Bard News & Events

Press Release

Bard Orchestra in Concert at Olin Hall on December 18

Emily Darrow


Free Program Features Works by Bach, Boccherini, Gluck, and Tower

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard Orchestra, conducted by Nathan Madsen, presents a concert on Tuesday, December 18, at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. The free concert features performances of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5; Boccherini’s Sinfonia No. 18 in F; Gluck’s “Dance of the Blessed Spirits,” from Orpheus; and Bard professor Joan Tower’s Made in America.

Made in America was an amazing project, with 65 community orchestras in 50 states, performing the work from 2005 through 07,” explains Tower, one of America’s preeminent composers and Asher B. Edelman Professor in the Arts at Bard. “I was the first lucky composer to be chosen for this project. I attended 20 of these performances and conducted eight of them. It was an extraordinary experience; all of these orchestras really got involved with the project and the music, performing with a great deal of passion and commitment. The work itself is based on ‘America the Beautiful’ and one can hear this melody laced throughout the piece in tender, lyrical, bold, and aggressive guises.” The Ford Made in America project is made possible by the American Symphony Orchestra League, Meet the Composer, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ford Motor Company Fund. Tower’s Made in America was released on the Naxos label with the Nashville Symphony (Leonard Slatkin conducting). Tower notes that it was number 50 on the charts this past June.

Joan Tower received a B.A. from Bennington College and M.A. and D.M.A. degrees from Columbia University. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Guggenheim Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Koussevitsky Foundation, American Academy of Arts and Letters, and Meet the Composer/Reader’s Digest. She won the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in 1990 and has received commissions from the New York Philharmonic; St. Louis, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and National Symphonies; Emerson, Tokyo, and Muir Quartets; Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio; and Carnegie Hall, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Aspen, and LaJolla Summerfest, among many other festivals. Her CDs have been released on Naxos, Koch International, Delos, and d’Note Records. Tower was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998 and the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004. She was composer in residence with the St. Louis Symphony, with conductor Leonard Slatkin, from 1985 to 1988, and has been composer in residence with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s since 1997. She was recently named the first composer for a major orchestral consortium project, sponsored by the American Symphony Orchestra League and Meet the Composer; the resultant work, Made in America, has been released on CD by Naxos. This summer Scarecrow Press published Joan Tower: The Comprehensive Bio-Bibliography by Ellen K. Grolman. Tower has taught at Bard since 1972.


Nathan Madsen, recently appointed music director of the Bard Orchestra, received an M.F.A. degree from The Conductors Institute at Bard, and has appeared with the Da Capo Players and Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. He collaborated last November with the Scottish conceptual artist Martin Creed in a British commission for the dedication of the CCS Bard Hessel Museum. He also works with the Empire State Youth Orchestra.

For further information, call the Music Program at 845-758-7250.

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Editor's Note: To download high-resolution (300 dpi jpeg) press photos, click on thumbnail images below.

Images of Joan Tower, credit Noah Sheldon.

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This event was last updated on 12-19-2007