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PIANIST TODD CROW AND VIOLIST PAUL SILVERTHORNE WILL JOIN THE AMERICAN SYMPHONY CHAMBER ORCHESTRA BARD-VASSAR SERIES FOR APRIL CONCERTS April 18 and 19 performances feature works by Mozart, Schubert, Woolrich, and a world premiere work by Richard Wils

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The April concerts of the American Symphony Chamber Orchestra (ASCO) 2002–03 Bard-Vassar series will feature works by Mozart, Schubert, Woolrich, and a world premiere by Richard Wilson. The Friday, April 18 concert will be held in Olin Hall, Bard College; the Saturday, April 19 concert will be held in Skinner Hall, Vassar College. Both concerts are under the direction of Maestro Leon Botstein. The programs are presented by The Bard Center and begin at 8:00 p.m., with preconcert talks at 7:00 p.m.

The New York Times has described pianist Todd Crow's playing as "heroic, [showing] endless flair, color, and stamina." Crow will be the featured soloist in the performance of Mozart's Concerto No. 9, "Jeunehomme." Violist Paul Silverthorne, whom the Times of London describes as a "virtuoso in sensitivity as well as technique," is the featured soloist in John Woolrich's Ulysses Awakes and the world premiere of Richard Wilson's Peregrinations for Viola and Orchestra. The orchestra also will perform Schubert's Symphony No. 8, "Unfinished."

"The viola is a somewhat put-upon instrument, being the subject of rude jokes and accusations of inadequacy," Wilson says. "I have attempted to lend it my support by writing Music for Solo Viola (1988), Sonata for Viola and Piano (1989), and now Peregrinations (2002). The new piece celebrates the fine playing of Paul Silverthorne of London, whom I have had the pleasure to know and hear play over the past 10 or so years."

Single concert tickets are $20; senior citizen and student tickets are $15. For further information about the ASCO Bard-Vassar concerts, call The Bard Center at 845-758-7425.

About the Artists:

The American Symphony Chamber Orchestra comprises many of the best American Symphony Orchestra (ASO) musicians. The ASO was formed in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski with a mission to "perform concerts of great music within the means of everyone." Today, under music director Leon Botstein (who assumed the post in 1992), that mission has broadened to include the goal of revitalizing the concertgoing experience as a vibrant force in contemporary culture. Each year, the Bard-Vassar Concerts include several performances of superlative chamber music, featuring works of contemporary composers together with classics of the chamber repertoire.

Leon Botstein is music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra, which performs its main subscription season at Avery Fisher Hall as part of Lincoln Center Presents Great Performers. He also leads the orchestra in the popular Classics Declassified, an educational concert series for adult listeners at Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, as well as in concerts at Bard and Vassar Colleges in the Hudson Valley.

Botstein is the founder and coartistic director of the Bard Music Festival. Each year this internationally acclaimed festival, now in its 14th year, explores the musical world of a single composer, reviving forgotten masterpieces and rediscovering works in historical context. The 2003 festival, focusing on Leos Janácek, will be held at the new Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, designed by Frank Gehry. Every autumn the Bard Music Festival brings highlights from its summer programs to Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Botstein also is the artistic director of the American Russian Young Artists Orchestra.

Active as a guest conductor, he has most recently appeared with such orchestras as the London Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, NDR–Hannover, Düsseldorf Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony, Bern Symphony, and Budapest Festival Orchestra. His most recent recording with the American Symphony Orchestra, a live recording for Telarc of Strauss’s opera Die ägyptische Helena with Deborah Voigt, will be available in June 2003; Glière’s Symphony No. 3, Il’ya Muramets, with the London Symphony Orchestra, has just been released. Botstein also has led the London Philharmonic in Max Reger’s Böcklin Tone Poems and Romantic Suite, Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, and music of Karol Szymanowski. His other recordings for Telarc include symphonies of Karl Amadeus Hartmann, Dohnányi’s D Minor Symphony, and Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony (Schalk edition). A CD of music by Ernst Toch with NDR–Hamburg will soon be available from New World Records. His recordings with the American Symphony also include a highly acclaimed live concert performance of Richard Strauss’s opera Die Liebe der Danae (Telarc) and music of Dohnányi, forthcoming from Arabesque, as well as Brahms’s First Serenade (Vanguard) and Franz Schubert: Orchestrated, orchestrations of Schubert works by Joachim, Mottl, and Webern (Koch). He has recorded a live performance of Max Bruch’s oratorio Odysseus with the NDR–Hannover (Koch); Mendelssohn’s Paulus, with previously unrecorded material (Arabesque); the music of Joseph Joachim with violinist Elmar Oliviera (Carlton Classics); and a series of contemporary works by Richard Wilson, Robert Starer, Richard Wernick, and Meyer Kupferman (CRI).

