Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY—A world premiere of the work \"Fantasy for Solo Bass Clarinet and Chamber Orchestra\" by Dutchess County resident and recent Harvard graduate Jonathan Russell will highlight the performance of the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra on Wednesday, March 28, at Bard College. The concert, which begins at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall and is presented by The Bard Center, also features performances of Rameau’s \"Les Indes Galantes,\" Suite No. 1 (as revised by Dukas) and Saint-Saens’s Symphony No. 2 in A Minor, Op. 55. Admission to the concert is $12 for adults, $6 for students, and free for children 12 and under and Bard students and faculty.

\"With the ‘Fantasy’ I’ve sought to fully exploit the expressive potential of the bass clarinet—making use of the instrument’s wild virtuosic capabilities, its huge pitch, dynamic, and timbre range, and also its potential for lyricism,\" says Russell. \"The piece consists essentially of several contrasting types and characters of music that come back in different sequences and take us on a journey. . . . I imagine the piece set in some sort of mysterious nocturnal landscape.\"

Russell, who grew up in Dutchess County, will also be the featured soloist during the premiere of his work. He began playing the clarinet at age 9 and composing at age 14. Russell attended the Juilliard Pre-College Program, studying with Alan Kay and Eric Ewazen, and has performed as a clarinet soloist with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, West Point Military Academy Band, Arlington High School Wind Ensemble, and Harvard University’s Bach Society Orchestra. His compositions have been performed at Juilliard, Harvard, and Arlington High School. Russell graduated from Harvard in spring 2000 with a B.A. in music. At Harvard, he studied composition with Jeff Nichols, Bernard Rands, and John Stewart and conducting with James Yannatos. He served as conductor of the Toscanini Chamber Orchestra and assistant conductor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, for which he is currently writing a piece that will be premiered in the fall of 2001.

Artistic director of the orchestra Luis Garcia-Renart is a professor of music at Bard College. He is also on the faculties of Vassar College, the Piatigorsky seminars at the University of Southern California, and the Yale University summer programs in chamber music. He is also music director of the Cappella Festiva Chamber Choir and Orchestra. Garcia-Renart was born in Barcelona, Spain, and studied at the Music School of the National University and the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico. From 1951 until 1956, his cello studies were supervised by Pablo Casals. He also studied directly with Casals in France and in Puerto Rico until 1960, when he won a scholarship to study at the Conservatory of Moscow with Rostropovich and Khachaturian. Garcia-Renart attended the conservatories of Bern and Basel, Switzerland, and Trossingen, Germany, where he was a pupil of Sándor Veress and Sándor Vegh. Prizes awarded Garcia-Renart include the Casals International Contests in Paris in 1956, Xalpa in 1959, and Israel in 1961. He also received the Harriet Cohen Cello Prize in London in 1959. In addition to conducting, Garcia-Renart performs frequently as a soloist in recitals and chamber concerts nationally and abroad.

The WCO will conclude its 2000–2001 season at Bard College on Wednesday, May 9, with a concert that features Mozart\'s Overture to Don Giovanni, K. 527, and Sinfonia Concertante.

The concert is made possible in part with funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and through the generosity of the Homeland Foundation and the Leon Levy Foundation at Bard College. For further information, call 845-246-7045.

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Please Note: This program is repeated on Saturday, March 24, at 8:00 p.m., at Holy Cross Church on Pine Grove Avenue in Kingston and on Sunday, March 25, at 3:00 p.m., Reformed Church of Saugerties, 173 Main St., Saugerties.

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This event was last updated on 03-13-2001