Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-Aston Magna, whose concert series has been described by the New York Times as "America's preeminent summer early-music event," will present its 2001 concert series at Bard College on Friday evenings from July 6 through August 3, sponsored by The Bard Center. Under the artistic direction of Daniel Stepner, Aston Magna aims to interpret the music of the past as each composer imagined it. For almost three decades Aston Magna has been internationally recognized for its contributions to the popularization of early music performed using historically accurate instruments and techniques. A preconcert talk begins each evening at 7:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, followed by the performance at 8:00 p.m.

The series opens on July 6, with "Upon a Summer's Day . . .," a program of Elizabethan and Italian madrigals of the 17th century, with a capella part-songs by Monteverdi, Luzzaschi, Gibbons, and Byrd. Featured performers are sopranos Sharon Baker and Roberta Anderson, tenors Frank Kelley and Wiliam Hite, and baritone David Ripley.

The program on July 13 features countertenor Jeffrey Gall. "Music of Venice and the Two Bachs," includes J. S. Bach's cantata "Wiederstehe doch der Sünde" and J. C. Bach's lamento, Ach, dass ich Wassers genug hätte, as well as works by Albinoni and Vivaldi. Gall will be joined by an instrumental ensemble led by Daniel Stepner.

Trios by Mozart and Schubert, are the focus of the July 21 concert, which will also include a Beethoven solo piano sonata. Featured performers are fortepianist Malcolm Bilson, cellist Loretta O'Sullivan, and violinist Daniel Stepner.

Favorite Aston Magna artists violinist Stanley Ritchie and harpsichordist Elisabeth Wright return for the concert titled "The Italian Trio Sonata" on July 27. They will be joined by violinist Daniel Stepner and gambist Laura Jeppesen for a program of works by Frescobaldi, Marini, Rossi, Locatelli, Castello, Colista, Stradella, and Corelli.

The season concludes on August 3 with "Bach and Purcell," a program that includes J. S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and the cantata Ich habe Genug, as well as excerpts from Henry Purcell's Indian Queen. Soprano Nancy Armstrong and baritone David Ripley will be joined by additional vocal soloists and an instrumental ensemble led by Daniel Stepner.

Daniel Stepner, artistic director, is a distinguished violinist of great versatility, who has performed and recorded contemporary music with the Boston Musica Viva; the sonatas of Charles Ives with pianist John Kirkpatrick; and solo works, chamber works, and concertos from the Baroque and Classical eras on period instruments. He is first violinist of the Lydian String Quartet and has served as concertmaster of the Handel & Haydn Society, Banchetto Musicale, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, and New Haven Symphony, and as associate concertmaster of Frans Brüggen's Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century. Stepner has taught at the Eastman School of Music, the New England Conservatory, and the Longy School of Music.

Aston Magna at Bard is made possible, in part, by a grant 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. A subscription for the five concerts is $60, for any three concerts $40; single tickets cost $15. For information on the concert series and to order tickets, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.

# # #


back to top

This event was last updated on 06-29-2001