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Press Release

The Fisher Center Presents Richly Programmed Fall Season of Music, Dance, and Theater

Mark Primoff
 Image Credit: Photo by Crackerfarm

Highlights Include Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, American Ballet Theatre, Conservatory Sunday Series, American Symphony Orchestra Concerts,  Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble, and John Cage: On & Off the Air! 

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—This fall the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College presents a series of events featuring world-class dance, music, and theater programs, from September through December. Additional program information can be found at Tickets will go on sale on August 13, and can be ordered online at or by calling the box office at 845-758-7900.

The fall season begins on September 5 with singer/songwriter Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra, performing Theatre is Evil. On September 15, the Grammy award–winning Carolina Chocolate Drops bring their special repetoire of blues, jazz, and folk balladry to the Sosnoff Theater.  The incomparable American Ballet Theatre returns to the Fisher Center for four performances, October 5 through 7. The Fisher Center’s orchestra-in-residence, the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director, begins its 2012–13 series with a program of major orchestral works on October 12 and 13. New Albion Records presents composer/performer Meredith Monk and her acclaimed Vocal Ensemble performing The Soul’s Messenger on November 9 and 10, and as part of the celebration of John Cage’s centennial New Albion is partnering with the John Cage Trust to present John Cage: On & Off the Air! on  November 17.

* Tickets for Amanda Palmer go on sale August 23.

Theatre Is Evil

Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra

 Wednesday, September 5 at 7:30 pm

Thursday, September 6 at 7:30 pm

LUMA Theater

Tickets: $35 General Admission

Tickets for this program go on-sale August 23 

Singer, songwriter, piano-slayer and super-blogger Amanda Palmer is the inaugural visiting artist in Live Arts Bard, Bard College’s new commissioning and residency program for the performing arts. Amanda will be resident at Bard for three weeks in late August and early September 2013.  During her residency she will shoot a music video, and rehearse and launch the tour of her first new studio album in four years in conjunction with her new band, The Grand Theft Orchestra, featuring Michael McQuilken, Chad Raines, and Jherek Bischoff.  

Entitled Theatre Is Evil, the album showcases Amanda’s powerful vocals and talented songwriting in ways that may surprise even her most ardent fans. Written over the course of several years (since the release of her last studio album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer), the album offers a collection of sounds and rhythms heavily influenced by the music Palmer grew up listening to – most notably ’80s synth rock and Brit Pop. From the anthemic “Do It With A Rockstar” and “Want it Back” to the mighty, horn-induced bop of “Massachusetts Avenue,Theatre Is Evil is tauntingly playful. At the same time, a more somber, vulnerable Amanda Palmer pulls at our heart strings with ballads like “Trout Heart Replica,”Grown Man Cry,” and the pièce de résistance: “The Bed Song,” a somber, melancholy track that documents the slow deterioration of a long-term marriage. 

Bard student bands will open each of Amanda’s concerts, and she will work with students during her band rehearsals and video shoot.  Amanda will return to Bard in spring 2013 to give an acoustic concert with her husband Neil Gaiman, and again in fall 2013 to develop a new musical with students in Bard’s Theater and Performance Program.

Carolina Chocolate Drops

Saturday, September 15 at 8 p.m.

Sosnoff Theater

The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets: $15, 20, 30, 40; $10 Students

With their 2010 Nonesuch debut, Genuine Negro Jig—which garnered a Best Traditional Folk Album Grammy last year—the Carolina Chocolate Drops proved that the old-time, fiddle and banjo-based music they’d so scrupulously researched and passionately performed could be a living, breathing, ever-evolving sound. Starting with material culled from the Piedmont region of the Carolinas, they sought to freshly interpret this work, not merely re-create it, highlighting the central role African Americans played in shaping our nation’s popular music from its beginnings more than a century ago. The virtuosic trio’s approach was provocative and revelatory. Their concerts, the New York Times declared, were “an end-to-end display of excellence… They dip into styles of Southern black music from the 1920s and ’30s—string-band music, jug-band music, fife and drum, early jazz—and beam their curiosity outward. They make short work of their instructive mission and spend their energy on things that require it: flatfoot dancing, jug playing, shouting.”


American Ballet Theatre

Friday, October 5 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, October 6 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sunday, October 7 at 2 p.m.

Sosnoff Theater

Tickets: $20, 30, 40, 50 

“Once in a not too frequent while, there comes along an evening that reminds you why you’re in the theater in the first place, and why dance is not a luxury or a frill but a necessity of life. Such an evening was American Ballet Theatre.”
The Washington Post

Recognized as one of the premier dance companies in the world, American Ballet Theatre brings the highest quality dance and dancers to audiences across the globe. Celebrating its role as America’s National Ballet Company®, ABT tours nationally and internationally, performing for more than 400,000 people annually.

Since its founding in 1940, ABT developed a repertoire, under the direction of Lucia Chase and Oliver Smith, that honored the past while encouraging the development of the art form through the creation of new works. Classics from the 19th century like Swan Lake, Giselle, and The Sleeping Beauty live side by side with seminal works of the early 20th century such as Apollo, Les Sylphides, Jardin aux Lilas, and Rodeo, as well as such contemporary masterpieces as Push Comes to Shove and Airs. In acquiring such an extraordinary repertoire, ABT has commissioned works by the great choreographic geniuses of the 20th century: George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille, and Twyla Tharp, among others.

