News & Events

Press Release

THE RICHARD B. FISHER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS AT BARD COLLEGE OPENS WITH A TWO-WEEKEND CELEBRATION APRIL 25-27 AND MAY 1-3, 2003

Mark Primoff
845-758-7412
primoff@bard.edu
03-19-2003

Orchestral, Chamber, and Jazz Music, Drama and Dance to Showcase New Theaters

Opening events include the American Symphony Orchestra performing Mahler's Third Symphony; Contemporary Music featuring the Emerson String Quartet, the Da Capo Chamber Players, and the Thurman Barker Quintet; Selections from 13 Years of the Bard Music Festival; and the Charles Mingus Orchestra with special guest Elvis Costello

World Premieres by composers Joan Tower, Harold Farberman, and Richard Teitelbaum, and by Choreographer Peter Pucci for Ballet Hispanico

New York Premiere of JoAnne Akalaitis's Phèdre by Jean Racine; East Coast Premiere of dance by Merce Cunningham with music by John Cage performed by the Kronos Quartet

Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. – The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College will open with two weekends of celebratory performances, April 25–27 and May 1–3, 2003. The opening weekends feature performances in orchestral, chamber, and jazz music, theater, and dance that will showcase the range and flexibility of the new center, designed by Frank Gehry with acoustics by Yasuhisa Toyota.

The design for Bard’s Fisher Center has resulted in a truly multifunctional performing arts center. The center features two theaters, the 900-seat Sosnoff Theater, and the 200-seat LUMA Theater, united by a series of interconnected and overlapping canopies of brushed stainless steel that reflect the light and colors of the sky and the slopes of the surrounding landscape. The center also holds a full complement of rehearsal spaces, studios, and classrooms that optimize the center for both professional productions and Bard’s drama and dance departments.

Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, says, "The new center will provide a forum for a wide range of artistic expression, to be experienced not only by Bard students, but all audiences. We are especially proud of the 900-seat Sosnoff Theater, a distinctive setting where works large and small will be brought to the stage in a highly personal and intimate manner. This house, with its seating size, configuration, and capability for both audio and video broadcast and documentation, is designed to be a place where new work can be made, presented, documented and communicated throughout the world."

Two Venues Provide Performance Options

The 107,612-square-foot Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College consists of the two performance theaters, rehearsal studios for dance and theater, classrooms, and full support facilities. The Sosnoff Theater, an intimate 900-seat theater with orchestra seating and two balcony sections, features a unique movable concert shell that allows conversion of the theater into an optimal space for performances of chamber and symphonic music, and a forestage lift with an orchestra pit for opera. Expanding the stage enables the hall to serve equally well for the presentation of drama and dance.

LUMA Theater will be used during the academic year primarily by Bard’s Dance and Theater Programs (directed by Jean Churchill and JoAnne Akalaitis, respectively), and for more experimental public productions during Bard SummerScape, Bard’s summer performing arts festival. It has a smaller orchestra pit, traps, a modified fly tower, and a flexible seating capacity that can accommodate up to 200.

Annual Summer Performing Arts Festival

In the summer of 2003, Bard’s Fisher Center will become home to the newly created Bard SummerScape festival. Expanding on the 13-year history of the acclaimed Bard Music Festival, Bard SummerScape will present opera, theater, drama, dance, and music, as well as the Bard Music Festival. Bard SummerScape will continue the music festival’s thematic tradition and provide new ways of examining particular artists, movements, or themes in the performing arts. The 2003 festival will focus on the works and the world of Czech composer Leos Janáček, and will include the American stage premiere of Janácek’s opera Osud (Fate), directed by JoAnne Akalaitis with sets by Frank Gehry. Highlights of the inaugural Bard SummerScape also include the world premiere of Don Juan in Prague, a reimagining of Mozart’s Don Giovanni featuring the Czech violinist/singer Iva Bittova; a Czech film festival; and the American debut of the renowned Russian director Kama Ginkas with the premieres of two productions by the Moscow New Generation Theatre. The Bard Music Festival will feature two weekends of orchestra, chamber, and choral music, as well as panels, preconcert talks, and other special events designed to bring to life the musical world of this year’s featured composer.

Opening Celebration Overview

Jonathan Levi, the Fisher Center’s director, has scheduled two weekends of events that will showcase the center’s broad range of capabilities. The American Symphony Orchestra, led by music director Leon Botstein, will open the gala festivities with a performance of Mahler’s Third Symphony on Friday, April 25. The concert will feature Nancy Maultsby, soprano; the Concert Chorale of New York; and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.

Theater

JoAnne Akalaitis’s production of Jean Racine’s Phèdre will have its New York premiere on April 26 and will play five performances over the two weekends. Phèdre is adapted by Akalaitis and Paul Schmidt, with sets by Gordana Svilar, costumes by Kay Voyce, lighting by Joel Moritz, and sound by Andre Pluess. Racine’s Phèdre, based on Euripides’ 2,500-year-old classic Hippolytus, tells the story of a Cretan princess whose passionate love for her stepson leads her to betray her husband, Theseus. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as "often spellbinding … highly charged and exactingly brave," this production of a classic tale of a queen driven mad by a forbidden love originated at the Court Theater in Chicago.

