Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow

Orchestra’s farewell concert for retiring artistic director Luis Garcia-Renart features guest artists guitarist Gregory Dinger and soprano Karen Holvik

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard Center presents a concert by the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra (WCO) at the College on Wednesday, April 28. The program will begin at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. Admission is $12 for adults; and free for students and children (accompanied by an adult).

"The Woodstock Chamber Orchestra has had 13 great, memorable years under the artistic direction of Luis Garcia-Renart," says Al Sweet, executive director of the WCO. "During this period of time the orchestra was treated to his outstanding musical talent, his respect, friendship, and dedication. We wish him well and happiness in retirement." Sweet adds, "Next season, the WCO will seek a replacement for Luis. As we audition finalists from our search, audience members will be able to see five different conductors during the 2004–05 WCO season."

Works to be performed on April 28 include Domenico Scarlatti’s Marcia and Fandango; Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, with guitar soloist Gregory Dinger; and, with soprano Karen Holvik, Mozart’s Et Incarnatus from the Mass in C Minor and Exsultate, jubilate, as well as a performance of Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 ("Haffner"). (This program will also be offered at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Kingston; and at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 25, at the Reformed Church of Saugerties.)

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:

Gregory Dinger is an instrumental instructor and teacher, with Luis Garcia-Renart, in the classical guitar seminar at Bard College. He is also a classical guitar instructor at SUNY New Paltz and teaches guitar, music theory, and music history at Ulster County Community College. Dinger also teaches various guitar styles at Allegro Music in Kingston and at Ellenville High School's Performing Arts Academy. He studied guitar with Garcia-Renart as well as R. P. Sullivan and F. Wallace. Dinger is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and has taken master classes with Frederic Hand, Eliot Fisk, Manuel Barrueco, Sharon Isbin, and Christopher Parkening. Since 1985 he has hosted and programmed WDST-FM’s Sunrise Concert classical music show. In addition to solo recitals as a classical guitarist, he has performed concerti by Vivaldi, Villa-Lobos, and Rodrigo with the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra. He is a member of Cantilena, Arabesque Trio, TimePieces, and Ars Choralis. Dinger has played various styles of guitar, as well as banjo and mandolin, in rock, pop, heavy metal, and blues groups, and Broadway shows.

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.

Karen Holvik brings a wealth of experience in a wide range of musical styles to her performances. Since earning a master’s degree and performer’s certificate in opera at the Eastman School of Music, Holvik has pursued an eclectic musical path, building a large repertoire of concert music, oratorio, and operatic roles. She has toured extensively in the United States and western Europe, singing both popular and classical repertoire, and made her Canadian debut at the inaugural season of the Music at Speedside chamber music festival. Holvik spent five summers as an Opera Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, where she was a student of Jan DeGaetani and Arleen Auger, and has since returned as a guest artist. She has been successful in many competitions, including the Liederkranz Foundation, American Opera Auditions, Oratorio Society of New York, and the Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition. The past several seasons have found Holvik busy with concerts in Connecticut, Florida, and Oregon with Trio Con Voce; appearances as Micaela in Carmen with Opera Illinois; concerts in New York City with the popular series Friends and Enemies of New Music, singing works by Tom Cipullo and Ben Yarmolinsky; and appearances with the Queens College Choral Society. Holvik teaches voice at Vassar College and New York University.

The 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. 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 04-29-2004