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STARFILLED GALA CONCERT AT BARD COLLEGE HONORS MARGARET CREAL SHAFER, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE HUDSON VALLEY CHAMBER MUSIC CIRCLE Evening features appearances and performances by John Ashbery, Leon Botstein, Todd Crow, André Emelianoff, Jaime Laredo, Urs

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—On Saturday, September 9, the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle and The Bard Center present a Gala Concert at Bard College in honor of longtime artistic director, Margaret Creal Shafer. The concert, at 7:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, will feature appearances and performances by John Ashbery, Leon Botstein, Todd Crow, André Emelianoff, Jaime Laredo, Ursula Oppens, Robert Osburne, Sharon Robinson, Rolf Schulte, Cynthia Tobey, Joan Tower, Blanca Uribe, and Richard Wilson. Selections to be performed include works by Mozart, Schubert, Joan Tower, and others.

Margaret Creal Shafer has been the artistic director of the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle since 1977. This event will both honor her and welcome the incoming joint artistic directors, Jamie Laredo and Sharon Robinson of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio.

Margaret Creal Shafer was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, where she began her piano study at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She moved to the Hudson Valley with her husband, the late Fredrick Q. Shafer, former rector of St. Johns Church in Barrytown and Bernard Iddings Bell Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Bard College. She has taught piano for over forty years and is the author of three books: two short-story collections, The Man Who Sold Prayers and Singing Sky, and a novel, A Lesson in Love.

The Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle, which just celebrated its fiftieth season, was founded by Helen Huntington Hull and two friends from Staatsburg, New York, who enlisted the help of violinist Emil Hauser, a member of the Bard College faculty and original first violinist of the Budapest Quartet, to invite performing artists for concerts at the Mills and Vanderbilt Mansions. In 1979, the concert series began its association with Bard College. The HVCMC remains an association of chamber music lovers and is a venue that attracts many of the world's preeminent chamber music artists.

A portion of the proceeds from this concert will go toward honoring the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle's commitment to the donation of a new Steinway grand piano for Bard College. Individual tickets are $30. For information call, Mrs. Helen Newcombe at


About the Artists:

John Ashbery, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, MacArthur Fellowship, and Gold Medal for Poetry of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among many others, is the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. He is the author of numerous poetry collections including Some Trees, The Tennis Court Oath, Rivers and Mountains, and Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror; his most recent publication is Girls on the Run.

Leon Botstein is music director of ASCO, coartistic director and conductor of the Bard Music Festival, music director of the American Symphony Orchestra, and president of Bard College. He is editor of The Musical Quarterly and has published several books, including The Compleat Brahms and Jefferson’s Children: Education and the Promise of American Culture.

The 1999-2000 season marked the 40th anniversary of violinist Jaime Laredo's debut recital at Carnegie Hall. Laredo, a member of the acclaimed Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, has performed extensively with the major orchestras of America and Europe and tours regularly as soloist and/or conductor. Since his stunning orchestral debut at the age of eleven with the San Francisco Symphony, he has won the admiration and respect of audiences, critics and fellow musicians the world over. That debut inspired one critic to write: "In the 1920's it was Yehudi Menuhin; in the 1930's it was Isaac Stern; and last night it was Jaime Laredo." At the age of seventeen, Jaime Laredo won the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, launching his rise to international prominence. He and his wife, Sharon Robinson, are the new artistic directors of the Hudson Valley Chamber Circle series, and Laredo is artistic director of New York's renowned Chamber Music at the Y series.

Winner of the Avery Fisher Recital Award, the Piatigorsky Memorial Award, and a Grammy nominee, Sharon Robinson is recognized worldwide as a dynamic artist and one of the outstanding cellists of our time. Whether as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, or a member of the renowned Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, critics and audiences and fellow musicians worldwide respond to what the New York Times called "an artistic personality that vitalizes everything she plays." Her guest appearances include the National Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and San Francisco Symphonies, and in Europe, the London Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, and the English, Scottish and Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestras.

