edited by Robert Coover and Bradford Morrow.

Conjunctions also publishes a weekly Web magazine at, and maintains an online audio vault of exclusive recordings of author readings