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Bard Presents "Music Alive!" Featuring Music from the 20th and 21st Centuries on April 19

Program Features Students from the Bard Conservatory, Music and Dance Programs

Emily Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard College Music Program and Bard College Conservatory of Music present “Music Alive!” on Saturday, April 19. Free and open to the public, the program begins at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall.


The concert presents works of the 20th- and 21st-centuries by Cage, Ligeti, Schoenberg, and Yi, performed by students of the Music Program and Conservatory, as well as guest dancers from the Dance Program. Blair McMillen, visiting assistant professor of music at Bard, says that the Schoenberg work Pierrot Lunaire is “one of the most important and difficult chamber music pieces ever written—the premiere in 1912 needed over 30 rehearsals, and it was conducted. The six Conservatory students are playing it unconducted—quite a feat. This performance features a wonderful young mezzo-soprano, Solange Merdinian, from the Conservatory’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, directed by Dawn Upshaw. The Cage works also involve the Bard Dance Program, with two seniors performing the original Merce Cunningham choreography.”


Codirected by Bard professors McMillen and Keith Fitch, the program includes Chen Yi’s “Night Thoughts” (2004), performed by flutist Kylie Collins, cellist Alysha Glenn, and pianist Erica Ball; Gyorgy Ligeti’s Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet (1953), performed by Quintessence (clarinetist Renata Rakova, flutist Amanda Gale, oboist KC Brazeau, bassoonist David Nagy, and hornist Dan Severson); John Cage’s “Story” (from Living Room Music, 1940) and “Credo in Us” (1942), performed by percussionists Anthony Kingsley and Matthew O’Koren, pianist KC Brazeau, radioist Daniel Fishkin, and dancers Grace Converse and Ella Stocker. The concert also includes the first Bard undergraduate performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s expressionist masterpiece, Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21 (1912), performed by Solange Merdinian, mezzo-soprano; Amanda Gale, flute/piccolo; Conor Brown, clarinet/bass clarinet; Shawn Moore, violin/viola; Brent Lewis, cello; and Wui-Ming Gan, piano.


No reservations are necessary; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. For information, call the Music Program at 845-758-7250.


The Music Program Spring 2008 Concert Series continues on Saturday, May 3, at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, when the Music Program presents the Hudson Valley Gamelan in a program of Balinese music and dance. Suggested donation is $10.


Tuesday, May 6, at 8:00 p.m., in the Sosnoff Theater of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, the Bard College Chamber Singers and Symphonic Chorus, under the direction of James Bagwell, director of the Music Program, perform Bard professor Kyle Gann’s Transcendental Sonnets as well as works by Bard student composers. Admission $5; free for children 12 and under.


The Bard Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, under the direction of Marina Rosenfeld, presents its spring concert on Wednesday, May 7, at 8:00 p.m. in Blum Hall.

The Bard College Big Band, directed by Thurman Barker, is featured in concert on Monday, May 12, at 7:00 p.m., in room 211 in Blum Hall.

The Da Capo Chamber Players, ensemble in residence at the Bard Conservatory, presents an evening of new orchestrations and compositions by Bard students, coordinated by Blair McMillen, on Wednesday, May 14, at 7:30 p.m., in Olin Hall.

The spring concerts conclude on Friday, May 16, at 8:00 p.m., in Olin Hall, with the Bard Orchestra, directed by Nathan Madsen, featuring the winner of the Music Program’s annual concerto competition.

For information on these events, call 845-758-7250 or visit



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Mezzo-soprano Solange Merdinian, who recently appeared as St. Teresa II in Four Saints in Three Acts at the Fisher Center, began her music studies at age 3 in her hometown of Cordoba, Argentina. Recent concert engagements include a Carnegie Hall performance of the program “Piazza Navona,” soloist at Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Chamber Orchestra and Choral Union, and alto soloist with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at the Metropolitan Museum in the Bach Cantata Program. Julliard School opera productions include Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte and the role of Indiana Elliot in a production of The Mother of Us All. Merdinian has attended diverse summer programs, including L’Academie Internationale d’Ete de Nice, Chautauqua Institute, and Aspen Opera Theater Center, where she performed the role of Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen. In 2007, she graduated from The Juilliard School in 2007 with a bachelor of music degree in voice.

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Thurman Barker Blair McMillen Hudson Valley Gamelan

James Bagwell, music director

Bard College Chamber Singers and Symphonic Chorus

Da Capo Chamber Players

Nathan Madsen, music director

Bard Orchestra

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This event was last updated on 04-21-2008