Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-The Woodstock Chamber Orchestra (WCO) concert series at Bard College, presented by The Bard Center, continues on Wednesday, November 7, at 8:00 p.m., in Olin Hall. Admission to the concerts is $12 for adults, $6 for non-Bard students, and free for children 12 and under and Bard students, staff, and faculty.

The program features two works by Spanish composer Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga: the overture to Los Esclavos Felices and Symphony No. 1 in D. Arriaga, a native of Bilbao, was an extremely talented composer and violinist considered to be "the Spanish Mozart." He was 15 when he composed his only opera, Los Esclavos Felices. "He died just a few days short of his 20th birthday and, as he is not often performed, we wish to take this opportunity to celebrate his youth and great talent," said Luis Garcia-Renart, artistic director of the WCO and professor of music at Bard College. Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, Op. 56 ("Scottish") will also be performed. (This concert will be repeated on Saturday, November 3, at Holy Cross Church in Kingston, and on Sunday, November 4, at Bearsville Theater in Woodstock.).

The concert series continues in the spring on Wednesday, March 13, featuring the world premiere of a work by Gerald Cohen, a composer and cantor from Westchester County. Ashley Bathgate, a 16-year-old from Saratoga Springs, will be the featured artist in the performance of Schumann's Concerto in A Minor for Cello. The program will conclude with Mozart's "Vespers Solennes de Confessore" (K. 339) with Ars Choralis. (This concert will also be performed on Saturday, March 9, at Holy Cross Church in Kingston, and on Sunday, March 10, at the Reformed Church of Saugerties.)

The final concert of the 2001-02 WCO series at Bard will take place on Wednesday, May 8. This program will feature the world premiere of a work by acclaimed composer and Woodstock resident Peter Schickele. (His son, Matthew Schickele, a Bard graduate, also had an orchestral piece premiered by the WCO.) Also to be performed are Saint-Saëns's "Havanaise," Op. 83, and his "Introduction and Rondo Capricioso," with featured violinist Betty Jean Hagen (WCO concertmaster); and Beethoven's Symphony No. 2 in D, Op. 36. (This concert will also be performed on Saturday, May 4, at Holy Cross Church in Kingston, and on Sunday, May 5, at Bearsville Theater in Woodstock.)

WCO artistic director Luis Garcia-Renart's "supreme gift as conductor is his ability to inspire and elicit depth of expression from all his musicians, whatever level of technical ability," writes music critic Kitty Montgomery in the Daily Freeman. This is his 11th year as artistic director of the WCO. Garcia-Renart is a professor of music at Bard College and also serves on the faculties of Vassar College, the Piatigorsky seminars at the University of Southern California, and Yale University's summer programs in chamber music. He was born in Barcelona, Spain, and studied at the Music School of the National University and the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico. From 1951 until 1956, his cello studies were supervised by Pablo Casals. He also studied directly with Casals in France and in Puerto Rico until 1960, when he won a scholarship to study at the Conservatory of Moscow with Rostropovich and Khachaturian. Garcia-Renart attended the conservatories of Bern and Basel, Switzerland, and Trossingen, Germany, where he was a pupil of Sándor Veress and Sándor Vegh. Prizes awarded Garcia-Renart include the Casals International Contests in Paris in 1956, Xalpa in 1959, and Israel in 1961. He also received the Harriet Cohen Cello Prize in London in 1959. In addition to conducting, Garcia-Renart performs frequently as a soloist in recitals and chamber concerts nationally and abroad.

These concerts are made possible in part with funds 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. For further information or to order tickets, call the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra at 845-246-7045.

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This event was last updated on 10-18-2001