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FINAL CONCERT OF THE WOODSTOCK CHAMBER ORCHESTRA'S 2002-02 SEASON AT BARD COLLEGE WILL BE ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 8 Program features world premiere of Peter Schickele's Folk Song Set, as well as works by Saint-Saëns and Beethoven

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-The final concert of the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra's (WCO) 2001-02 concert series at Bard College will be on Wednesday, May 8. The program, presented by The Bard Center, begins at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. Admission to the concert is $12 for adults, $6 for non-Bard students, and free for children 12 and under and Bard students, staff, and faculty.

The WCO, under the direction of Luis Garcia-Renart, will perform the world premiere of Folk Song Set by acclaimed composer and Woodstock resident Peter Schickele. John Rockwell, writing for the New York Times, says that Schickele has "a leading role in the ever-more-prominent school of American composers who unselfconsciously blend all levels of American music." His son, Matthew Schickele, a Bard graduate, also had an orchestral piece premiered by the WCO. Also on the program 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 at 8:00 p.m., and on Sunday, May 5, at Bearsville Theater in Bearsville at 3:00 p.m.)

The WCO, formed in 1980 by local musicians from the Woodstock area, is now composed of 38 professional musicians from the Hudson Valley area. The WCO regularly commissions and performs new music written by local and regional composers. Each season it gives about 14 performances at locations in Bearsville, Kingston, Saugerties, and at Bard College.

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.

About the Artists:

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 has been an active soloist in Europe, the Soviet Union, Israel, and North and South America.

Violinist Betty Jean Hagen is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso who has toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. She is the recipient of both the Leventritt and Naumberg Awards in New York, the Carl Flesch Medal in London, the Pathe-Marconi Prize in Paris, a Tchaikovsky Medal in Moscow, and the Harriet Cohen Medal as the outstanding woman musician of the British Commonwealth. Hagen has appeared with many of the world's great orchestras: New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, Hague Philharmonic, Birmingham Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and under such conductors as George Szell, Dimitri Mitropoulos, William Steinberg, Sir John Barbirolli, and Herbert von Karajan. Hagen graduated from the Royal Conservatory in Toronto and The Juilliard School of Music where she studied with Ivan Galamian. A resident of Dutchess County, she is the founder and leader of the Tourmaline String Quartet, concertmaster of the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Highland Symphony Orchestra, and the WCO. Hagen is on the music faculty of Vassar College.

Composer, musician, author, satirist?Peter Schickele is internationally recognized as one of the most versatile artists in the field of music. His compositions, now well in excess of 100 for symphony orchestras, choral groups, chamber ensembles, voice, movies, and television, include commissions for the Saint Louis Symphony, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Audubon String Quartet, and Minnesota Orchestral Association, as well as compositions for distinguished instrumentalists and singers. Schickele created the musical score for the film version of Maurice Sendak's children's classic Where the Wild Things Are, issued recently on videocassette along with another Sendak classic, In the Night Kitchen (Weston Woods), which Schickele narrates. He has also recorded for RCA Red Seal and CRI. He studied composition with Roy Harris and Darius Milhaud and at the Juilliard School of Music with Vincent Persichetti and William Bergsma. Under a Ford Foundation grant, he composed music for high schools in Los Angeles before returning to teach at Juilliard in 1961. The concerts of his alter ego, P.D.Q. Bach, which had been annual affairs at Juilliard and Aspen since 1959, burst upon the general public in April 1965 at New York's Town Hall. In the course of his career Schickele has also created music for four feature films, among them the prize-winning Silent Running, as well as documentaries, television commercials, and several Sesame Street segments. He also created music and lyrics for Oh, Calcutta and has arranged for Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joan Baez, and other folksingers.

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This event was last updated on 04-25-2002