Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-The second of the five-concert Aston Magna series on Friday, July 13, at Bard College, highlights the music of Venice, J. S. Bach, and J. C. Bach, featuring countertenor Jeffrey Gall. The program, presented by The Bard Center, will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall; it will be preceded by a preconcert talk at 7:00 p.m.

Selections from the program, titled "Music of Venice and Two Bachs," will include Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni's Sonata in C Minor, Op. 2, No. 4; Benedetto Marcello's Psalm 16 "Conserva me, Domine"; Antonio Vivaldi's cantata Cessate omai cessate; Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major and cantata Widerstehe doch der Sünde; and Johann Christian Bach's lamento Ach dass ich Wassers genug hätte. Countertenor Jeffrey Gall will be joined by violinists Daniel Stepner and Nancy Wilson, violist David Miller, viola and viola da gambist Laura Jeppeson, cellist Loretta O'Sullivan, bassist Anne Trout, and organist Peter Sykes.

Currently under the artistic direction of Daniel Stepner, 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 this 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 21 with trios by Mozart and Schubert. Aston Magna favorite artists Stanley Ritchie (violin) and Elisabeth Wright (harpsichord) return for the July 27 concert, "The Italian Trio Sonata." 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 for 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:

Jeffrey Gall, America's most prominent countertenor, has been heard in many of the major concert halls and opera companies in this country and abroad. He was the first countertenor to appear at New York's Metropolitan Opera House, where, in 1988, he made his debut singing Ptolemy in Handel's Julius Caesar and later the role of Apollo in Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice, which was broadcast internationally. He has appeared at La Scala; the Spoleto, Edinburgh, and Bordeaux Festivals; San Carlo in Naples; with the Opera Company of Boston, and the San Francisco, Santa Fe, and Chicago Lyric Operas; and at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Kennedy Center. Gall has recorded for Columbia, Nonesuch, and Titanic Records, and appears on the Smithsonian Institution's recording of Messiah and Harmonia Mundi's Xerxes by Cavalli, as well as Centaur Records' issue of Handel's London Cantatas.

Laura Jeppesen performs in Boston as viola da gambist with the Boston Museum Trio and Charivary, and as violist with the Handel & Haydn Society and Boston Baroque. She plays in music festivals and concert series in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Japan with a number of early music ensembles, including the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Sequentia, Aston Magna, and the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra. She has appeared as soloist under conductors Christopher Hogwood, Martin Pearlman, Edo de Waart, and Seiji Ozawa. Her extensive discography includes music for solo viola da gamba; the gamba sonatas of J. S. Bach; Buxtehude's Trio Sonatas, Opus 1 and 2; Telemann's Paris Quartets; and Marais' La Gamme et autres morceaux de symphonie. Jeppesen is a recipient of awards from the Woodrow Wilson and Fulbright foundations and is a former fellow of the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College, and is currently on the faculty of Wellesley College.

David Miller is a founding member of the Classical Quartet, the Hayden Baryton Trio, the Bach Ensemble, and Concert Roay, and has been the violist of Aston Magna since 1974. He has appeared frequently as a guest artist with the Mozartean Players and Helicon. He serves as principal violist for numerous baroque and classical orchestras including the Boston Early Music Festival, Handel & Haydn Society, New York Collegium, and American Classical Orchestr. He has been heard at summer festivals including Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center, Tanglewood Festival, Festival of Perth (Australia), Lufthansa Festival (London), and the Esterhazy Palace (Eisenstadt, Austria). His many recordings of solo and chamber works can be heard on Decca, Dorian, Harmonia Mundi, EMI, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Smithsonian Institute Collection of Recordings. Miller teaches viola at Princeton University, and has also taught at the Akademie für Alte Musik in Brixen, Italy.

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, at Kennedy Center, and summer festivals across the country. She is also active in arts education programs with Four Nations and records for Gaudeamus. O'Sullivan is also cellist with the Haydn Baryton Trio, has performed at Wigmore Hall in London and the Esterhazy Palace in Austria, and has 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.

Peter Sykes performs widely on the harpsichord, organ, clavichord, and fortepiano, and has appeared at the Library of Congress, Boston Early Music Festival, and New England Bach Festival, and throughout the United States. His recording of his organ transcription of The Planets of Gustav Holst was named "Best Organ Recording of 1996" by Absolute Sound and a "Super CD" by Audio Review. He is an instructor in keyboard instruments and chamber music at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge and a member of the faculty of the preparatory and continuing studies division of the New England Conservatory.

Anne Trout has served as principal bassist for the Handel & Haydn Society and Boston Baroque. She has performed with other prominent original instrument ensembles, including Tafelmusik, the Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Classical Symphony, Olde Fairfield Academy, Philomel, Washington Bach Consort, and Arcadia Chamber Players. Active as a modern bassist as well, she is a member of the Amazon Bass Quartet and serves on the faculty of the Lony School of Music in Cambridge.

Violinist Nancy Wilson is a founding member of the Classical Quartet, Bach Ensemble, and Concert Royal. She has appeared as concertmaster and soloist with America's leading period instrument groups, including Aston Magna, the Boston Early Music Festival, Philomel, and ARTEK. Wilson has presented master classes and lectures on 17th- and 18th-century performance practices throughout the country and teaches at the Mannes College of Music and Princeton University. She has served as artist faculty at the 1985, 1987, and 1997 Aston Magna Academies. Wilson has recorded for Nonesuch, Phillips, Decca, Pro Arte, Titanic, and Smithsonian.

back to top

This event was last updated on 07-09-2001