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The Bard College Conservatory of Music Presents "Music Alive" on Saturday, October 1

Eleanor Davis

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard College Music Program and Bard College Conservatory of Music present “Music Alive” on Saturday, October 1 at 8 p.m. in Olin Hall. Admission is free and open to the public and no reservations are necessary. For more information, call 845-758-7196.

The artistic directors for the concert are acclaimed pianist Blair McMillen and Grammy Award–winning composer Joan Tower. Music by Aaron Copland, Karen Tanaka, John Mackey, and Bard student composers Max McKee ’13 and Andres Martinez de Velasco ’14 will be featured.

Joan Tower, one of America’s preeminent composers and Asher B. Edelman Professor in the Arts at Bard, has organized “Music Alive!” concerts for many years, featuring performers and composers drawn from the College’s Music Program and the Bard Conservatory. Hailed as “one of the most successful woman composers of all time” in the New Yorker magazine, Joan Tower was the first woman to receive the Grawemeyer Award in Composition in 1990. She was inducted in 1998 into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters, and into the Academy of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University in the fall of 2004. She was the first composer chosen for the ambitious new Ford Made in America commissioning program, a collaboration of the League of American Orchestras (at that time, the American Symphony Orchestra League) and Meet the Composer. In October 2005, the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra presented the world premiere of Tower’s 15-minute orchestral piece Made in America, which was followed with performances by 65 orchestras in 50 states. The Nashville Symphony and conductor Leonard Slatkin recorded Made in America, Tambor, and Concerto for Orchestra for the Naxos label. The top-selling recording won three 2008 Grammy awards: Best Classical Contemporary Composition; Best Classical Album; and Best Orchestral Performance. Since 1972, Tower has taught at Bard College. 

Blair McMillen has established himself as one of the most sought-after and versatile pianists today. He has been hailed by the NewYork Times as one of the piano’s “brilliant young stars,” “prodigiously accomplished and exciting,” and as “new music’s torchbearer.” Recent performances include solo appearances at Zankel Hall, the Moscow Conservatory, Casals Hall (Tokyo), Miller Theatre, Bard SummerScape, Caramoor, Poisson Rouge, Bargemusic, and with the Juilliard Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, American Symphony, and Albany Symphony. In March 2011, he will give his concerto debut in Carnegie Hall with the American Symphony Orchestra. Dedicated to new and groundbreaking projects, McMillen has premiered hundreds of pieces, and he constantly works with established and emerging composers in commissioning new works for the piano. Pianist for the Naumburg Award–winning Da Capo Chamber Players and the American Modern Ensemble, he performs regularly with the downtown New York City–based Avian Orchestra, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensembles, and the Locrian Chamber Players, among others. An active educator, improviser, and self-taught jazz pianist, he is on the piano and chamber music faculty at Bard College and its Conservatory.


The mission of The Bard College Conservatory of Music is to provide the best possible preparation for a person dedicated to a life immersed in the creation and performance of music. The Conservatory features a unique double-degree program in which all undergraduate conservatory students receive a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in another field. In addition, the Conservatory offers a graduate program in Vocal Arts, led by renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw; graduate programs in Orchestral and Choral Conducting, codirected by James Bagwell, Leon Botstein, and Harold Farberman; a postgraduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship, directed by Frank Corliss; and a Preparatory Division for students ages 6–18.

For more information go to, call 845-758-7196, or e-mail

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This event was last updated on 09-29-2011