Today, under the artistic direction of former ABT Principal Dancer Kevin McKenzie, the Company remains steadfast in its vision as “American” and continues to bring the art of dance theater to the great stages of the world.


The Leaves are Fading by Anthony Tudor

The Moor’s Pavane by Jose Limon

In the Upper Room by Twyla Tharp


American Symphony Orchestra 2012–13 Series

Concert 1

Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13

Sosnoff Theater

Concerts are at 8 p.m.; preconcert talks at 7 p.m.

Tickets: $40, 35, 25 

Founded in 1962 by legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski, the American Symphony Orchestra continues its mission to demystify orchestral music and make it accessible and affordable to everyone. Under music director Leon Botstein, the ASO has pioneered what the Wall Street Journal called “a new concept in orchestras,” presenting concerts in the Vanguard Series at Carnegie Hall curated around various themes from the visual arts, literature, politics, and history, and unearthing rarely performed masterworks for well-deserved revival. The ASO is the resident orchestra of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where it appears in a winter subscription series as well as Bard’s annual SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival.

The first concert of the 2012–13 series, on Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13, features Carl Maria von Weber’s Bassoon Concerto in F, Op. 75 and Andante and Rondo Ungarese, J.158, Op.35, David Nagy, bassoon; Menachem Zur’s Tuba Concerto, Peter Blaga, tuba; and Richard Strauss’s Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64. 

Concert 2 of the 2012–13 series, on Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23, features Harold Farberman’s Clarinet Concerto, and Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8. Concert Three, on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20, features an all–Wagner program: Lohengrin: Preludes to Acts I and III, Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod, and Die Walküre: Act I. Season subscriptions are available. For more information, contact the box office at 845-758-7900.

Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble

The Soul’s Messenger

Friday, November 9 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, November 10 at 8 p.m.

Sosnoff Theater

Tickets: $45, 35, 25, 15

Composer/Performer Meredith Monk has been deemed “a magician of the voice” and “one of America’s coolest composers,” stunning audiences across the globe with her genre-spanning compositions for more than 45 years. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which we have no words. Monk and her acclaimed Vocal Ensemble—some of the finest and most adventurous performers active in new music — will offer a quartet concert showcasing Monk’s range as a composer and her engagement with performance as a vehicle for spiritual transformation.


John Cage: On & Off the Air!

Saturday, November 17 at 8 p.m.

Sosnoff Theater

Tickets: $45, 35, 25, 15

John Cage’s interest in radio as both a medium of transmission and a musical instrument was lifelong, beginning in childhood with original broadcasts created on behalf of his Boy Scouts of America troop and culminating, the year before his death, with his Europera 5 (1991), one of three mixed-media works created for the operatic stage. John Cage: On & Off the Air! celebrates this engagement with an ever-changing program of works wrapped around a newly–staged revival of Cage’s peripatetic The City Wears a Slouch Hat (CBS Radio, 1942), based on a play by Kenneth Patchen, featuring a newly-commissioned film of light and shadows by the New York composer Mikel Rouse and performed by the celebrated Canadian-based percussion ensemble, NEXUS! Uniquely, the four elements comprising this revival – music, sound effects, actors, and film – can be brought together variously, merging both live and prerecorded aspects to accommodate the widest variety of venues.

John Cage: On & Off the Air! celebrates Cage’s centennial year under the auspices of the John Cage Trust. In its theme, it means to spotlight Cage’s ever-prescient work with technology. In its design, it means to extend Cage’s devotion to multiplicity, creativity, and responsive living.


Conservatory Sundays Series

Performance at 3 p.m.

Sosnoff Theater

Suggested donation: $20 orchestra seating; $15 parterre/first balcony. Free to the Bard community with ID. 

Join us on Sunday afternoons for a series of delightful concerts performed by the talented students of The Bard College Conservatory of Music, with faculty and special guests. All ticket sales benefit the Conservatory’s Scholarship Fund.

Faculty/Student Chamber Music

Sunday, October 14

Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein

Sunday, October 21

With music director Leon Botstein and Blair McMillen, piano. Works include Beethoven, Grosse Fuge, Op. 133 (arranged for string orchestra); Stravinsky, Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments; Strauss, Der Rosenkavalier Suite; Brahms, Symphony No. 4.

Music Alive!

Sunday, October 28

Artistic directors Joan Tower and Blair McMillen present an afternoon of electrifying new music, featuring Bard Conservatory musicians. The concert includes a mix of styles and features several recent works by Bard music faculty and students.

Conservatory Orchestra with guest conductor Marcelo Lehninger (MFA ’07)

Sunday, December 9

Program includes Haydn, Symphony No. 88; Dvořák, Symphony No. 8; and the world premiere of Christopher Swist’s Abaprima. 

For more information go to, or call the box office
at 845-758-7900.

To download high-resolution press photos click here or go to

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August 3, 2012

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This event was last updated on 07-23-2013