Ursula Oppens was one of the first pianists to test the boundaries of traditional concert programming by performing both classical and contemporary pieces; she is equally confident in both mediums. She is one of the foremost champions of new music, and several modern composers refer to her as "Saint Ursula" because of her invaluable encouragement, advice on composition, and her illumination of their music. Oppens has appeared with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe and received two Grammy nominations for her recordings. The Boston Globe has applauded her "intelligence, clarity and strength." She began her study of the piano with her mother, Edith Oppens, as well as with Leonard Shure and Guido Agosti, and received her master's degree from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Felix Galimir and Rosina Lhévinne. Oppens is John Evans Distinguished Professor of Music at Northwestern University.

Violinist Rolf Schulte has recorded works by some of the most innovative and inspiring composers in contemporary music. The New York Times has described Schulte's performances as "uncommonly expressive and giving" and "a mixture of technical fireworks, emotional heat, and intellectual command." He came to the United States after winning the top prize in the Munich International Radio Competition and has studied with Ivan Galamian at the Curtis Institute of Music. His other teachers include Yehudi Menuhin and Franco Gulli. Schulte recently recorded Arnold Schoenberg's Violin Concerto with the London Philharmonia, released on Koch International.

Joan Tower is Asher B. Edelman Professor of Music at Bard College and one of the most highly regarded composers in the United States today. In 1998, the year of her sixtieth birthday, more than twenty concerts were presented in her honor throughout the country. She received the Delaware Symphony’s Alfred I. Dupont Award for Distinguished American Composers and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 1990 was the recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. Tower, whose orchestral works have been commissioned and performed around the world, is currently composer-in-residence with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in New York City. She was active as the founder and pianist with the 1973 Naumburg Award-winning ensemble, the Da Capo Chamber Players. She was composer-in-residence with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and is currently coartistic director of the Yale/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and composer-in-residence at the Institute at Deer Valley in Utah. Her most recent recording is Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman (Koch International Classics), with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop, conductor.

Pianist Blanca Uribe was born in Bogotá, Colombia, into a family of many generations of professional musicians. With an extensive repertoire ranging from Scarlatti to contemporary works, Uribe is particularly noted for her interpretations of all thirty-two Beethoven sonatas and the complete Iberia Suite of Isaac Albéniz. She has received many honors, including the General Francisco de Paula Santander Medal, awarded for outstanding contribution to Colombian culture, and the Order of Saint Charles, which she received in 1986 from the president of Colombia. She was also the recipient of the first Dutchess County Artist Award. Uribe holds the George Sherman Dickinson Professorship of Music at Vassar College.

"A terrific pianist," Richard Dyer of Richard Wilson in the Boston Globe. Wilson is also the composer of more than seventy works in many genres, including opera. He has received such recognition as the Hinrichsen Award (from the American Academy of Arts and Letters), the Stoeger Prize (from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center), the Cleveland Arts Prize (from the Women's City Club of Cleveland), and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship. Recent commissions have come from the Chicago Chamber Musicians and the Koussevitsky Foundation. Wilson’s orchestral works have been performed by the San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonic, American Symphony, Pro-Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, Orquesta Sinfonica de Colombia, Residentie Orkest of The Hague, and Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Four new recordings of Wilson's works include his complete choral music performed by the William Appling Singers (Albany Records); his Symphony No. 1, performed by James Sedares and the New Zealand Symphony along with three other chamber works (Koch International); "Affirmations," "Transfigured Goat," "Intercalations," and "Civilization and Its Discontents" (Albany Records); and "A Child's London" (Ongaku Records). Perfomances of his piano concerto with Blanca Uribe and his bassoon concerto with Robert Wagner with the Pro-Arte Orchestra of Boston, Leon Botstein, conducting, are available on CRI.

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This event was last updated on 03-02-2001