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Aston Magna 2011 Summer Festival at Bard Opens with "Bach and Son" on June 17

Music of Mozart and Hummel to be Featured in Friday Concert Series, Plus an Exploration of Music from the Court of Henry VIII, and the Italian Madrigal and Its Legacy

Eleanor Davis

Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. — Aston Magna, whose concert series has been described by the New York Times as “America’s preeminent summer early-music event,” presents its 2011 concert series at Bard College on Friday evenings, June 17 and 24, and July 1 and 8. The series, held in Olin Hall, is sponsored by The Bard Center. Each 8:00 p.m. performance is preceded by a lecture at 7:00 p.m. A four-concert subscription is $90; two or three different concerts in a “make your own” subscription are $24 each; and single tickets are $30; $25 for senior citizens. A limited number of student rush tickets (for full-time students under the age of 25) will be available at the door 30 minutes prior to each concert for $5. 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.

The Aston Magna at Bard series opens on Friday, June 17, with “Bach and Son: Music for Violin and Harpsichord by J.S. and C.P.E. Bach.” The program includes J.S. Bach’s Sonatas for keyboard and violin in E Major and G Major, Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, Sonata for solo violin in A Minor, and C.P. E. Bach’s duo sonata in C Minor. Daniel Stepner, baroque violin, and John Gibbons, harpsichord, are featured.

For its second concert, on Friday, June 24, Aston Magna will fill the air with “Diversions: Mozart and Hummel.” The program includes Mozart’s Horn Quintet, Divertimento for oboe, horns, and strings, and “A Musical Joke,” as well as J.N. Hummel’s Clarinet Quartet. Performers are Stephen Hammer, classical oboe; Eric Hoeprich, basset clarinet; Richard Menaul, horn; Frederick Aldrich, horn; Daniel Stepner and Julie Leven, classical violins; David Miller, classical viola; Loretta O’Sullivan, classical cello; and Anne Trout, contrabass.

The third concert in the Aston Magna summer series, on Friday, July 1, is “England, Be Glad,” featuring music from the cosmopolitan court of King Henry VIII. Aaron Sheehan, tenor; Laura Jeppesen, Jane Hershey, Emily Walhout, and Sarah Cunningham, viols, perform.

For its final concert, on July 8, Aston Magna presents “The Italian Madrigal and its Legacy.” A capella masterworks through four centuries will be featured including the music of Monteverdi, Gesualdo, Rossi, Brahms, Debussy, Ravel, P.D.Q. Bach, Glenn Gould, and Peter Lutkin. Artists include Roberta Anderson and Kristen Watson, sopranos; Gerrod Pagenkopf, counter tenor; William Hite and Frank Kelley, tenors; David Ripley, bass; Laura Jeppesen, gamba; Catherine Liddell, theorbo; and Daniel Stepner, director, violin.

For further information and reservations, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7887.

For more information about workshops at Brandeis University devoted to music from the early 17th- to late-18th centuries, please consult the website

Aston Magna is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Aston Magna concerts at Bard are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts.

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 [Editor’s Note: The Aston Magna series is repeated on Saturday evenings, June 18 and 25, and July 2 and 9, at 6 p.m., 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 $25– $35, with discounts for subscriptions. Student/senior discount tickets may be purchased at the door, as available, on concert days. In addition, concerts 1, 2, and 3 of the series will be performed on Thursdays, June 16, 23, and 30 at 8 p.m. at the Slosberg Auditorium at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Tickets are $15–$25 with discounts for subscriptions. Senior tickets may be ordered in advance. For ticket information, call 800-875-7156, or 413-528-3595, or visit]


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This event was last updated on 05-31-2011