Leon Botstein studied violin with Roman Totenberg and conducting with James Yannatos, Richard Wernick, and Harold Farberman. He is also a prominent writer on music and history; he serves as editor of The Musical Quarterly and is currently working on a book on the history of listening. He has received Harvard’s prestigious Centennial Medal, as well as the Cross of Honour from the Austrian government. Since 1975, he has been president of Bard College, where he is also Leon Levy Professor in the Arts and Humanities.

Pianist Todd Crow has received wide acclaim for his performances in North and South America and Europe. The Times of London has called his playing "spine-chilling" and "exhilarating," while the Wall Street Journal has praised his "stunning control and wonderful sense of musical architecture." In recent years he has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the United States, England, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Venezuela, and in recital or chamber music concerts at Washington's National Gallery of Art, London's Wigmore Hall, and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. He made his Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the American Symphony in 1992 and his London orchestral debut at the Barbican Centre with the London Philharmonic in 1986. He performs regularly in the major halls of New York and London and is heard frequently on BBC Radio in both live and recorded performances. Crow is music director and pianist with the Mount Desert Festival of Chamber Music in Northeast Harbor, Maine, now in its 40th season. In addition to regular appearances at the Bard Music Festival, he has been heard at the Casals Festival, Music Mountain, Maverick Concerts, and other festivals. His recordings include Haydn piano sonatas, Schubert sonatas, Liszt's piano solo transcription of Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, works of Sergei Taneyev, and, with cellist Mark Shuman, the complete works for cello and piano by Mendelssohn. In November 2002, New World Records released his recording of Ernst Toch's Piano Concerto with the North German Radio Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein. He is editor of the volume Bartók Studies (Detroit, 1976) and the author of articles on Bartók. In 1986 he received the University of California's Distinguished Alumni Award. He is professor of music and chair of the music department at Vassar College.

Paul Silverthorne embraces a busy solo career while holding the principal viola positions of both the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and the London Sinfonietta. As a soloist, he has performed with such conductors as Sir Colin Davis, André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Oliver Knussen, and John Adams, with the LSO and other major orchestras in the United Kingdom, United States, and Europe. Many composers have been inspired to write for him, and his recent acclaimed CD, Invocations (Black Box), consists entirely of works written for him over the last 20 years. He also has recorded for EMI, Koch International, ASV, and many other labels. A regular visitor to the United States, he was the featured soloist last month in the London Symphony Orchestra's performance of Harold in Italy by Hector Berlioz, conducted by Sir Colin Davis. Silverthorne is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, to which he is indebted for the loan, from its collection, of the 1620 Amati viola on which he plays.

Richard Wilson is the composer of some 80 works in many genres, including opera. He has received such recognition as the Walter Hinrichsen Award (from the American Academy of Arts and Letters), the Stoeger Prize (from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center), the Cleveland Arts Prize (from the Women's City Club of Cleveland), and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Recent commissions have come from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations. His orchestral works have been performed by the San Francisco Symphony, the London Philharmonic, the American Symphony, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, the Orquesta Sinfonica de Colombia, the Residentie Orkest of The Hague, and the Hudson Valley Philharmonic. Six recordings containing Wilson's music have recently been released, including his complete choral music performed by the William Appling Singers, William Appling conducting (Albany Records); his Symphony No. 1, performed by James Sedares and the New Zealand Symphony, along with the Viola Sonata, Gnomics, and Tribulations (Koch); A Child's London (Ongaku); Affirmations, Transfigured Goat, Intercalations, and Civilization and Its Discontents (Albany Records); an opera in seven scenes, Æthelred the Unready (Albany Records); and String Quartets Nos. 3 and 4 with Canzona for horn and strings, performed by The Chicago String Quartet and Gail Williams, horn (Albany Records). A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard, Wilson holds the Mary Conover Mellon Chair in Music at Vassar. He is also composer in residence with the American Symphony Orchestra, for which he gives preconcert talks. He has been a member of the program committee of the Bard Music Festival since its inception.

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This event was last updated on 03-20-2003