Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-A special composer-conductor concert will be presented by the Conductors Institute at Bard College on Friday, August 3, in Olin Hall. Free and open to the public, the program will begin at 10:30 a.m. The concert will feature five new works by Institute composers performed by the Institute Orchestra conducted by Institute conductors.

The Institute's Composer-Conductor Program is part of its mission to "encourage American conductors to become advocates of American composers." The program also provides an opportunity for the participating composers to learn conducting techniques that apply to their works. Each composer is paired with an Institute conductor, who prepares the work for public performance.

The works to be performed are John Beeman's Two Retablos for Soprano and Orchestra, Jason Sabol's Celebrations, Anthony Van Pelt's Sunview Evening, John Arrigo-Nelson's Temporal Quartets, and Matthew McConnell's Nocturnes ("The Calling," "Celestial Spheres," "Room of God"). The conductors who are pursuing the Institute's master's degree-Gianmaria Griglio, David Hong, Peter Szep, Laura Thomas, Carmine Aufiero, and Masashi Mori-have worked with each composer on their individual compositions.

Twenty-two years ago, Harold Farberman founded the Conductors Institute at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown, seeking to fill a void in the United States with a summer training program for conductors. "I hit on a successful formula that remains the same to this day-vigorous technical training and promotion of American music in a cooperative atmosphere," he says. This is the third year of the Institute's affiliation with Bard College and also marks the first year of its offering a master of fine arts degree in conducting. The Institute is designed so that there are new instructors and new repertoire each week, assuring the participants exposure to a variety of expert opinions. The visiting faculty include maestri Leon Botstein, Apo Hsu, and George Rothman, and composer Anthony Korf. Michelle Basile directs the Discovery Program, designed for beginning conductors.

Artistic director Harold Farberman is a noted conductor, composer, and musician. His earliest composition, Evolution, has been recorded four times, once by Leopold Stokowski. Aaron Copland invited Farberman to study composition with him at Tanglewood after hearing Evolution. He was music director of the Colorado Springs and Oakland Symphony Orchestras, and principal guest conductor of the Denver Symphony Orchestra and the Bournemouth (Great Britain) Sinfonietta. He has been a frequent guest conductor and recording artist with orchestras including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, and Stockholm Philharmonic. A prolific composer of music for orchestra, ballet, film, chamber ensemble, and opera, he was awarded the Ives Medal for his dedication to the music of Charles Ives. In November 2000, his cello concerto was premiered by the American Symphony Orchestra at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. Farberman founded the Conductors Guild and is the author of The Art of Conducting Technique.

This is the second year that the Conductors Institute at Bard has offered these free public concerts. For further information, call 845-758-7425 or visit the website

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This event was last updated on 07-31-2001