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Gala Graduation Concert Presented by the Conductors Institute on Sunday, July 29

Emily Darrow

Free Concert Features Works Bartók, Beethoven, Bernstein, Brahms, Mahler, Mozart, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky as well as Two World Premieres by the Candidates for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts in Conducting


ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Conductors Institute at Bard presents its 2007 Gala Graduation Concert on Sunday, July 29. The program, free and open to the public, begins at 3:00 p.m. in Olin Hall on the Bard College campus. The two candidates for the degree of master of fine arts in conducting—Charis Dimaras and Lawrence Skaggs—conduct the Institute Orchestra in a program of works from the traditional repertoire as well as world premieres of their own compositions.


In addition to the world premieres by the two conductors—Dimaras’s “Bardicle II: Reminiscence of Verdi’s Boccanegra” and Skaggs’s “Fanfare and Canon,” works to be performed include Bartók’s Divertimento; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, “Choral,” and his Piano Concerto, No 1 in C Major, Op. 15, with conductor Dimaras as soloist; Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances” from West Side Story; Brahms’s Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68; Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 in G Major and “Ich bin der Welt Abhanden gekommen” from Mahler’s Rückert Lieder, with mezzo-soprano Leah Summers; excerpts from Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550; Ravel’s Rapsodie Espagnole; and Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture.


This is the second consecutive summer in which the two graduate degree candidates have participated in the Institute’s six-week program. They also completed required course work at Bard during the intervening academic year, including classes in composition, basic orchestra repertoire, languages, a second instrument (string or piano), and solfège. In addition, they completed private studies and master classes in technical score study and analysis with Maestro Harold Farberman, as well as podium time with the Institute string quintet and conducting opportunities with the Bard College Community Orchestra, Chorus, and Vocal Ensembles.


Farberman founded the Conductors Institute 27 years ago with a summer training program for conductors. “I hit on a formula that remains the same to this day—vigorous technical training and promotion of American music in a cooperative atmosphere,” he said. The Conductors Institute is in its eighth year at Bard College, and this is the sixth year that the master of fine arts degree in conducting is being offered.


In addition to Farberman, the year-round graduate program faculty includes Bard professors James Bagwell, Kyle Gann, Christopher Gibbs, Franz Kempf, and Laurence Wallach, as well as cellist Ling Kwan, pianist Sylvia Suzowsky, and violinist Marka Young. During the two six-week summer institutes, the M.F.A. candidates had new instructors and repertoire each week, assuring them of exposure to a variety of expert opinions. Visiting maestri have included Marin

Alsop, Leon Botstein, Karen Lynne Deal, Guillermo Figueroa, Lawrence Golan, Raymond Harvey, Apo Hsu, David Alan Miller, and Sidney Rothstein; and such visiting composers as David Del Tredici, Harold Farberman, Tobias Picker, George Tsontakis, and Joan Tower. Maestro Farberman anchors the faculty of the summer program.


Conductor and composer Harold Farberman has written diverse works for orchestra, three operas, numerous chamber works, a score for an Academy Award–winning documentary film, and music for dance companies. Many of his works, which have been performed all over the world, are represented on three Albany Records CDs devoted to his music. As a conductor and an advocate of modern music, Maestro Farberman received the Ives Award for his definitive interpretations of the work of Charles Ives. His recordings of Mahler, Michael Haydn, and Irwin Bazelon, as well as of Ives and his own music, have earned worldwide recognition for excellence. Farberman founded the Conductors Guild and is the author of a pioneering work, The Art of Conducting Technique: A New Perspective, an innovative approach to the physical placement and movement of the baton. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Conductors Institute and director of Bard’s master of fine arts degree program in conducting. A member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s percussion section from 1951 to 1963, Farberman was its youngest performer when he joined the orchestra immediately after graduating from The Juilliard School of Music.


For further information, call 845-758-7425 or visit the website






Charis Dimaras was born in Athens, Greece. As a pianist, he has presented numerous solo recitals and collaborated in chamber music concerts, and has been featured as soloist with orchestras throughout Europe, Turkey, Russia, Brazil, and the United States, performing in such venues as the Italian Gubbio Festival, the Holland Music Sessions, Britain’s Norwich and Brighton Festivals, and Juilliard’s Focus Festival of contemporary music. He has received many awards and prizes, including the British Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Award, the Alexandros S. Onasis Beneficiary Foundation Scholarship, and the International Richard Wagner Foundation Scholarship. He has been featured on New York City’s WQXR, on several Dutch, Italian, and Greek radio stations, and on Greek national television, and has recorded works by Franck, Bartók, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky. His latest CD, featuring piano works by contemporary Greek composers D. Mitropoulos and Y. Sicilianos, is due for release in the fall of 2007. Dr. Dimaras is currently associate professor of piano and collaborative studies at Ithaca College. During the 2006–07 academic year he has been on sabbatical leave to pursue the master of fine arts degree in conducting at Bard College, where he has studied with Maestro Harold Farberman.


Lawrence Skaggs grew up in California, where he completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in cello performance. In 1976, he became principal cellist of the Victoria Symphony, in Victoria, British Columbia, where he has enjoyed a long career, performing with the orchestra, as a soloist and in multiple chamber music venues.


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This event was last updated on 08-20-2007