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The Bard College Conservatory of Music Presents “First Songs: Dawn Upshaw and the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program”

Features the World Premiere of George Tsontakis’s “Love’s Philosophy”

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 perform a concert of contemporary songs featuring the world premier of a work by George Tsontakis as well as new works composed by current students and recent alumni of the Conservatory and the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Kayo Iwama will accompany on piano along with members of the Conservatory Collaborative Piano Fellows. “First Songs: Dawn Upshaw and the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program” takes place at the new László Z. Bitó '60 Conservatory Building, located on Blithewood Avenue on the Bard College campus. The performance takes place on Tuesday, February 19 at 8:00 p.m. Admission is free and no reservations are necessary. For more information call 845-752-2380, send an e-mail to, or visit

The concert features the world premiere of George Tsontakis’s “Love’s Philosophy” which was written for Upshaw and Iwama. The program also includes works by Tamzin Elliott, Antonin Fajt, Casey Hale, Daniela De Matos, and Andrés Martínez de Velasco.             

Upshaw, artistic director for the Bard Conservatory’s Vocal Arts Program, will perform with sopranos Angela Carducci, Elizabeth Cohen, Kameryn Lueng, Marie Marquis, Devony Smith, Jacquelyn Stucker, and Xiaobo Su; mezzo sopranos Kimberly Feltkamp, Sara Lemesh, and Abigail Levis; tenors Vincent Festa, Hyunhak Kim, and Barrett Radziun; and baritone Logan Walsh. Kayo Iwama, associate director of the Vocal Arts Program, will accompany on piano, along with members of the Bard Conservatory Collaborative Piano Fellows: Christina Giuca, Milena Gligic, Szilvia Miko, and Chorong Park.

About The Bard College Conservatory of Music

Now in its seventh 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.

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

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February 8, 2013

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This event was last updated on 02-12-2013