Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
Programs include chamber concerts and lecture/recitals in October, November, December ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard College Conservatory of Music, which will open its doors to students in September 2005, presents the inaugural season of the Conservatory Concerts and Lectures, a free series this fall. “Over the years this new series will showcase our wonderful faculty,” says Robert Martin, directory of the Conservatory. “Also, by including lectures on interesting topics that connect music with other fields, we’ll emphasize the Conservatory’s commitment to the integration of music with the broader world of ideas and research.” On Wednesday, October 27, at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, the Conservatory will present a chamber concert featuring “Robert Martin and Friends”—cellist Robert Martin; violinist Sharon Roffman; and pianist Melvin Chen, associate director of the Conservatory. They will perform Mozart’s Trio in B flat Major, K. 502; Copland’s Vitebsk: Study on a Jewish Theme for violin, cello, and piano; and Brahms’s Trio in B Major, Op. 8. On Wednesday, November 17, at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, concert pianist and psychiatrist Richard Kogan will discuss how Robert Schumann’s mental illness influenced his musical compositions in a lecture/recital titled: “Schumann: Manic Depression and the Creative Process.” On Sunday, December 5, at 3:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, the Colorado Quartet, artists in residence at Bard, will perform the first half of the complete cycle of Bartók String Quartets (Nos. 1, 4, and 6); and on following Sunday, December 12, at 3:00 p.m. in Olin Hall, the Colorado Quartet will perform the second half of the cycle, Bartók’s String Quartets (Nos. 2, 3, and 5). “The mission of the Conservatory at Bard is to provide the best possible preparation for a person dedicated to a life immersed in the creation and performance of music,” says Martin, who is also vice president for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies at Bard College. “We believe deeply in the value of an education in the liberal arts and sciences, not as a luxury but as the best preparation for functioning competitively and creatively.” According to Chen, who teaches both music and science at Bard College, “Music, like all art, engages the mind and the heart. It redefines boundaries and questions limits in order to make a meaningful statement about the human condition. The education of the mind is therefore as important as the education of the fingers or voice. The greatest musicians not only have the technical mastery to communicate effectively, but also are deeply curious and equally adept at analytical and emotional modes of thought.” The Conservatory’s instrumental and composition faculty will include world-class musicians and composers, including pianists Chen, Jeremy Denk, Richard Goode, and Peter Serkin; violinists Ani Kavafian, Weigang Li, Laurie Smukler, and Arnold Steinhardt; violists Michael Tree and Ira Weller; clarinetists Laura Flax and David Krakauer; cellists Sophie Chao and Peter Wiley; double bassist Marji Danilow; flutist Tara Helen O’Connor; oboist Laura Ahlbeck; bassoonist Marc Goldberg; horn players Julie Landsman and Jeffrey Lang; the Colorado String Quartet; and composer Joan Tower. Courses in music history, theory, and aural skills will be taught by the faculty of Bard’s Music Program. In addition, members and principals of the American Symphony Orchestra will be available for instruction, coaching, and leading of sectional rehearsals in the Conservatory Orchestra. For further information about the lecture and concert series, call 845-758-7425. # Building on its distinguished history of innovation in arts and education, Bard College has launched the Bard College Conservatory of Music, which is currently accepting applications for admission in Fall 2005. This innovative double-degree program is guided by the principle that musicians should be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences to achieve their greatest potential. While training and studying for the bachelor of music degree with world class musicians and teachers and performing in state-of-the-art facilities, such as the new Frank Gehry–designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Bard Conservatory students will also pursue a bachelor of arts degree at Bard, one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. The graduating musicians will be capable of pursuing professional careers with broad, deep knowledge afforded by a liberal arts education, ready to enter their professions with interpretive skills well beyond simple musical competence. For more information about the Bard College Conservatory of Music, call 845-758-7169, e-mail, or log onto the program’s website, # About the Artists: A native of Tennessee, pianist Melvin Chen is recognized as an important young artist, having received acclaim for performances in the United States and abroad. As a soloist and chamber musician he has performed at such major venues as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Weill Recital Hall, the Frick Collection, Kennedy Center, and Boston’s Jordan Hall, among other appearances throughout this country, Canada, and Asia. He has collaborated with such artists as Ida Kavafian, Steven Tenenbom, David Shifrin, Robert White, Pamela Frank, and Peter Wiley, and members of the St. Lawrence, Mendelssohn, Miami, Orion, Borromeo, and Arditti quartets. He was selected for Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Society Two, and has performed at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Chautauqua, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Bard Music Festival, and Music from Angel Fire. He made his New York debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, performing Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. Chen completed a doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University and also holds a double master’s degree in piano and violin from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Seymour Lipkin and Glenn Dicterow, respectively. At Juilliard he was the recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Jacob Javits Fellowship, as well as the William Petschek Piano Scholarship and the Ruth D. Rosenman Memorial Scholarship. He previously attended Yale University, where he received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and physics; upon graduation he was awarded the New Prize by the fellows of Jonathan Edwards College. While at Yale, he studied with Boris Berman, Paul Kantor, and Ida Kavafian. A performer on Wynton Marsalis’s series on music education, Marsalis on Music, Chen can also be heard on Discover, Nices, and KBS compact disks with violinist Juliette Kang. He has served on the piano faculty of the Yale