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Bard Conservatory Presents Preview Performance of New Commissions by Emerging Composers, May 7

Mark Primoff
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—On Thursday, May 7, The Bard College Conservatory of Music Spring 2009 Concerts and Lectures Series presents Composing Song: Preview Performance of New Commissions by Emerging Composers. The concert includes new work from the Osvaldo Golijov and Dawn Upshaw Professional Training Workshop of The Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall in partnership with The Bard College Conservatory of Music. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Sosnoff Theater at the Richard B. Fisher Center for Performing Arts.

The evening’s program includes selections from Niña Dance by Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin (b. 1979), with vocalist Sofia Rei Koutsovitis; Oceanic Verses by Paola Prestini (b. 1975), with sopranos Leona Carney, and Rie Miyake and mezzo-soprano Katarzyna “Kasia” Sadej; Here Comes Messiah! by Matti Kovler (b. 1980), with soprano Tehila Goldstein; Scenes from Dog Days by    David T. Little (b. 1978), with sopranos Mary Bonhag and Megan Taylor, mezzo-soprano Tania Rodriguez, and tenors Patrick Cook and Sung Eun Lee; Vayomer Shlomo (And Solomon Said) by Judd Greenstein (b. 1979), with mezzo-soprano Solange Merdinian and sopranos Celine Mogielnicki and Madyson Page; Songs at the Well by Elena Langer (b. 1974), with sopranos Ariadne Greif and Rachel Schutz; Helen Enfettered by Kate Soper (b. 1981), with soprano Melanie Conly and mezzo-soprano Jamie Van Eyck; and Three Songs by Jeremy Flower (b. 1979), with vocalist Olga Bell.

The Workshop Ensemble includes Alan Pierson, conductor; Nathan Botts, trumpet; Claire Bryant, cello; Jane Cords-O’Hara, cello; Keats Dieffenbach, violin; Will Holshouser, accordion; You-Young Kim, viola; Yael Manor, piano; Carol McGonnell, clarinet; John Ostrowski, percussion; Kristoffer Saebo, bass; Brandon Seabrook, guitar; and Jared Soldiviero, percussion.

Dawn Upshaw has achieved international celebrity as a singer of opera and concert repertoire ranging from the sacred works of Bach to the freshest sounds of today. Her acclaimed performances on the opera stage comprise the great Mozart roles as well as modern works by Stravinsky, Poulenc, and Messiaen. From Salzburg, Glyndebourne, and Paris to The Metropolitan Opera, where she began her career in 1984 and has sung nearly 300 performances, Ms. Upshaw has also championed numerous new works created for her, including The Great Gatsby by John Harbison; the Grawemeyer Award–winning L’Amour de Loin by Kaija Saariaho; John Adams’s nativity oratorio El Niño; and Osvaldo Golijov’s chamber opera Ainadamar and song cycle Ayre, the latter commissioned by Carnegie Hall for her Perspectives and recorded for Deutsche Grammophon. As a recitalist, Dawn Upshaw has premiered more than 40 works in the past decade. She began her career as a winner of The Metropolitan Opera Young Artists Development Program and the Young Concert Artists Auditions. She is the artistic director of the graduate program in vocal arts at The Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Osvaldo Golijov was born and raised in Argentina, surrounded by classical music, Jewish liturgical and klezmer music, and the new tango of Astor Piazzolla. After studying in Israel, he moved to the United States to study with George Crumb. While a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, he studied with Oliver Knussen and first developed his relationship with the Kronos Quartet, with whom he has since collaborated on more than 30 works. The composer’s recent works include a one-act opera, Ainadamar (Fountain of Tears), featuring Dawn Upshaw; Ayre, a set of folk songs also with Upshaw; and Tekyah, written for a film marking the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. He is currently working with director Francis Ford Coppola on the score of an upcoming film.  The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Golijov is an associate professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and is on the faculties of the Boston Conservatory and Tanglewood.

The Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop for Singers and Composers is presented in partnership with The Bard College Conservatory of Music and dedicated to creating new works for voice and chamber ensemble by developing the talents of a new generation of composers and singers who create and perform these works. Hosted on the Bard Campus, the workshop is directed by Dawn Upshaw and Osvaldo Golijov and brings together 18 extraordinarily talented singers (13 from Upshaw’s Graduate Program in Vocal Arts at the Bard Conservatory), eight emerging young composers, and a dozen instrumentalists. Under the expert guidance of their distinguished mentors and drawing inspiration from their colleagues, these young musicians work and learn together. They also interact with the entire Bard community as they develop and refine the creation of new musical works for the human voice and a varied complement of instruments.  This public preview of the eight new pieces represents the culmination of the workshop and each piece will receive its world premiere at Carnegie Hall on May 9 and May 10, 2009. For more information, visit

Robert Martin, Director
Melvin Chen, Associate Director

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. Now in its fourth year, the Conservatory’s undergraduate 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 new 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.

Conservatory faculty include violinists Eugene Drucker, Yi-Wen Jiang, Ani Kavafian (master classes), Ida Kavafian, Soovin Kim, Weigang Li, Laurie Smukler, and Arnold Steinhardt; violists Steven Tenenbom, Michael Tree, and Ira Weller; cellists Sophie Shao and Peter Wiley; double bassist Marji Danilow; pianists Melvin Chen, Jeremy Denk, Richard Goode (master classes), and Peter Serkin; oboists Laura Ahlbeck and Richard Dallessio; flutists Nadine Asin (master classes) and Tara Helen O’Connor; clarinetists Laura Flax and David Krakauer; bassoonist Marc Goldberg; horn players Julie Landsman, Julia Pilant, and Jeffrey Lang; trombonist John Rojak; trumpeter Carl Albach; and tuba player Alan Baer. Joan Tower and George Tsontakis direct the Conservatory Composition Program. Leon Botstein and Erica Kiesewetter teach orchestral studies. The Da Capo Chamber Players are in residence. Members and principals of the American Symphony Orchestra are available for instruction, coaching, and leading of sectional rehearsals of the Conservatory Orchestra. In addition, the resources and faculty of the Bard College Music Program are available to students of the Conservatory. The Graduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship, directed by Frank Corliss, provides accompanists for students in the undergraduate and the graduate vocal arts program.

The Graduate Program in Vocal Arts is a two-year master of music degree conceived 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 faculty includes head of program Kayo Iwama; voice teachers Edith Bers, Patricia Misslin, and Lorraine Nubar; Alexander Technique teachers Gwen Ellison and Judith Grodowitz; staff pianist Ying-Chien Lin; and career workshop coordinator Carol Yaple. Master classes have been held with pianist and vocal coach Ken Noda; vocal coach Pierre Vallet; soprano Lucy Shelton; and directors Marc Verzatt, Eve Shapiro, and Doug Fitch.

The Weill Music Institute creates wide-reaching music education programs that play a central role in Carnegie Hall’s commitment to making great music accessible to as many people as possible. With its access to the world’s greatest artists and latest technologies, The Weill Music Institute is uniquely positioned to inspire the next generation of music lovers, nurture tomorrow’s musical talent, and contribute to the evolution of music education itself. Its educational programs are woven into the fabric of the Carnegie Hall concert season, serving more than 115,000 children, students, teachers, parents, young music professionals, and adults in New York City metropolitan area, across the United States, and around the world annually. The Weill Music Institute’s school-based programs alone reach over 50,000 New York City and area public school students each year.

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This event was last updated on 05-05-2009