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Bard Conservatory Offers Two Free Programs In Partnership with Carnegie Hall

Emily M. Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard College Conservatory of Music presents two public programs in partnership with The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall’s Professional Training Workshop for Composers and Singers. The first, on April 10, is a concert featuring a performance of Osvaldo Golijov’s The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, performed by David Krakauer and the Bard Festival String Quartet. The second, on April 12, is a public reading from the Carnegie Hall Osvaldo Golijov/Dawn Upshaw Workshop, performed by the workshop participants. Both programs are held in Bard’s Olin Hall and are free and open to the public.

The Professional Training Workshop for Composers and Singers is dedicated to creating new works for voice and chamber ensemble by training a new generation of composers and singers who will create and perform these works. Hosted on the Bard campus, the workshop, directed by internationally acclaimed soprano Dawn Upshaw and renowned composer Osvaldo Golijov, brings together 12 extraordinarily talented singers (eight from Upshaw’s Graduate Program in Vocal Arts at the Bard Conservatory); 8 emerging young composers; and a dozen instrumentalists.

In conjunction with the workshop, the Conservatory Concerts and Lectures presents a concert on Tuesday, April 10, at 8:00 p.m. by the Bard Festival String Quartet—violinists Laurie Smukler and Patricia Sunwoo, violist Ira Weller, and cellist Robert Martin—with guest artist clarinetist David Krakauer, performing Osvaldo Golijov’s The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, as well as Beethoven’s Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132. Golijov discusses his work prior to the performance. The Bard Festival String Quartet, formed at the Bard Music Festival in 1995, has won praise for the lyricism and intensity of its performances. Smukler and Weller were founding members of the Mendelssohn String Quartet; Sunwoo was a member of the Whitman String Quartet from 1997 to 2002; and Martin (director of the Conservatory) was cellist of the Sequoia String Quartet from 1975 to 1985. Internationally acclaimed clarinetist David Krakauer redefines the notion of a concert artist. Known for his mastery of myriad styles including classical chamber music, Eastern European Jewish klezmer, and avant-garde improvisation, Krakauer performances are way beyond “cross-over.” His best-selling classical and klezmer recordings further define his brilliant tone, virtuosity, and imagination. Krakauer is a Conservatory faculty member.

The second program is a Public Reading from the Carnegie Hall Osvaldo Golijov/Dawn Upshaw Workshop, on Thursday, April 12, at 6:30 p.m. This program features readings of the new works by the participants in the workshop, including sopranos Emily Albrink, Emily Eagen, Kristin Ezell, Maghan Stewart, Yulia Van Doren, Melissa Wegner, and Chanel Wood; mezzo-soprano Julie Anne Miller; baritones Kyle Ferrill, Yang Yang, and Yohan Yi; and vocalist Christina Courtin. The composers are Clarice Assad, David Bruce, Ryan Carter, Anna Clyne, Angel Lam, Johannes Lauer, Gyan Riley, and Michael Ward-Bergeman. Under the expert guidance of their distinguished mentors and drawing inspiration from their colleagues, these young musicians work and learn together. They also interact with the entire Bard community as they begin to develop and refine the creation of new musical works for the human voice and a varied complement of instruments.

Robert Martin, director of the Conservatory, says, “We are honored and delighted to work with Dawn Upshaw and Osvaldo Golijov and our colleagues at The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall in a project so beneficial to all concerned. The workshop is a model of teaching and learning at the highest level.” The artists are in residence on the Bard campus the week of April 9–13, 2007. In November, during the first week-long residence at the College, the workshop focused on the development of compositions, while this second week focuses on performance. The culmination of this workshop are performances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall on April 14 and 15.

For the past seven years, composer Osvaldo Golijov has been inspired by the voice of Dawn Upshaw. Their extraordinary collaboration began in 1999 with “Lua Descolorida,” a single song written for Upshaw. She has performed the song, which was later incorporated into Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos, more than 100 times and included it on her Nonesuch Records album Voices of Light. For Upshaw’s Perspectives, Carnegie Hall commissioned Golijov to write the song cycle Ayre. The work premiered in Zankel Hall in 2004 and the subsequent Deutsche Grammophon recording was nominated for a Grammy in 2005. The pair’s most recent collaboration, the chamber opera Ainadamar, has enjoyed sold out and critically acclaimed performances at the Santa Fe Opera and Lincoln Center. In 2006, Deutsche Grammophon released the recording of Ainadamar, with Upshaw, Kelley O'Connor, and Jessica Rivera singing the principal roles, and the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Robert Spano. The record earned two Grammy Awards in February 2007 for best opera recording and best contemporary composition.

These two public events are part of the Conservatory’s partnership with The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall’s Professional Training Workshop for Composers and Singers. The workshop is dedicated to creating new works for voice and chamber ensemble by training a new generation of composers and singers who will create and perform these works. Each season, The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall brings master artists to work with musicians and composers at the conservatory and post-conservatory levels in Professional Training Workshops. These workshops, which encompass a variety of musical styles, give tomorrow’s stars the chance to work with some of today’s leading musicians in intensive coaching and training sessions that include public performances at Carnegie Hall.

For further information, call the Conservatory at 845-758-7196, e-mail, or visit (Please note the workshop is not open to the public.)


The Bard College Conservatory of Music

Building on its distinguished history in the arts and education, Bard College has launched The Bard College Conservatory of Music, which welcomed its first class in August 2005. This innovative, 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 new Frank Gehry–designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Conservatory students also pursue a bachelor of arts degree at Bard, one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges.

Conservatory faculty include violinists Ani Kavafian, Ida Kavafian, Soovin Kim, 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; flutists Tara Helen O’Connor and Nadine Asin; clarinetists Laura Flax and David Krakauer; bassoonist Marc Goldberg; horn players Julie Landsman and Jeffrey Lang; trombonist John Rojak; trumpeter Mark Gould; and tuba player Alan Baer. The Conservatory Composition Program is directed by Joan Tower and George Tsontakis. 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 of the Conservatory Orchestra. In addition, the resources and faculty of the Bard College Music Program are available to students of the conservatory.

The Conservatory also includes the Graduate Program in Vocal Arts, directed by Dawn Upshaw, and The Conductors Institute and its graduate program in conducting, directed by Harold Farberman.

For more information about the Bard College Conservatory of Music, call 845-758-7196, e-mail, or log onto the program’s website,

The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall
The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall develops and implements Carnegie Hall’s music education programs. The Institute uses the world-renowned resources of Carnegie Hall to bring music education to people in the New York City metropolitan region, across the United States, and around the world. The Institute offers programs for the general public, students from pre-school through high school, and young professional musicians and composers. Family Concerts at Carnegie Hall and free Neighborhood Concerts in all five boroughs bring music to thousands within the greater New York City community each year. School-based programs enable students at all levels to participate in curricula that are age-appropriate, interactive, and conform to New York City, state, and national education standards. Professional Training Workshops, led by internationally renowned artists, prepare emerging young musicians for a lifetime in music. Adult education programs provide insight into the musicians and composers behind the music through pre-concert lectures, interactive concerts, and other activities. The Weill Music Institute also brings its educational programs to national and international audiences, using web-based and distance-learning technology.

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This event was last updated on 04-13-2007