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Bard Conservatory Announces Winners of the Third Annual Concerto Competition

Emily Darrow


ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The third annual Concerto Competition, presented by The Bard College Conservatory of Music, took place at Bard College with a preliminary round on Sunday, November 18, and final round Monday, November 19, 2007.

The winners of the competition are violinist Fangyue He from China, soprano Rachel Schutz from Wales, and trombonist János Sutyák from Hungary. Sutyák and He will perform with the American Symphony Orchestra (ASO) during the 2008–09 ASO Fisher Center season and Schutz will appear with the Conservatory Chamber Orchestra on March 1, 2008.

“Twenty-one of our students participated in the competition, and I am proud of each one of them,” said Robert Martin, director of the Conservatory. “I know it was a very difficult decision for the judges to choose among so many gifted and accomplished young artists.”

The judges for the competition were Leon Botstein, president of Bard College and music director and principal conductor of both the American Symphony Orchestra in New York and the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the radio orchestra of Israel; Todd Crow, pianist, George Sherman Dickinson Professor of Music at Vassar College and music director of the Mount Desert Festival of Chamber Music; Todd Palmer, clarinetist, winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and Concorso Internazionale di Musica in Trieste, Italy; Susan Wadsworth, founder and director of Young Concert Artists, Inc., which is dedicated to discovering and launching the careers of gifted musicians (including Murray Perahia, Pinchas Zukerman, Emanuel Ax, Richard Goode, and Dawn Upshaw); and Calvin Wiersma, violinist with the Manhattan String Quartet and faculty member of the school of music at SUNY/Purchase.

Building on its distinguished history in the arts and education, Bard College 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 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. Robert Martin serves as director of the Conservatory, Melvin Chen as associate director.

For further information about The Bard College Conservatory of Music, call 845-758-7196,
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About the Concerto Competition winners:

Violinist Fangyue He was born in Shanghai, China, in 1987. She began studying the violin at age 4, continuing with Professor Jiyang Zhao and Chenxing Huang in both primary and middle schools affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2001, she won fourth prize in the seventh National Violin Competition and was selected to participate in the Morningside Music Bridge, a music workshop in Canada. The next year she attended the Perlman Music Program in Shanghai and performed with Shanghai Conservatory of Music Orchestra in the United States. Fangyue He entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in fall 2005, studying with Professor Shisheng Zheng. At the Bard College Conservatory of Music, she studies with Ida Kavafian. She was the concertmaster in Bard College Conservatory of Music Orchestra. Last summer she was a fellow at Tanglewood Music Center and been invited for next summer.

Critically acclaimed Welsh soprano Rachel Schutz is increasingly in demand throughout the United States and Europe for her “diamantine high notes . . . and giddy delirious coloratura” (Richard Dyer, Boston Globe). After beginning her professional career at age 12, premiering John Hardy’s The Roswell Incident with Music Theatre Wales, she performed with the Boston Pops, Santa Fe Opera, and both of Stony Brook University’s orchestras. Schutz is comfortable with a wide range of repertoire, from Bach to Bernstein and Babbitt, and has seen success in venues from opera to lied recitals. In 2004 she made her Stony Brook Opera debut as Flora in Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. The following year she played Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and sang Bach’s Cantata No. 51 with the Stony Brook University Orchestra after winning their concerto competition. In 2006, she made her much-acclaimed orchestral debut at Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops Orchestra with Bernstein’s “Glitter and Be Gay” from Candide. This past summer she was an apprentice artist at the Santa Fe Opera, where, in addition to her duties as an understudy in Daphne, she performed scenes from Mozart’s Zaide and Le Nozze di Figaro. Previously, she spent two summers at Tanglewood working with Phyllis Curtin, Dawn Upshaw, and James Levine. She is currently a student of Patricia Misslin at Bard College, where she is pursuing a masters degree in music. She also has worked with Elaine Bonazzi at Stony Brook University.

Born in Debrecen, Hungary, János Sutyák began his music studies on the euphonium when he was 10 years old, then four years later switched to the trombone. Before coming to The Bard College Conservatory of Music, Sutyák attended the Zoltán Kodály High School of Music where he received the Kodály Prize for outstanding performance. He also won third prize in the National Trombone Competition in Budapest and, with his trombone quartet, first prize in the National Chamber Music Competition of Hungary. He has participated in music festivals throughout Europe and at the Colorado College Summer Festival last summer. In his free time Sutyák enjoys bird watching and nature photography.


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This event was last updated on 10-27-2008