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INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN FORTEPIANIST MALCOLM BILSON IS FEATURED PERFORMER IN THE THIRD OF THE ASTON MAGNA SUMMER CONCERT SERIES AT BARD COLLEGE Works by Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven are highlighted in July 20th concert that also features artistic direc

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-Malcolm Bilson, who is recognized internationally as a premier fortepianist, will perform at Bard College in the third of the five-concert Aston Magna series on Friday, July 20. The program, presented by The Bard Center, also features performances by artistic director and violinist Daniel Stepner and cellist Loretta O'Sullivan. The concert will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, with a preconcert talk at 7:00 p.m.

Bilson, an alumnus of Bard (1957) and also the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the College, is considered an interpreter of great sensitivity, who "brings . . . care and understated intelligence to the music," according to Josh Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle. "His readings were fleet and focused, and he lets each piece make its point clearly . . . demonstrating most clearly the fortepiano's capacity for drama."

The program, titled "Mozart and Schubert," will include Mozart's Trio in E Major, K. 542; Beethoven's Sonata in E Major, Op. 109, for fortepiano; and Schubert's Trio in E-flat Major, Op. 100.

The Aston Magna series has been a highlight of the month of July at Bard College since 1983. Allan Kozinn wrote in the New York Times that the series "has been bringing together some of the best American early music players . . . [to perform] in the highly polished, texturally transparent style for which they have been known since the festival's early days."

The series continues on July 27 with "The Italian Trio Sonata," featuring performances by Aston Magna favorites Stanley Ritchie (violin) and Elisabeth Wright (harpsichord). The season concludes on August 3 with the program "Bach and Purcell."

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 to any three concerts is $40; single tickets cost $15. For information on the concert series and to order tickets, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.

About the Artists:

Fortepianist Malcolm Bilson has achieved international recognition as an interpreter of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and other masters of the classical period. He performs widely both in the United States and Europe, including at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, as well as in San Francisco, Boston, Vancouver, Seattle, London, Lyons, Utrecht, and Aix-en-Provence. His recording for Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv of the complete Mozart piano concertos with John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists was the first series to use early instruments in this repertoire. For Nonesuch Records, Bilson has recorded Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven sonatas, as well as Mozart's Violin Sonatas with Sergiu Luca, and Mozart's works for piano four hands with Robert Levin. Bilson is currently engaged in recording all of the Schubert piano sonatas for Hungaroton. His workshops and lecture-demonstrations have stimulated much of the current interest in the fortepiano among professional musicians and the public. He is the Frederick J. Whiton Professor of Music at Cornell University and an adjunct professor at the Eastman School of Music. In 1991 Bilson was awarded an honorary doctorate by Bard College.

Loretta O'Sullivan, a member of the Four Nations Ensemble, has taken part in concerts of varying repertoires, from the sonatas of Stradella to Debussy. She has performed with the Ensemble in the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and at the Kennedy Center and summer festivals across the country. She is active in arts education programs with Four Nations and records for Gaudeamus. O'Sullivan is also cellist with the Haydn Baryton Trio and has performed at Wigmore Hall in London and the Esterhazy Palace in Austria and recorded for Dorian. She has played with Aston Magna since 1985, as well as with the Orchestra of St. Luke's in New York.

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.

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This event was last updated on 07-10-2001