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2007 Season of Aston Magna at Bard Offers Six Friday Concerts Beginning June 29

Emily Darrow


Programs include Vivaldi’s Four Seasons; 18th-Century Italian Music for Violin and Guitar; Music by J. S. Bach; Music of the French Baroque; Madrigals and Sonatas; and Henry Purcell’s tragic opera Dido and Aeneas

ANNDANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Aston Magna at Bard summer 2007 series celebrates Aston Magna’s 35th anniversary with six programs presented on Fridays, June 29 through August 3, at Bard College’s Olin Hall. Preconcert talks begin at 7:00 p.m; the concerts start at 8:00 p.m. Violinist and Aston Magna artistic director Daniel Stepner guides the series that the Boston Globe describes as “America’s preeminent summer early-music event . . . a festival that is out on the cutting edge of its art.” A six-concert subscription is $135; three or more different concerts in a “make your own” subscription are $24 each; single-concert tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for senior citizens (over age 62). Student rush tickets are available at the door for $5. For further information and reservations, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.

A performance of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons is the centerpiece of Aston Magna’s 35th anniversary, on Friday, June 29. The concert marks the return of baroque violinist Stanley Ritchie, a charter member of the Aston Magna Festival. The program also includes Bach’s Double Concerto for Two Violins and his Concerto for Oboe and Violin, featuring oboist Stephen Hammer. Daniel Stepner leads a baroque orchestra.

On Friday, July 6, guitarist Richard Savino and violinist Daniel Stepner perform, “18th-Century Italian Virtuoso Music for Violin and Guitar,” including works by Paganini, Filippo Graghani, and Mauro Giuliani.

“Bach at the Court of Frederick the Great,” on Friday, July 13, offers music both influenced and written by the Prussian emperor. J. S. Bach’s “A Musical Offering” is paired with a sonata by C. P. E. Bach along with a flute concerto by Frederick the Great. Soloists include fortepianist John Gibbons and baroque flutist Christopher Krueger. Daniel Stepner leads an ensemble that includes Jane Starkman, baroque violin and viola; and Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba.

Soprano Dominique Labelle is the soloist for the fourth concert, on Friday, July 20, “The Wit and Wisdom of the French Baroque,” devoted to cantatas and sonatas by Rameau, Couperin, Leclair, Clerambualt, and others. Labelle is joined by baroque flutist Krueger, baroque violinist Stepner, viola da gambist Jeppesen, and harpsichordist Gibbons.

On Friday, July 27, “Mostly Monteverdi” includes a selection of madrigals and sonatas of the early Italian baroque. Tenors Frank Kelley and William Hite are joined by baroque violinists Stepner and Julie Leven, viola da gambist Jeppesen, and Catherine Liddell, theorbo.

The Passion of Purcell” concludes the series on Friday, August 3. The program features a performance of Henry Purcell’s tragic opera Dido and Aeneas, with Deborah Rentz-Moore as Dido, as well as an array of instrumental and vocal music. Rentz-Moore is joined by Dominique Labelle, David Ripley, and Frank Kelley. Stepner leads a chamber orchestra.

Artistic director Daniel Stepner has distinguished himself as a violinist of great versatility, having performed and recorded contemporary music with the Boston Musica Viva; the sonatas of Charles Ives with pianist John Kirkpatrick; and solo works, chamber works, and concertos from the baroque and classical eras on period instruments. Stepner recently accepted the position of first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet. He has served as concertmaster of the Handel & Haydn Society, Banchetto Musicale, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, and New Haven Symphony, and as associate concertmaster of Frans Brüggen’s Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century. Stepner has taught at Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, and Longy School of Music.

Aston Magna at Bard is made possible, in part, by they New York State Council on the Arts and through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Endowment at Bard College. The Aston Magna Festival is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation.

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[Editor’s Note: The Aston Magna series is repeated on Saturday evenings at 5:00 p.m., from June 30 through August 4, at the Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Single tickets are priced at $40, with multiple concert discounts available. Senior tickets are available in advance for $30. Student rush tickets are available at the door for $10. For further information about the Great Barrington concerts, call 800-875-7156 or visit In addition, The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, hosts three of the concerts in a series of Sunday afternoon programs on July 1, 15, and 29 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at the museum after June 15 or by calling 800-875-7156.]


To download high-resolution (300 dpi) jpegs, click on thumbnails of images below. If you would prefer to receive these by separate e-mails or on disc, please e-mail or call 845-758-7512.

Artistic Director, Daniel Stepner

Aston Magna in Concert




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This event was last updated on 08-20-2007