School of Music and is currently visiting assistant professor of music and interdisciplinary studies at Bard and associate director of the Bard College Conservatory of Music. Cellist Robert Martin “offers polished, vital music-making in an imaginatively conceived program,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Martin, in addition to his work as vice president for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies, is also professor of philosophy and music at Bard, and is the coartistic director of the Bard Music Festival and director of the Bard College Conservatory of Music. He was the cellist of the Sequoia String Quartet from 1975 to 1985, when the ensemble made many recordings and toured internationally. He was the assistant dean of humanities at UCLA and founded and produced the Los Angeles chamber music series Music for Mischa, presented subsequently at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Martin studied cello at the Curtis Institute of Music with Leonard Rose and Orlando Cole, and liberal arts at Haverford College. He made his New York recital debut, with pianist Richard Goode, in the Young Concert Artist Series. During his doctoral studies in philosophy at Yale University, he was the principal cellist of the New Haven Symphony and cellist of the Group for Contemporary Music, then at Columbia University. After receiving his Ph.D., he pursued a dual career in music and philosophy, holding joint appointments at SUNY Buffalo and Rutgers University. Martin is cellist of the Bard Festival Quartet. He recently completed a term as president of Chamber Music America. Violinist Sharon Roffman, a prize winner at the 2003 Naumburg Foundation International Violin Competition, graduated from The Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music, having studied with Donald Weilerstein and Itzhak Perlman. She made her solo debut with the New Jersey Symphony in 1997, and embarked on a diverse career that includes performances as soloist with orchestra, in recital, as chamber music collaborator, and in educational outreach presentations. Most recently, Roffman appeared, along with Itzhak Perlman, as a featured soloist in Vivaldi’s Concerto for Four Violins at Carnegie Hall. She appeared in a Live from Lincoln Center broadcast that showcased the Perlman Music Program in 2003, and she was also featured in a special appearance of the Perlman Music Program honoring Itzhak Perlman at the annual Kennedy Center Awards in Washington, D.C. She is a frequent performer in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Meet the Music and Inside Chamber Music series; she has spent several summers performing at the Marlboro Music Festival, and as a child spent many years performing on Sesame Street. Roffman is on the faculty of the Thurnauer School of Music in Tenafly, New Jersey, and Manhattan School of Music, and is a professor of violin and affiliate artist at Kean University. Her teachers have included Peter Winograd, Robert Lipsett, Patinka Kopec, and Nicole DiCecco. Richard Kogan has an active career both as a concert pianist and as a psychiatrist. He has been praised for his "exquisite playing'' by the New York Times and the Boston Globe wrote that "Kogan has somehow managed to excel at the world's two most demanding professions." He won first prize in the Chopin Competition of the Kosciuszko Foundation and has performed throughout the world as a recitalist and orchestral soloist. He has been a frequent chamber music collaborator with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Dr. Kogan is a graduate of Juilliard Pre-College, Harvard College, and Harvard Medical School. He is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York City and is affiliated with Weill-Cornell Medical School as director of its Human Sexuality Program. He has combined his professional pursuits by giving lecture/performances that explore how the medical and psychiatric illnesses of the great composers influenced their creative output. The Colorado Quartet has been at the forefront of the international music scene since winning both the Naumburg Chamber Music Award and first prize at the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 1983. The quartet enjoys a reputation for combining musical integrity, impassioned playing, and lyrical finesse. Currently based in the New York City area, the Colorado Quartet appears regularly in major halls around the globe; most recently, the ensemble performed all 16 quartets of Beethoven in Berlin within one week, making it the first all-female quartet to complete this Herculean task in western Europe. Highlights of past years include tours of more than 20 countries and regular appearances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The quartet plays often in New York, appearing at the Mostly Mozart Festival—where it performed 20 Haydn quartets over a two-year period—as well as in concerts in the Great Performers at Lincoln Center series and in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In 1995, the Colorado Quartet celebrated the 50th anniversary of Béla Bartók’s death by giving Philadelphia its first complete performance of the Bartók string quartets. The quartet has been featured on radio and television worldwide. Recent appearances in the United States include National Public Radio’s St. Paul Sunday and, on the FX television channel, Penn and Teller’s Sin City Spectacular. The ensemble’s critically acclaimed CDs include an album of contemporary compositions on Albany Records, and, on Parnassus Records, a CD of Brahms’s quartets and another of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden and the Mendelssohn F Minor Quartet, which received the 2001 CMA/WQXR Record Award. A recording titled Chamber Music of Henry Cowell, on the Mode label, appeared on the 1999 Top Five list in Gramophone magazine. The Colorado Quartet is equally at home performing standard literature and newer works. It has premiered compositions by such leading composers as Ezra Laderman, Joan Tower, and Karel Husa, as well as younger composers. The group has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and Lila Wallace–Reader’s Digest Foundation. The members of the Colorado Quartet are known as inspiring and well-respected teachers. They have held residencies at the Oberlin College Conservatory, Philadelphia’s New School of Music, and the Banff Centre in Canada. They have also given master classes at the Eastman School of Music, Northwestern University, Indiana University, and Cleveland Institute of Music. Quartet members are founders and artistic directors of the Bard College String Quartet Institute, a two-week summer institute for high school students, and the Soundfest Chamber Music Festival and Quartet Institute, a two-week festival held each June in Falmouth, Massachusetts. # # # (9/29/04)


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This event was last updated on 10-29-2004