Contemporary Music

On Saturday, April 26, an evening of contemporary music by Bard composers will feature world premieres by Joan Tower, Harold Farberman, and Richard Teitelbaum, as well as works by Kyle Gann and Thurman Barker. Performers include Melvin Chen and Todd Crow, pianos; Jonathan Haas and David Fein, percussion; David Krakauer, clarinet and bass clarinet; Omar Faruk Tekbilek; ney, zurna, percussion; Zafer Tawil, percussion, oud; Richard Teitelbaum, keyboard and computers; the Da Capo Chamber Players; the Emerson String Quartet; and the Thurman Barker Quintet.

Thirteen Years of The Bard Music Festival

On Sunday, April 27, in the Sosnoff Theater, the concert will feature highlights from the Bard Music Festival’s past 13 years. The program includes The Celestial Railroad by Charles Ives; Quintet in D Minor, Op. 8, for piano and wind instruments by Albéric Magnard; Moravian Duets by Antonín Dvořák; and String Quintet No. 1 in G Major, Op. 14, by Sergey Taneyev.

Dance

The Merce Cunningham Dance Company, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary season, will perform in the Sosnoff Theater on Thursday, May 1. The company will be joined by the Kronos Quartet, whose members are celebrating 30 years together, in an evening featuring the East Coast premiere of the new MinEvent with Kronos Quartet by Cunningham, with music by John Cage and décor designed by Robert Rauschenberg. This will be followed by Interscape, performed to another work by Cage for solo cello, with both décor and costumes by Rauschenberg. Ballet Hispanico, whose innovative repertory fuses ballet, modern, and Latin dance forms into spirited images of contemporary Hispanic-American culture, will give a performance on Saturday evening, May 3, featuring the world premiere of Nuevo/Baile, by former Pilobolus member Peter Pucci.

Jazz

The Charles Mingus Orchestra, devoted to the repertoire of the great bassist and composer Charles Mingus, will perform on Saturday, May 3, in the Sosnoff Theater, joined by special guest Elvis Costello, who has written new lyrics for six Mingus compositions. A recent inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Costello has conducted the Charles Mingus Orchestra at UCLA’s Royce Hall and has recorded with the Mingus Big Band, writing new lyrics for Mingus’s Invisible Lady and other compositions.

Other Events

On Saturday, April 26, at 12:00 noon, in the Sosnoff Theater, a discussion entitled "From Image to Stage: The Creation of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College," will feature Leon Botstein, Richard B. Fisher, Frank Gehry, JoAnne Akalaitis, Joanna Haigood, Jonathan Levi, and Yasuhisa Toyota.

The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College

The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College is named for the Chairman Emeritus of Morgan Stanley, a long-time Bard trustee. It was named not only in recognition of Mr. Fisher’s overall gift to the center of $25 million and his guidance and leadership through the development and completion of this important project, but for his ongoing support of the College and its programs. "Richard B. Fisher and his family have been uncommonly generous to Bard," says College president Leon Botstein. "Most significantly, it was Dick Fisher’s second gift to the performing arts center, of $15 million, after an initial gift of $10 million, which permitted us to move the building to its current site. His commitment to the arts and to Bard are exemplary, and has had a transformative effect on the life and future of the College and its role in the arts."

The Sosnoff Theater

The Sosnoff Theater is named in honor of Martin and Toni Sosnoff, longtime friends and neighbors of the College, who have generously supported the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College and other programs at Bard, such as the Center for Curatorial Studies. Martin Sosnoff is founder, chairman, CEO, and chief investment officer of Atalanta/Sosnoff Capital Corporation. He has authored two books on the money management business, Humble on Wall Street (1975) and Silent Investor, Silent Loser (1986).  He has written columns for Forbes magazine and the New York Post. He is a trustee of Bard College and was an overseer at the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. Mr. Sosnoff earned a B.A. degree from City College of New York and an M.B.A. from New York University, and is a chartered financial analyst. Toni Sosnoff is a vice president of Atalanta/Sosnoff Capital.  She is the owner and breeder of champion standard poodles and is on the board of the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog.

Getting To Bard College

Bard College is located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, 90 miles north of New York City, and is easily accessible by public transportation, via MetroNorth or Amtrak trains. Directions to Bard College are available on the web at www.bard.edu/fishercenter.

Ticket Information

Tickets are available through the box office at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, 845-758-7900 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or online at www.bard.edu/fishercenter. Tickets range in price from $35 to $85. Discounts are available for senior citizens aged 62 and over, students, and children 18 and under. Groups of 15 or more are entitled to a $5 discount per ticket. To request a brochure, or for general ticket information, please visit www.bard.edu/fishercenter, or call the box office.

