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Renowned Composer and Conservatory Faculty Member Joan Tower's New Album Reviewed

Joan Tower's recent album is a collection of her old and new compositions. Her Violin Concerto (1991), Stroke (2010), and Chamber Dance (2006) form a body of work that has been hailed by many critics and entrenches her position as one of the days foremost composers. 

"Joan Tower's music has always been among the more unique and fascinating examples of contemporary American art. Her unique style comes from an innate sense of performing music and creating interesting work that engages both players and audiences." - Steven A. Kennedy, Cinemusical

"A colleague of mine calls Joan Tower one of the greatest living composers. After hearing this release, I can't argue with him." - Ralph Graves, WTJU University of Virginia

"Joan Tower manages to stay within a general modernist camp but uses tonality as well for some very dynamic music that will appeal to the new music fan while remaining accessible for the more general classical listener... Very recommended." - Grego Applegate Edwards

Abigail Levis '13 Broadens her Career Through Competitions and Travel

 In the course of two and a half months Abigail has traveled to Sweden, England, California, Germany, Austria, France, and Spain. She placed third in the Wilhelm Stenhammer (Sweden) and James Toland Vocal Arts (California) competitions, made the Semi-finals of both the Hans Gabor Belvedere competition and Placido Domingo's Operalia, was a finalist in the Cesti Baroque Competition (Austria), and placed second in the Luis Mariano song competition (Spain). This next season she will join the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artists Program at Los Angeles Opera. In November she will return to Utah Symphony for the title role in Maurice Ravel's masterpiece L'Enfant et les Sortileges. Abigail will also return to Utah Opera in May for their production of Le nozze di Figaro.

Pianist Ming Aldrich-Gan ‘10 enjoys a varied career

Ming Aldrich-Gan ‘10, a graduate of the Conservatory double degree program, is enjoying a varied career.  He has been accepted into the advanced workshop at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, a premiere training ground for emerging musical theatre composers, lyricists, and librettists.  He is currently a substitute pianist at An American in Paris. Other recent musical theater projects include Bedbugs!!! (off-broadway), as conductor and keyboardist, and Merrily We Roll Along at the Astoria Performing Arts Center as music director.  Meanwhile, Ming is working full-time at Amazon as a software development engineer.

Cellist Emma Schmiedecke '14 attends CONNECTT International Youth Orchestra Conference in South America

Emma Schmiedecke, a graduate of the Conservatory double degree program will travel to South America to represent the New York Youth Symphony and the United States, sponsored by the US State Department, at the CONNECTT International Youth Orchestra Conference in Trinidad.  She will be performing chamber music, act as principal cello for the Orchestra, and mentor young students from Trinidad and Tobago alongside other mentors from youth orchestras around the world representing the US, the UK, France, Germany, and South America. 

Conservatory Alums Receive ASCAP Foundation Award

Composers Sun Bin Kim '13 and Shen Yiwen '11 have each received a 2015 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Award. The foundation received over 600 entries from musicians aged 13-30. All winners receive a monetary prize in addition to copies of the music notation software Sibelius. 

Trombonist János Sutyák '15 Awarded First Prize in Competition

János Sutyák, a graduate of the Conservatory double degree program, has recently been awarded first prize in the Slider Asia International Tenor Trombone Competition in Hong Kong. He performed Launy Grøndahl's Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra. In addition to his performance degree, János also holds a degree in German studies.

Graduate Vocal Arts Program First Songs Concert Reviewed in Opera News

The members of the Graduate Vocal Arts program recently performed at The Morgan Library in New York City. The concert entitled First Songs featured rarely performed, as well as, newly commisioned pieces. All members of the Vocal Arts program performed and received a glowing review. 

Violinist Jiazhi Wang '14 Awarded Third Place in Washington International Competition for Strings

Jiazhi Wang, a graduate of the Conservatory double degree program, recently competed in the Washington International Competition for Strings. She performed Schumann's Sonata No. 1, Joan Tower's "String Force", and the finale of the prokofiev Concerto No. 2. She was awarded third place out of six competitiors.  

Ben Pesetsky '11 Appointed PR and Communications Manager for the Handel and Haydn Society

Composer Ben Pesetsky has been appointed the PR and Communications Manager for the Handel and Haydn Society. Ben is also currently working on a new composition to help celebrate the tenth anniversary of Bard Conservatory. Make a donation at the link below to contribute to the composition!

