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Press Release

Aston Magna Music Festival 2014: A Season of Romance, War, and Other Human Follies

Acclaimed musicians perform on period instruments at nation’s longest-running early music festival

Eleanor Davis
Daniel Stepner

Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.—The Aston Magna Music Festival’s 2014 season celebrates 16th–19th century music —and premieres a new work—on five Friday evenings from June 20 to July 18 at 8 p.m. at Bard College’s Olin Auditorium. Aston Magna Artistic Director Daniel Stepner delivers a preconcert talk at 7 p.m. before each event.

Tickets are $35 ($30/seniors). Students with valid full-time student ID may purchase $5 student rush tickets on the day of the performance, subject to availability. Art/Smart tickets for people under 30 are $15 at the door. Subscriptions and single tickets can be purchased at, or (800) 595-4TIX(4849).

Stepner again directs this season’s musical presentations featuring some of the most prominent artists in the early music field: vocalists Teresa Wakim, soprano; Deborah Rentz-Moore, mezzo-soprano; Frank Kelley, tenor; and Jesse Blumberg and David Ripley, baritones, are joined by musicians such as oboist Stephen Hammer, clarinetist Eric Hoeprich, gambist Laura Jeppesen, theorbist/lutenist Catherine Liddell, and Peter Sykes, who performs on various keyboards instruments. Notable string instrumentalists and others appear as well.

On Friday, June 20, Aston Magna presents a tribute to father-son composers in C.P.E Bach’s 300th Birthday Celebration and J.S. Bach’s Musical Offering. Stepner will lead C.P.E. Bach’s Quartet for flute, viola and keyboard; Fantasia for harpsichord and violin, and Sonata for bass recorder, viola, and continuo. The evening peaks with J.S. Bach’s timeless composition, A Musical Offering. The ensemble: Daniel Stepner, violin; Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba; Peter Sykes, fortepiano; Christopher Krueger, baroque flute and recorder; and Anne Black, viola and violin.

On Friday, June 27, Winds of Romanticism offers Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet, Crusell’s Divertimento for oboe and strings, and Mendelssohn’s Quartet in A Minor, Op. 13. The artists are acclaimed clarinetist Eric Hoeprich, playing 19th-century clarinet; Stephen Hammer, classical oboe; Daniel Stepner and Julie Leven, violins; David Miller, viola; and Guy Fishman, cello. 

On Friday, July 4, Stepner offers a collection of seldom heard vocal and instrumental works under the title Music from a Turbulent 17th Century England: Galliards, laments and sonatas before and after the English Civil War. Music by Dowland, Lawes, Lanier, Purcell, and Blow is performed by Deborah Rentz-Moore, mezzo-soprano, and David Ripley, baritone, accompanied by Peter Sykes, organ; Catherine Liddell, theorbo and lute; Daniel Stepner and Danielle Maddon, baroque violins; and Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba.

On Friday, July 11, Vice Squad: Baroque Skirmishes with Alcohol, Tobacco, Coffee, and Love will illustrate the temptations and delights of “vices” in their various forms. Stepner leads an instrumental ensemble with Teresa Wakim, soprano; Frank Kelley, tenor; and Jesse Blumberg, baritone. Works include J. S. Bach’s Coffee Cantata, and an aria from Amore traditore; Purcell’s Songs of Love and Drink; Tobias Hume’s Tobacco; Thomas Ravenscroft’s Songs of Ale and Tobacco; and Nicolas Bernier’s Cantata, Le Caffé.   

The Aston Magna Festival at Bard concludes on Friday, July 18, with Italian Trio Sonatas and a new work “Aston Magna,” by Nico Muhly. The program includes works by Corelli, Vivaldi, Rossi, Stradella, Pernucio, and Muhly, with Daniel Stepner and Joan Plana, baroque violins; Laura Jeppesen, viola da gamba; and Michael Sponseller, harpsichord.

On five Thursdays, June 19–July 17, the same Aston Magna performances take place at Slosberg Auditorium at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. On Saturdays the Festival moves to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, on June 21, 28, July 5 and July 19 at 6 p.m. at Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock; and on July 12 at 8 p.m., at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.

The Aston Magna Music Festival concerts at Bard are made possible, in part, by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Aston Magna is also supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council; the local cultural councils of Waltham, Egremont-Alford, and Sheffield; and by Friends of Aston Magna. 

Aston Magna Music Festival

Media Contact:

Ellen G. Lahr, EGLahr PR & Media



Bard College Press Contact:

Eleanor Davis, 845-758-7512

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This event was last updated on 04-29-2014