Bard College Catalogue 2013-14
Bard College Conservatory of Music Undergraduate Program
The Bard College Conservatory of Music opened in 2005, continuing Bard’s spirit of innovation in arts and education. All Conservatory undergraduates are enrolled in a unique five-year, dual-degree program leading to a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in a field other than music. In this way promising young musicians pursue all of their interests at one institution, taught by expert professionals in each field.
The integrated five-year program combines the benefits of an intensive world-class musical education with the advantages of a broad exposure to the liberal arts and sciences. The Conservatory offers unparalleled musical opportunities for its students, including a concerto competition, chamber music concerts at Bard and elsewhere, and performance in the annual Bard Music Festival. Visiting performers and composers present master classes and concerts at the Conservatory, which are open to the entire Bard community.
The curriculum for the B.A. degree is the same as for any Bard undergraduate, including the Language and Thinking Program, First-Year Seminar: The Common Course, Citizen Science, fulfillment of distribution requirements, Moderation, and a Senior Project. Conservatory students have access to the resources of the Bard Music Program (see page 49), including faculty, libraries, courses of instruction, and facilities.
The Conservatory’s undergraduate program accepts applications from students of composition and the following instruments: piano, violin, viola, cello, bass, harp, percussion, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, and tuba.
The crafting of each student’s double-degree program is an individual matter, developed through careful consultation between student and faculty. As a general rule, the program requires five years (10 semesters) to complete. Courses and workshops prepare students to work successfully in the music world after graduation. All courses in the Bard College Music Program, including those in electronic music, jazz, and world music, are open to Conservatory students. The Conservatory experience comprises the following five dimensions, which are designed to integrate with the student’s work in the College.
Bard retains one of the key components of a traditional conservatory education: the opportunity for students to develop mentoring relationships with master artists. As an important center of professional musical activity in the New York City region, Bard attracts world-class faculty who believe strongly in the mission of its Conservatory. Studio instruction is required in every semester of enrollment.Chamber Music
Chamber music plays a particularly important role at the Conservatory, and participation is required of all performance majors, each semester. In addition to performing the standard masterworks of the chamber music repertoire, students work closely with the Conservatory’s Composition Program, performing works of the 20th and 21st centuries. Studio faculty members often participate in ensembles so that students can learn firsthand from the playing of more experienced musicians. The Chamber Music Program is further enriched by frequent master classes and concerts by guest artists.Orchestra
The growth gained by rehearsing and performing music with peers in a large ensemble is an irreplaceable part of the education of any orchestral musician. Bard places considerable emphasis on this aspect of the Conservatory experience; participation is required of all orchestral musicians, each semester. The Bard College Conservatory Orchestra performs twice each semester in The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College. Under its music director, Leon Botstein, and distinguished guest conductors—such as Melvin Chen, Harold Farberman, Guillermo Figueroa, Xian Zhang, James Bagwell, David Alan Miller, Rossen Milanov, Marcelo Lehninger, and José-Luis Novo—the orchestra performs the core works of the symphonic repertoire.
The Seminar is a unique four-semester course that integrates the study of music theory and music history. Students perform works they are studying in their private studio lessons in order to demonstrate the topics under discussion. Using these works as illustration and point of departure, students deepen their knowledge of the diverse theoretical structures and historical contexts that inform the composition of a piece of music. In the third semester, students compose in a variety of historical styles; the fourth semester is devoted to free composition.
In addition to the Conservatory Seminar, a two-semester survey of music from the Middle Ages to the present day is required.
All Conservatory students are required to give a Graduation Recital, to demonstrate their musical strengths and artistic goals. Composition students produce a program of their work, which is performed by the Da Capo Chamber Players (in residence at Bard), their fellow students, faculty members, or other outside performers.
RequirementsRequirements for the dual bachelor of music and bachelor of arts degrees are summarized below. For sample study plans and more information, see the websites of the Conservatory (www.bard.edu/conservatory) and the College (www.bard.edu).
- Studio Instruction (every semester) 40 credits
- Aural Skills (two semesters) 4 credits
- Conservatory Seminar (four semesters) 16 credits
- Music History (two semesters) 8 credits
- Chamber Music (every semester in residence for performance majors)
- Orchestra (every semester in residence for performance majors)
- Conservatory Senior Project (Graduation Recital) 4 credits
Subtotal: 72 credits
College Program Requirements
(see individual program descriptions for more information)
- Program Courses 40 to 56 credits
- Senior Project 8 credits
Subtotal: 48 to 64 credits
General College Requirements
All Conservatory students take the same required general courses as other undergraduates in the College. The Language and Thinking Program—held for three weeks in August—is mandatory for all first-year students, who also take Citizen Science for two-and-a-half weeks in January.
There are nine distribution requirements (each a 4-credit course). Two can be fulfilled in the Conservatory (Practicing Arts and Analysis of Arts) and possibly one or two within the student’s bachelor of arts major.
Degree candidates must accumulate at least 160 semester hours of academic credit. At least 80 credits must be earned at the Annandale-on-Hudson campus of Bard College or at a program run directly by Bard. At least 40 credits must be outside the division of the student’s B.A. major. The Common Curriculum counts for 8 of the 40 credits. (For these purposes, the Conservatory is considered to be part of the Arts Division.)
Advanced standing or college credit for College Board Advanced Placement courses may be given for the grade of 5. Students who wish to request credit or advanced standing must submit the appropriate record of their grade to the Office of the Registrar.
The following international diplomas may be accepted for advanced standing: International Baccalaureate, French Baccalaureate, Swiss Maturity, and German Abitur.
A student may be allowed to accelerate for up to 32 credits (a normal full year) at the time of Moderation if the Moderation board so recommends. Students who have earned A-level passes may enter with advanced standing.
In addition to applying to Bard College, candidates for admission to the Bard Conservatory must complete the Conservatory supplemental application and must audition, either in person or by DVD, if selected. Applicants in composition must send at least two scores with recordings. For details, visit www.bard.edu/conservatory/admission.
Fees and ExpensesThe annual tuition and fees for the Bard Conservatory are the same as for Bard College. Note, however, that the Conservatory program will usually require five years rather than four. All Conservatory applicants are considered for merit-based scholarships, in addition to aid administered by the College. For information on fees, expenses, and financial aid, see the “Finances” chapter in this catalogue.