Mezzo Soprano Katarzyna Sadej '10 Named Winner of the Marcella Kochańska Sembrich Vocal Competition

Katarzyna Sadej, a graduate of the Bard Conservatory Vocal Arts Program, has won first prize in the Marcella Kochanska Sembrish Vocal Competition. She will perform at the annual American Council for Polish Culture convention in Rosemont, Illinois on August 7. Her prize money will be used to advance her career as an opera singer.

Soprano Clarissa Lyons '11 Invited to Join the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program

Soprano Clarissa Lyons, a graduate of the Vocal Arts program, has recently been invited to join the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist program. This is a very prestigious program in which all applicants must be heard and approved by James Levine. During her time at Bard Conservatory, she was a student of Dawn Upshaw, Kayo Iwama, and Patricia Misslin. 

Seven Historic Pianos Donated to The Bard College Conservatory of Music and a Special Concert by Peter Serkin to Celebrate the Gift

The Bard College Conservatory of Music received a generous gift of seven early twentieth-century pianos from Valerie Keller and Max Rutten. These beautifully restored art-case pianos include an Erard and a Pleyel from France, a Kapps from Dresden, a Bechstein from Berlin, a Collard & Collard and a Broadwood from England, and an American Steinway “table piano.”
On September 3, at 5 p.m., this donation will be celebrated with a special concert in the Piano Room at Blithewood, where four of the pianos are now housed.  Pianist Peter Serkin, a member of the Bard Conservatory faculty,  will play several of the instruments and Leon Botstein will speak on the history of the piano. A reception will follow. Seating is limited; email for information and to reserve tickets at $75 each. 
All proceeds will be used to match a Challenge Grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

So Percussion Residency Enriches the Bard Conservatory

Contemporary chamber ensemble, SO Percussion has concluded their year long residency with the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. During the 2014-2015 season they collaborated with dancer/choreographer Emily Johnson, guitarist Grey McMurray, and local artist and ceramicist Caroline Wallner. The John Cage inspired residency inspired many great performances, videos of which can be found at the link below.  

Jimmy Haber '14 Featured in Alibaba News Letter

Hornist Jimmy Haber '14, graduate of the undergraduate program at the Bard Conservatory, has recently been featured in the Alibaba news letter. After joining China's largest internet commerce company in January, he became part of Alibaba U.S. Click the link below to download the article.

Mezzo Soprano Solange Merdinian '09 Enjoys a Rich and Varied Career

Since graduating from the Bard Conservatory Vocal Arts Program, Solange Merdinian '09 has established a career that spans a wide array of projects and opportunities. Her recent performances include singing the Argentinean national anthem at Madison Square Garden, a world tour of Philip Glass' Einstein on the Beach, and being a guest professor and performer at the University of San Juan. You can visit her website to learn more about what she has coming up in 2015. 

Bard Conservatory and Hungarian-American Fulbright Commission Establish Jointly Funded Grant

The Bard Conservatory and the Hungarian-American Fulbright Commission have established a grant to fund Hungarian music students who enroll in the Conservatories Advanced Performance Studies Program. This is a two-year program resulting in a performer's certificate. Students who are accepted into the program and who are also accepted for the Fulbright award will be supported for the first year by the Fulbright Commission and by the Conservatory for the second year. 

Soprano Julia Bullock '11 Receives Award from Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts.

Soprano Julia Bullock, 2011 graduate of the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, has been selected to receive a stipend from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts. She is one of five young artists to receive an award this year. Her award of $50,000 will be used for career advancement and artistic projects. 

Bard Conservatory Faculty Member Dawn Upshaw's Recent Performance at New York's Town Hall

On March 29th, Vocal Arts Program Artistic Director Dawn Upshaw and long time collaborator Gilbert Kalish piano gave a performance at New York City's Town Hall as part of the Peoples' Symphony Concerts series. Their program included works by Bartók, Schubert, Berg, Ives, and Bolcom. 

Bard Conservatory Violinist to Compete in Queen Elisabeth Competition

Bard Conservatory graduate Fangyue He '12 will compete in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in May 2015. She was one of 69 candidates selected to compete from a pool of 170. She will perform Sonata No. 3 by J.S. Bach, Schubert's Sonata in A major, and three caprices by Niccolo Paganini. 

