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BARD COLLEGE COMMUNITY ORCHESTRA, CONDUCTED BY JOAN TOWER, TO PERFORM ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 2 Works by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Holst, and de Falla will be performed
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY-The Bard College Community Orchestra, under the direction of Joan Tower, Asher B. Edelman Professor of Music, will present a concert on Wednesday, May 2. The program, free and open to the public, begins at 8:00 p.m. and is followed by a reception in Olin Hall.
Works include Bach's Concerto in C Minor for Oboe and Violin with oboist Ting Ting Cheng and violinist Rachel Handman, Mozart's Serenade in B-flat for Winds and "Non Piu Andrai" from the opera Figaro featuring bass-baritone Adrian Owen, Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 in C Minor (first movement), Holst's St. Paul Suite for strings, and de Falla's Ritual Dance of Fire.
The 44-person orchestra, of which 90 percent are Bard undergraduates, made its debut two years ago. "We were able to form a student orchestra because the Music Program has grown over the past few years, and more students are available to play a variety of instruments," Tower explains. Members of the freshman class have filled gaps that were previously filled by community musicians. Only eight of the current members are not Bard students: three high school students, two college students from the State University of New York at New Paltz, and Bard assistant professor of German Susan Bernofsky. Orchestra coaches are concertmaster Rachel Handman, a violinist with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and Bard alumna and bassoonist Cornelia MacGiver '99.
Joan Tower is one of the most highly regarded composers in the United States today. In 1998, the year of her 60th birthday, more than 20 concerts were presented in her honor throughout the country. Tower received the Delaware Symphony's Alfred I. duPont Award for Distinguished American Composers and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 1990 was the recipient of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. Tower, whose orchestral works have been commissioned and performed around the world, is currently composer-in-residence with the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York City. Recent commissions include works for percussionist Evelyn Glennie and the National Symphony Orchestra, pianist John Browning, the Emerson and Tokyo Quartets, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and a viola concerto for Paul Neubauer. Tower recently conducted the Anchorage Symphony and the University of Southern California orchestras. She was active as pianist with the 1973 Naumburg Award-winning ensemble, the Da Capo Chamber Players, which she founded. She was composer-in-residence with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and is currently coartistic director of the Yale/Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and composer-in-residence at the Institute at Deer Valley in Utah. Her most recent recording is Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman (Koch International Classics), with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Marin Alsop, conductor.
Other Music Program events during the month of May include a performance on Saturday, May 5, by the Hudson Valley Gamelan, with guest artists Nyoman Catra and Ibu Desak. On Tuesday, May 8, the Bard College vocal ensemble will perform works by Bach and Carissimi, and on Thursday, May 10, the Bard College Community Chorus will perform Fauré's Requiem. On Wednesday, May 16, the Gala Music Concert will feature performances by the Bard jazz ensemble, vocal ensemble, string orchestra, and a jazz/fusion band. For further information, call the Music Program at 845-758-7250.
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