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THE WOODSTOCK CHAMBER ORCHESTRA WILL PERFORM AT BARD COLLEGE ON WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 5 Program features works by Haydn and Kabalevsky with violinist Madalyn Parnas and cellist Ashley Bathgate

Emily M. Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard Center presents a concert by the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra (WCO) at the College on Wednesday, November 5. The program will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. Admission is $12 for adults; $6 for non-Bard students; and free for children 12 and under.

Works to be performed include Haydn’s Symphony No. 101 in D Major (“The Clock”); Dmitry Kabalevsky’s Concerto for Violin in C, Op. 48, with soloist Madalyn Parnas, and his Concerto for Cello No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 49, with Bard student and soloist Ashley Bathgate. (This program will also be offered at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 1, at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Kingston; and at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 2, at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock.)

“The two concertos written in the 1940s by the Russian composer Kabalevsky were dedicated to the Soviet youth. I feel they embody the energy of young people,” says Luis Garcia-Renart, artistic director of the WCO. “This season we have chosen works written by young composers (or with youth in mind) to be performed by young people. This concert features 12-year-old violinist Madalyn Parnas, who is a student of WCO concertmaster Betty-Jean Hagen, and 18-year-old Ashley Bathgate, who studies with me at Bard. The program will conclude with Haydn’s mischievous and witty symphony.”

Spring 2004 concerts at Bard by the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra include works by Albinoni, Rosauro, Gounod, and a premiere by Greg Armbruster on Wednesday, March 24; and on Wednesday, April 28, works by Joaquin Rodrigo, Scarlatti, and Beethoven.

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:

“Bathgate is a very talented young cellist, whose tone was right on pitch. She certainly has the makings of becoming a top performer in her field,” wrote Lakeville Journal critic Peter Marshall. A second-year student at Bard College, Ashley Bathgate, age 18, studies with Luis Garcia-Renart, artistic director of the WCO and professor of music at Bard College. Bathgate, a member of the Empire State Youth Orchestra for five years, served as the orchestra's principal cello, sections coach, and coordinator of string ensembles. She received the Barry L. Richman Award in 2002, and is an unprecedented two-time winner of the Lois Lyman Concerto Competition. Bathgate appeared as a soloist with the Empire State Youth Orchestra at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in 1999 and 2001. She was also a featured young artist at the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, performing with pianist Pascal Rogé, violinist Chantal Juillet, and pianist Vanessa Benelli. In 2002, Bathgate performed in recitals, benefit performances, and with the American Symphony Chamber Orchestra and the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. In January 2002 she was among the first young musicians to receive a grant from the New York Philharmonic Players Fund.

Madalyn Parnas, age 12, began studying piano at age 4 and violin at 5. At age 10, performing on violin, she earned the distinction of being the youngest first place winner in the history of the Berkshire Music School's Merit Scholarship Competition. That same year she performed at a Tanglewood gala event and a Close Encounters concert, performed in the Baroque Chamber Orchestra at New England Conservatory, and was a prize winner in the Young Musicians Scholarship Competition at the Berkshire Lyric Theatre. At age 11, Parnas received the Junior Strings Honor Recital Commendation at Hartt Community Music School and played first violin in the Empire State Youth Orchestra as their youngest member. With her sister Cicely and pianist Sherri Bauer-Mayorga, Parnas performed the Kabalevsky Violin Concerto and the Beethoven Piano Trio No. 1 in a recital at the Spencertown Academy. They also have performed at the Hudson Opera House, Simon's Rock College of Bard, Kimball Farms, the Lenox Library, and the Governor's Mansion in Albany, among many other venues. Other upcoming performances this season include the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the Greater Newburgh Symphony, Vivaldi's Concerto for Violin and Cello (with her sister Cicely and the New Bedford Symphony), and an appearance on the nationally syndicated radio program From the Top to be recorded at a live performance in Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory. Parnas studies violin with renowned violinist and pedagogue Betty-Jean Hagen. Parnas and her sister are the granddaughters of the great cellist Leslie Parnas, winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, charter member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and soloist with major orchestras around the world.

WCO Artistic Director Luis Garcia-Renart's “supreme gift as a conductor is his ability to inspire and elicit depth of expression from all his musicians, whatever their level of technical ability,” wrote music critic Kitty Montgomery in the Daily Freeman. This is Garcia-Renart's 13th year as artistic director of the WCO. He 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. Until 1960 he studied directly with Casals in France and Puerto Rico. That same year he won a scholarship to study at the Conservatory of Moscow with Mstislav Rostropovich and Aram Khachaturian. Garcia-Renart attended music conservatories in Bern and Basel, Switzerland, and Trossingen, Germany, where he was a pupil of Sándor Veress and Sándor Vegh. Garcia-Renart has won awards at the Casals International Contests in Paris (1956), Xalapa (1959), and Israel (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.

WCO, formed in 1980 by musicians from the Woodstock area, has expanded over the years and now comprises 38 professional musicians from the entire Hudson Valley area. The WCO regularly commissions and performs music by local and regional composers. Each season it gives approximately 14 performances in Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties, and at Bard College.

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This event was last updated on 10-24-2003