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Press Release

Aston Magna at Bard Announces Summer 2009 Concert Series

Eleanor Davis

Annandale-on-Hudson Aston Magna, whose concert series has been described by the New York Times as “America’s preeminent summer early-music event,” presents its 2009 concert series at Bard College on Friday evenings from June 26 through July 17. The series, held in Olin Hall, is sponsored by The Bard Center. A four-concert subscription is $90; two or more different concerts in a “make your own” subscription are $24 each; and single tickets are $30, $25 for senior citizens. For further information and reservations, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7887.

Under the artistic direction of Daniel Stepner, Aston Magna aims to interpret the music of the past as each composer envisioned it. For more than three decades, Aston Magna has been internationally recognized for its contributions to the popularization of early music, using historically accurate instruments and techniques. Each 8:00 p.m. performance is preceded by a talk at 7:00 p.m., also in Olin Hall. 

The series opens on Friday, June 26, with “Celebrating Haydn and Bach.” The repertoire includes Haydn’s String Quartet in D Major, Op. 20, No .6, and Arianna a Naxos, cantata for soprano and strings; J. S. Bach’s Wedding Cantata; and Heitor Villa-Lobos’s Bachianas Brasileiras, No. 5. Dominique Labell, soprano, and Stephen Hammer, baroque oboe, will perform.

The second concert on Friday, July 3, is “John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera and Selected Handel Arias,” featuring the satirical operetta that royally skewered 18th-century political realities and economic meltdowns, together with arias from Handel operas. Performers for this program include sopranos Nancy Armstrong and Kristen Watson; Deborah Rentz-Moore, mezzo-soprano; Frank Kelley, tenor; and baritones David Ripley and Robert Honeysucker.

“Baroque Favorites” on Friday, July 10, features Vivaldi’s La Tempesta; Tartini’s “The Devil’s Trill” Sonata; Rameau’s “La Rameau” and other musical portraits; and J. S. Bach’s “Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother” and Brandenburg Concerto No. 5. Performers include John Gibbons, harpsichord; Christopher Krueger, baroque flute; Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba; Daniel Stepner, baroque violin; Jane Starkman, violin; Loretta O’Sullivan, cello; and Anne Trout, bass.

The final concert of the series, on Friday, July 17, is “Music in the Time of Goya.” Spanish and Italian music from the late baroque, classical, and early romantic worlds will be accompanied by visual projections of paintings by Francisco Goya. The repertoire includes the music of Fernando Sor, Luigi Boccherini, Rodriguez de Leon, and François de Fossa. Richard Savino, guest director and guitarist, and Jennifer Ellis, soprano, will perform.

Aston Magna at Bard is made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts, as well as through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Endowment at Bard College.


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[Editor’s Note: The Aston Magna series is repeated on Saturday evenings, from June 26, through July 18, at the Daniel Arts Center at the Great Barrington, Massachusetts campus of Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College. Single tickets are priced at $35, with discounts for subscriptions. Student/senior discount tickets may be purchased at the door, as available, on concert days. In addition, concerts 1, 3, and 4 of the series will be repeated on Sunday afternoons on June 28, July 12, and July 19, at 3:00 p.m. at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Tickets are $35 with discounts for subscriptions. Senior tickets may be ordered in advance. All concerts will have a preconcert lecture one hour prior to concert time included in the price of the ticket. For ticket information, call 800-875-7156, or 413-528-3595, or visit]




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This event was last updated on 06-24-2009