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The Bard Conservatory Orchestra Performs in Sosnoff Theater on Sunday, April 5

Eleanor Davis

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY—On Sunday, April 5, the Bard College Conservatory of Music presents the Bard Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein. Free and open to the public, the program begins at 3:00 p.m. in the acoustically superb Sosnoff Theater at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. For more information contact the box office at 845-758-7900.

The program includes Richard Wagner’s Lohengrin Prelude to Act 1, Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, and Felix Mendelssohn’s Die erste Walpurgisnacht, op.60. Soloists from the Graduate Vocal Arts Program and the Bard College Chamber Singers will perform.

Bard College Conservatory of Music is an innovative, five-year, double-degree program 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, Bard Conservatory students also pursue a bachelor of arts degree at Bard, one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. The Conservatory’s instrumental and composition faculty includes renowned musicians and composers. The Colorado Quartet and Da Capo Chamber Players are in residence. Members and principals of the American Symphony Orchestra are also available for instruction, coaching, and leading of sectional rehearsals in the Conservatory Orchestra. In 2006 the Conservatory introduced three new programs: the Vocal Arts Graduate Program, directed by Dawn Upshaw; The Conductors Institute and its graduate program in conducting, directed by Harold Farberman; and the Composition Program, directed by Joan Tower and George Tsontakis.

The Graduate Program in Vocal Arts at The Bard College Conservatory of Music is a two-year master of music degree conceived and directed by soprano Dawn Upshaw. The course work is designed to support a broad-based approach to a singing career that extends from standard repertory to new music. Alongside weekly voice lessons and diction and repertory courses is training in acting, as well as core seminars that introduce and tie together the historical/cultural perspective, analytical tools, and performance skills that distinguish vocal and operatic performance at the highest level. In addition to artistic director Dawn Upshaw, the program includes head of program Kayo Iwama; voice teachers Edith Bers, Patricia Misslin, and Lorraine Nubar; diction coaches Sharon Bjorndal and Jennifer Ringo; Alexander Technique teachers Gwen Ellison and Judith Grodowitz; and career workshop coordinator Carol Yaple. Master classes have been held with conductor James Conlon; pianists and vocal coaches Ken Noda and Pierre Vallet; vocalists Phyllis Curtin, Timothy Hill, and Lucy Shelton; and directors Marc Verzatt, Eve Shapiro, and Peter Sellars.

Leon Botstein is music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the radio orchestra of Israel. Radio broadcasts of Botstein’s concerts with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra may be heard in syndication throughout the United States. He is also the founder and coartistic director of the Bard Music Festival. Since 1975 he has been president of Bard College.

Last season, a recording of a live performance of Botstein conducting the BBC Symphony in John Foulds’s A World Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall was released by Chandos. Paul Dukas’s opera Ariane et Barbe-bleue with the BBC Symphony was released by Telarc. (This opera was conducted by Leon Botstein with the American Symphony Orchestra in 1999 and with New York City Opera in 2005.) Soon to be released is Bruno Walter’s Symphony No. 1 with NDR–Hamburg on the CPO label. In fall 2008, Botstein led the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra on a tour of the U.S. West Coast (following 2006’s triumphant tour of the East Coast), and this spring he opens the Leipzig Bach Festival with a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah to commemorate the composer’s bicentennial.

In addition to a demanding schedule as a guest conductor, Botstein has also made a number of prestigious recordings of works by Chausson, Copland, Sessions, Perle, Dohnányi, Liszt, Bruckner, Bartók, Hartmann, Reger, Glière, and Szymanowski for such labels as Telarc, New World Records, Bridge, Koch, and Arabeseque. With the American Symphony Orchestra he has recorded live performances of two operas by Richard Strauss: Die ägyptische Helena with Deborah Voigt and Die Liebe der Danae with Lauren Flanigan; a recording of Copland, Sessions, Perle, and Rands; and discs of Dohnanyi, Brahms, and Joachim, among others. His recording with the London Symphony Orchestra of Gavriil Popov’s epic Symphony No. 1 and Shostakovich’s Theme and Variations, Op. 3, received a Grammy nomination in the category of Best Orchestral Performance. Among the orchestras with which he has performed are the BBC Symphony, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, NDR–Hamburg, NDR–Hannover, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Bamberg, Bern, Düsseldorf, and Teatro Real Madrid.

Botstein is the editor of The Musical Quarterly and the author of numerous articles and books. For his contributions to music he has received the award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Harvard University’s prestigious Centennial Award, as well as the Cross of Honor, First Class from the government of Austria.

For more information about the Bard College Conservatory of Music, call 845-758-7196, e-mail, or log onto the program’s website,



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This event was last updated on 06-25-2009