Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
“The Shanghai cohesively blends the music’s pulsing rhythms and thrusting figurations with intelligence and grace.”—New York TimesM/b>
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY—On Tuesday, September 5, The Bard College Conservatory of Music presents the first performance of the 2006-07 Conservatory Concerts and Lectures series, featuring the renowned Shanghai Quartet, with guest artists violist Michael Tree and cellist Robert Martin. The program includes Brahms’s String Sextet in B flat major, Opus 18, and Schubert’s “Two Cello” String Quintet in C Major, D 956. Free and open to the public, the concert begins at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. Originally formed in Shanghai more than 20 years ago, the Shanghai Quartet—violinists Weigang Li and Yi-Wen Jiang, violist Honggang Li, and cellist Nicholas Tzavaras—are known for their passionate musicality, impressive technique, and multicultural innovations. The Quartet’s elegant melding of the delicacy of Eastern music with Western repertoire allows them to travel the genres from traditional Chinese folk music to Brahms, Shubert, and new commissions by Lowell Lieberman and Bright Sheng, among others. The Quartet have performed on the world’s most prominent concert stages, and regularly tours the great music centers of Europe, North and South America, and Asia. As part of their 20th anniversary tour, the Quartet performed the “Beethoven Project: East Meets West,” the complete Beethoven string quartets in six concerts around the world. This tour included the first performance ever in China of the complete Beethoven quartet cycle. The Quartet serves as the quartet-in-residence at Montclair State University in New Jersey and as guest professors at the Shanghai Conservatory in China. First violinist Weigang Li is a faculty member of The Bard College Conservatory of Music. Cellist Robert Martin is the director of The Bard College Conservatory of Music, vice president for academic affairs at Bard, and artistic codirector of the annual Bard Music Festival. After receiving his doctorate in philosophy, he pursued a dual career in music and philosophy, holding joint appointments at SUNY Buffalo and Rutgers University. Before coming to Bard, he was assistant dean of humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was cellist of the Sequoia String Quartet from 1975 to 1985, during which time the ensemble made many recordings and toured internationally. Violist Michael Tree, a member of the Guarneri String Quartet, is also as a faculty member of The Bard College Conservatory of Music. He studied violin with Efrem Zimbalist at the Curtis Institute of Music. Subsequent to his Carnegie Hall recital debut, Tree appeared as violin and viola soloist with major orchestras, including Philadelphia, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and New Jersey. As a founding member of the Marlboro Trio and the Guarneri String Quartet, he has performed throughout the world and recorded more than 80 chamber music works. Prominent among these are 10 piano quintets and quartets with Arthur Rubinstein. Tree serves on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, University of Maryland School of Music, and Rutgers University. The Conservatory Concerts and Lectures continue on Thursday, October 4, at 8:00 p.m., at the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater as Xian Zhang, associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic, conducts the Bard Conservatory Chamber Orchestra. Pianist Richard Goode presents a master class on Thursday, October 12, at 2:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. A special “Meet the Artist” presentation featuring Dawn Upshaw and Osvaldo Golijov, moderated by Ara Guzelimian, takes place on Thursday, November 9, at 7:00 p.m. in the Sosnoff Theater at the Fisher Center. On Sunday, November 12, at 3:00 p.m., and Wednesday, November 15, at 8:00 p.m., the Conservatory presents two chamber music concerts in Olin Hall. The fall series concludes with the Da Capo Chamber Players, featured in a concert on Thursday, November 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Bard Hall. On Saturday, December 9, the Conservatory presents the second annual Concerto Competition in Olin Hall, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. All programs are open to the public without charge. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information, call the Conservatory at 845-758-7196 or e-mail # Building on its distinguished history of innovation in the arts and education, Bard College has launched The Bard College Conservatory of Music. This innovative, five-year, double-degree program is guided by the principle that musicians should be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences to achieve their greatest potential. While training and studying for the bachelor of music degree with world-class musicians and teachers and performing in state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Frank Gehry–designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Bard Conservatory students also pursue a bachelor of arts degree at Bard, one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. The Bard College Conservatory of Music’s instrumental and composition faculty includes renowned musicians and composers, including violinists Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, Weigang Li, Laurie Smukler, and Arnold Steinhardt; violists Steven Tenenbom, Michael Tree, and Ira Weller; cellists Sophie Shao and Peter Wiley; double bassist Marji Danilow; pianists Melvin Chen, Jeremy Denk, Peter Serkin, and piano master classes with Richard Goode; oboists Laura Ahlbeck and Richard Dallessio; flutist Tara Helen O’Connor; clarinetists Laura Flax and David Krakauer; bassoonist Marc Goldberg; hornists Julie Landsman and Jeffrey Lang; trombonist John Rojak; and trumpeter Mark Gould.The Colorado Quartet and Da Capo Chamber Players are in residence. Members and principals of the American Symphony Orchestra are also available for instruction, coaching, and leading of sectional rehearsals in the Conservatory Orchestra. This year the Conservatory introduces three additional programs: the Vocal Arts Graduate Program, directed by Dawn Upshaw; The Conductors Institute and its graduate program in conducting, directed by Harold Farberman; and the Composition Program, directed by Joan Tower and George Tsontakis. For more information about the Bard College Conservatory of Music, call 845-758-7196, e-mail, or log onto the program’s website, # # # (08.09.06)

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This event was last updated on 09-06-2006