Conservatory Faculty Member Jeffrey Kahane will Conduct and Perform an all Mozart Concert with the New York Philharmonic

Bard Conservatory faculty member Jeffrey Kahane will join the New York Philharmonic on June 3-6. Kahane will perform and conduct the all Mozart program including  Mozart's Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 21 and Symphony No. 38, Prague. Visit the link below for more information. 

Conservatory Faculty Member David Krakauer to Perform with the Mankato Symphony

Conservatory clarinet faculty member David Krakauer will perform with the Mankato Symphony on April 19. Krakauer has recently been nominated for a Grammy for his recordings of "The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind" by Osvaldo Golojov. The program will feature Mozart's Clarinet Concerto K. 622 and songs from the klezmer tradition. 

Conservatory Students Awarded Davis Projects for Peace Grant


Congratulations to the four Bard Conservatory students and founders of Sounds of Social Change on being the 2015 recipients of a Davis Projects for Peace Prize and $10,000 grant. Launched last year, Sounds of Social Change (SSC) is a student-initiated, Bard Trustee Leader Scholar (TLS) project aimed at teaching and mentoring young musicians living in poverty-stricken conditions throughout the world. Last summer, Conservatory musicians Rylan Gajek-Leonard '16, Alexzandra Morris '18, Avery Morris '18, Daniel Zlatkin '16 and Caitlin Majewski ‘14 travelled to Cali, Colombia to spend one-week teaching children of the Orquesta Sinfónica Infantil y Juvenil de Siloé, as well as performing in the renowned Sala Beethoven Concert Hall. Using music education as a vehicle to empower at-risk youth, the Bard students worked closely with the Orquesta de Siloé and Foundation Sidoc to teach communication and collaboration skills, inspiring these children to ignite change not only within themselves, but also within their community.

In addition to facilitating all travel costs, this grant will also provide the SSC team with the funds needed to build a Music and Listening Library for the Orquesta Sinfónica in Cali, as well as create a “Musical Phrasebook” smartphone app, which will serve as a musical term translator enabling effective communication between each SSC representative and Spanish-speaking partner. Finally, the team plans on adding a new member—Rachel Becker ‘12, a Bard Conservatory alum who will be acting as the primary luthier on the 2015 trip. 

Conservatory Faculty Member Richard Goode to hold public master class at Carnegie Hall

Bard Conservatory faculty member Richard Goode will be presenting a master class on Claude Debussy's piano preludes on March 27th at Carnegie Hall. 

Bard Conservatory Faculty Member Kayo Iwama Interviewed in website Rural Intelligence

Graduate Vocal Arts Program associate director Kayo Iwama recently gave an interview for the website Rural Intelligence. She speaks of her role at the Conservatory, her work with the singers in the program, and her and her family's life in the Hudson Valley. 

Vocal Arts Program Students Sing at Carnegie Hall with American Symphony Orchestra

Mezzo-soprano Katherine Maysek and soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon.
Lucy Fitz-Gibbon '15,  and Katherine Maysek '15 sang at Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra and conductor Leon Botstein in a  performance of Max von Schilling's Mona Lisa. Ms. Fitz-Gibbon and Ms. Maysek are in their final year of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at the Bard Conservatory. Ms. Fitz Gibbon, soprano, is in the voice studio of Edith Bers and mezzo-soprano Ms. Maysek is in the voice studio of baritone Sanford Sylvan.

Wave Farm and the Bard College Conservatory of Music join the John Cage Trust in presenting Reality Radio

Wave Farm and the Bard College Conservatory of Music join the John Cage Trust in presenting Reality Radio, a four-month durational project spanning February to May 2015 featuring a continuous audio surveillance feed from the Bard College Percussion Studio headed by Sō Percussion. Reality Radio positions those who move throughout the studio – students, professors, administrators, visitors, even maintenance crews – in the role of performer, with listening audiences as ever present observers.  In conjunction with Reality Radio, Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM will feature a series of special live broadcasts: February 7, March 7, April 25, and May 23, 2015. 

Vocal Arts Program Director Dawn Upshaw Finds New Ways of Listening

Grammy Award–winning soprano and Vocal Arts Program artistic director Dawn Upshaw performs an eclectic repertoire in Vancouver this week. (Georgia Straight) For more please click here.

Vocal Arts Program graduate Faylotte Crayton receives fellowship for Marlboro Music Festival

Soprano Faylotte Crayton '12 has received a fellowship to attend the Marlboro Music Festival during the summer of 2015. While in the graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard Ms. Crayton was in the voice studio of Edith Bers.
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