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Press Release

The Bard College Conservatory of Music Presents a Special Concert at the Morgan Library

“First Songs: Dawn Upshaw and the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program”

Eleanor Davis

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Acclaimed soprano Dawn Upshaw and singers from her graduate Vocal Arts Program at The Bard College Conservatory of Music (BCCM) perform a concert of contemporary songs, including several world premieres. “First Songs: Dawn Upshaw and the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program” takes place at the Morgan Library in New York City on Thursday March 17, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for non-Members; $25 for Morgan members and Bard College affiliates. Please call (212) 685-0008 ext. 560 or e-mail for information.

The concert will feature Asher B. Edelman Professor in the Arts at Bard and Grammy Award–winning composer Joan Tower’s first piece written for voice, “Up High,” as well as new works composed by current students and recent alumni of the BCCM program: Matt Schickele’s “Since 1500”; Stefan Weisman’s “Scarlet Ibis”; Benjamin Pesetsky’s “Lear's Shadow”; Shen Yiwen’s “Three Songs of Emily Dickinson”; John Boggs and Conor Brown’s “Seeress”; and John Harbison’s Selections from Mirabai SongsThe Clouds,” “Where Did You Go?” and “Why Mira Can’t Go Back to Her Old House.”

Upshaw, artistic director for the Bard Conservatory’s Vocal Arts Program, will perform with sopranos Dusica Bijelic, Faylotte Crayton, Lucy Dhegrae, Hannah Goldschlack, Vanessa Langer, and Heejung Lee; violist Helena Baillie; and Conservatory Collaborative Piano Fellows Michael Bukhman, Christina Lalog, and Liang-yu Wang. Kayo Iwama, head of the Vocal Arts Program, will also accompany on piano. John Halle, director of Theory and Practice, Bard College Conservatory of Music, will lead the program.

About The Bard College Conservatory of Music

Now in its sixth year, the Conservatory’s five-year 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 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. Robert Martin serves as director of the Conservatory, Melvin Chen as associate director.

In 2006, artistic director Dawn Upshaw and head of program Kayo Iwama launched the Graduate Vocal Arts Program, a two-year master of music degree within the Conservatory. Course work extends from standard repertory to new music, alongside training in acting, core seminars that provide historical and cultural perspectives, analytical tools, and performance skills for vocal and operatic performance at the highest levels. The students—only eight are admitted each year—have performed at Weill Recital Hall, Zankel Hall, and at Bard’s Fisher Center in recitals and as soloists with the American Symphony Orchestra. The students offered world premiere performances of David Bruce’s opera A Bird in Your Ear and one-acts by Missy Mazzoli and David T. Little, and twice participated in Composing Song Professional Training Workshops led by Dawn Upshaw and composer Osvaldo Golijov in collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Alumni/ae have distinguished themselves in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Los Angeles Opera Young Artists Program, and as prizewinners at a host of other national and international vocal competitions. For more information about additional events, including concerts and master classes, go to

About The Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum began as the private library of financier Pierpont Morgan, one of the preeminent collectors and cultural benefactors in the United States. Today, more than a century after its founding in 1906, the Morgan serves as a museum, independent research library, musical venue, architectural landmark, and historic site. In October 2010, the Morgan completed the first-ever restoration of its original McKim building, Pierpont Morgan’s private library, and the core of the institution. In tandem with the 2006 expansion project by architect Renzo Piano, the Morgan now provides visitors unprecedented access to its world-renowned collections of drawings, literary and historical manuscripts, musical scores, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, printed books, and ancient Near Eastern seals and tablets. For more information about concerts, events, and exhibitions go to

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This event was last updated on 02-28-2011