ALL PROGRAMS AND ARTISTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

[Editors: Photographs and artist biographies available on request]

Media Contacts:

Lois Cohn/Helene Davis/Cohn Davis Associates
917-339-7187/7189
lcohn@cohndavis.com/hdavis@cohndavis.com

Mark Primoff/Bard College
845-758-7412

primoff@bard.edu

Richard B

Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts
At Bard College

Opening Celebration: Chronological Listing

 

OPENING NIGHT
Friday, April 25

Sosnoff Theater at 8 p.m.
The American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, music director
Symphony No. 3, Gustav Mahler
Nancy Maultsby, mezzo-soprano
Concert Chorale of New York
Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Saturday, April 26

Sosnoff Theater at 12 noon
From Image to Stage:
The Creation of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College
A panel discussion featuring:
JoAnne Akalaitis, director, Phèdre; Leon Botstein, president, Bard College; Frank Gehry, architect;
Joanna Haigood, alumna; Yasuhisa Toyota, acoustician; Jonathan Levi, moderator

LUMA Theater at 5 p.m.
Phèdre
By Jean Racine
Adapted by Paul Schmidt & JoAnne Akalaitis
Directed by JoAnne Akalaitis
Set Design by Gordana Svilar
Costume Design by Kay Voyce
Lighting Design by Joel Moritz
Sound Design by Andre Pluess

Sosnoff Theater at 8 p.m.

Contemporary Music from Bard

Harold Farberman
Early Hudson Valley Scenes (world premiere)
Melvin Chen and Todd Crow, pianos
Jonathan Haas and David Fein, percussion

Kyle Gann
Hovenweep
The Da Capo Chamber Players

Joan Tower
Incandescent (world premiere)
The Emerson String Quartet

Thurman Barker
Time Factor
Quality Time
Obsession
The Thurman Barker Quintet

Richard Teitelbaum
Scenes from Z’vi (world premiere)
Cantor Jacob Ben Zion Mendelson, voice
David Krakauer, clarinet and bass
Omar Faruk Tekbilek, ney, zurna and percussion
Zafer Tawil, percussion and oud
Richard Teitelbaum, keyboard and computers

Sunday, April 27

Sosnoff Theater at 2 p.m.
Rediscoveries: Thirteen Years of the Bard Music Festival

Charles Ives
The Celestial Railroad
From "Ives and His World," 1995
lan Feinberg, piano

Albéric Magnard
Quintet in D Minor, Op. 8 for piano and wind instruments
From "Debussy and His World," 2001
Randy Bowman, flute
Laura Ahlbeck, oboe
Laura Flax, clarinet
Marc Goldberg, bassoon
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano

Antonín Dvorák
Moravian Duets
From "Dvorák and His World," 1993
Courtenay Budd, soprano
Malin Fritz, mezzo-soprano
Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, piano

Sergey Taneyev
String Quintet No. 1 in G Major, Op. 14
From "Tchaikovsky and His World," 1998
Eric Wyrick, violin
Laurie Smukler, violin
Nardo Poy, viola
Jonathan Spitz, cello
Robert Martin, cello

LUMA Theater at 5 p.m.
Phèdre
By Jean Racine
Adapted by Paul Schmidt & JoAnne Akalaitis
Directed by JoAnne Akalaitis

Thursday, May 1

LUMA Theater at 3 p.m.
Phèdre
By Jean Racine
Adapted by Paul Schmidt & JoAnne Akalaitis
Directed by JoAnne Akalaitis

Sosnoff Theater at 8 p.m.
The Merce Cunningham Dance Company
The Kronos Quartet

MinEvent with the Kronos Quartet (East Coast premiere)

Interscape
Choreography by Merce Cunningham
Music by John Cage
Sets and Costumes by Robert Rauschenberg

Friday, May 2

LUMA Theater at 3 p.m.
Phèdre
By Jean Racine
Adapted by Paul Schmidt & JoAnne Akalaitis
Directed by JoAnne Akalaitis
Sosnoff Theater at 8 p.m.

Ballet Hispanico

Nuevo/Baile (world premiere)
Choreography by Peter Pucci

Club Havana
Choreography by Pedro Ruiz

Ritmo Y Ruido
Choreography by Ann Reinking

Saturday, May 3

LUMA Theater at 3 p.m.
Phèdre
By Jean Racine
Adapted by Paul Schmidt & JoAnne Akalaitis
Directed by JoAnne Akalaitis

Sosnoff Theater at 8 p.m.
Charles Mingus Orchestra
with special guest Elvis Costello

Tickets are available through the box office at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, 845-758-7900 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or online at www.bard.edu/fishercenter. Tickets range in price from $35 to $85. Discounts are available for senior citizens aged 62 and over, students, and children 18 and under. Groups of 15 or more are entitled to a $5 discount per ticket. To request a brochure, or for general ticket information, please visit www.bard.edu/fishercenter, or call the box office.

ALL PROGRAMS AND ARTISTS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

[Editors: Photographs and artist biographies available on request]

# # #

Website: http://fishercenter.bard.edu

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This event was last updated on 05-24-2005