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FINAL CONCERT OF THE 2001 ASTON MAGNA SERIES AT BARD COLLEGE HIGHLIGHTS BACH'S BRANDENBURG CONCERTO NO. 2 AND EXCERPTS FROM PURCELL'S INDIAN QUEEN August 3 concert features sopranos Nancy Armstrong and Roberta Anderson, tenor William Hite, baritone David

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-The final concert of the 2001 Aston Magna series at Bard College will feature performances of J. S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and the cantata Ich habe genug as well as excerpts from Henry Purcell's Indian Queen on Friday, August 3. Presented by The Bard Center, the concert will feature an instrumental ensemble led by artistic director and violinist Daniel Stepner and four vocal soloists-sopranos Nancy Armstrong and Roberta Anderson, tenor William Hite, and baritone David Ripley. The program will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, with a preconcert talk at 7:00 p.m.

The instrumental ensemble includes Stephen Hammer and Virgina Brewer, baroque oboes and recorders; Josh Cohen, natural trumpet; Peter Sykes, harpsichord and organ; Daniel Stepner, Nancy Wilson, Kinloch Earle, Jane Starkman, and Julie Leven, baroque violins; David Miller, baroque viola; Laura Jeppesen, baroque viola and viola da gamba; Loretta O'Sullivan, baroque cello; and Anne Trout, baroque bass.

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."

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. Single tickets cost $15. For further information on the concert and to order tickets, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.

Artist Biographies:

Soprano Nancy Armstrong's luminous performances extend across the musical spectrum from early Renaissance to American musical theater. The Boston Globe described her voice as "a plaintive, humane instrument" and calls her "an intelligent artist who cherishes words." Her first solo recording, featuring her interpretations of Handel's powerful cantata Lucrezia and selected favorite songs of Purcell, will soon be released. She is also featured on recordings of Handel's L'Allegro ed il Penseroso ed il Moderato, Mozart's Mass in C Minor, Virgil Thomson's songs, Perera's The Outermost House, and Trimble's Four Fragments from the Canterbury Tales. Armstrong is a lecturer in singing studies for the Brandeis University Theatre Arts Graduate Program.

Soprano Sharon Baker is revered by audiences for her stylistic musicianship and purity of tone, notably in the interpretation of baroque and contemporary music. Her current season highlights include Pergolesi's Stabat Mater in collaboration with Peter Martins and the New York City Ballet and vocal chamber music of Handel and Bach with the Boston Museum Trio. Baker is a regular soloist with Boston's Handel & Haydn Society and has appeared at the Tanglewood and Aspen music festivals. She has recorded music of Haydn, Handel, and Mozart, and is featured on a recording of Moravian music with Boston Baroque.

Tenor William Hite has garnered critical acclaim through appearances with the American Symphony Orchestra, Bach Consort, New York City Ballet, National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa), Handel & Haydn Society, Boston Baroque, Tafelmusik, and Philharmonia Baroque. His discography includes recordings of Handel's The Triumph of Time and Truth with Aston Magna and Mozart's Requiem under the direction of Andrew Parrott. He is featured on numerous award-winning recordings with the Boston Camerata and the medieval music ensemble Sequentia. His festival appearances include Tanglewood, Santa Fe, Banff, and Vancouver, and in Europe at Acadamie Musicales (Saintes), Aix-en-Provence, and the Holland Festival Oude Muzieke. He teaches voice at Boston University.

Tenor Frank Kelley has performed many roles with the San Francisco Opera Company and the Boston Lyric Opera. He has appeared at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, the Frankfurt Opera, and in Peter Sellars's productions of Die Sieben Todsünden, Das Kleine Mahagonny, Cosí fan tutti, and Le Nozze di Figaro. Kelley has sung with the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, and Cleveland orchestras; the National and Dallas symphonies; the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. He has recorded for London, Decca, Erato, Harmonia Mundi France, Teldec, Telarc, Koch International, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, and Arabesque.

Bass-baritone David Ripley performs widely in oratorio, recital, chamber opera, and early and contemporary music programs. As soloist with the Boston Camerata and the Waverly Consort of New York, he has toured extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and South America, appearing regularly at Lincoln Center. He has performed with Boston Baroque, Boston Cecilia, Cantata Singers, Friends of Dr. Burney, and the New England Bach Festival. Ripley has participated in recordings for Erato, Harmonia Mundi, Centaur, A.F.K.A., and Smithsonian records, and a second recording of his own songs for voice and guitar, Mustard Seed, Songs of Faith, was recently released. He teaches voice at the University of New Hampshire and Harvard University.

Daniel Stepner, artistic director, is a distinguished violinist of great versatility. He 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. He currently teaches at Brandeis and Harvard Universities.

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This event was last updated on 07-16-2001