Bard News & Events

Press Release


Mark Primoff
CONCERTS AND PANELS TO BE GIVEN DURING THREE-DAY WEEKEND IN BARD’S STUNNING GEHRY-DESIGNED RICHARD B. FISHER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS IN ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY THE EMERSON QUARTET, THE SHANGHAI QUARTET, FLUTIST PAULA ROBISON, PIANIST JEREMY DENK AND THE RESIDENT AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA WITH MUSIC DIRECTOR LEON BOTSTEIN ARE AMONG THE WEEKEND'S PERFORMERS It’s autumn and time to plan an early-November trip to the Hudson River Valley to revisit “Shostakovich and His World,” through concerts and panels of the final weekend of the highly successful 15th annual Bard Music Festival, taking place on the Annandale campus between November 5 - 7. Press response to Bard’s extensive survey of Shostakovich’s concert, theater and film music in August—along with panel discussions and a symposium—included a rave from the New York Times: “The concerts vividly conveyed the musical world from which the precocious Shostakovich emerged.” And the New Yorker, in its review of the ASO’s performance of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4, reported that “the effect was tremendous.” This year, for the first time, the third and final weekend of the annual Bard Music Festival takes place right on the Bard campus, in the extraordinary Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, called by the New Yorker “the first great concert hall of our time.” The three-day weekend begins on Friday, November 5, in the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater, with an 8 p.m. concert by the American Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein (with a preconcert talk at 7 p.m. included in the ticket price). One of the composer’s most significant works, the 1941 Symphony No. 7 (“Leningrad”), is the concert’s centerpiece. The wartime popularity of the “Leningrad” in the U.S. stemmed in part from the exciting story of how a microfilm of the score traveled from Leningrad for the American premiere performance—broadcast live nationwide—by Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra on July 19, 1942. Shostakovich appeared on the cover of Time magazine that same week. The 900-day siege of Leningrad by Nazi forces—supposedly depicted in the Symphony—was not to end until January 1944. Saturday’s events comprise a morning panel concerning “Art in Wartime”; an afternoon chamber concert whose theme is the musical and spiritual friendship that grew between Shostakovich and Benjamin Britten, with the Emerson String Quartet; and another evening orchestral concert, a repeat of Friday’s program, complete with the illuminating preconcert lecture. And on Sunday, November 7, a morning panel called “The Fall of Berlin” will precede an afternoon chamber concert, this time with Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet and works by Sergey Prokofiev, Béla Bartók and Paul Hindemith. The final weekend of the 15th annual Bard Music Festival will continue to confront and attempt to untangle the strands in Shostakovich’s music, personality, and career, and go into the politics of his posthumous reception and the growth of his fame and popularity since 1975. The life and work of one of the 20th century’s greatest composers remain fascinating and controversial a generation after his death. His career was entwined with the great central questions of politics and culture, from his birth in 1906 through the Russian Revolution, the two world wars and the Cold War. He was the Soviet Union’s most decorated composer, and died a party member in 1975. A companion volume to the Bard Music Festival, Shostakovich and His World, was edited by Laurel E. Fay, America’s leading Shostakovich scholar, and published by Princeton University Press. It is available on the Bard campus, from, and at other bookstores. Concert ticket prices range from $20 to $55. Panels are free, and discounts are available for senior citizens, children, and students. Weekend program details follow. For further program and ticket information call 845-758-7900 or visit, where travel directions and nearby accommodations are also posted. Amtrak serves the Bard campus at the nearby Rhinecliff station (code: RHI). Schedule available from (800) 872-7245 or at Metro North serves the Poughkeepsie station. Bard Press Contact: Mark Primoff, (845) 758-7412, or # Bard Music Festival: Weekend Three Friday, November 5, 2004 Program One World War II and Its Aftermath Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater 7:00 p.m. Preconcert talk: Christopher H. Gibbs 8:00 p.m. Performance Dmitrii Shostakovich (1906–75): From Jewish Folk Poetry, Op. 79a (1948–?64) Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Op. 60, “Leningrad” (1941) Makvala Kasrashvili, soprano; American Symphony Orchestra, Leon Botstein, conductor; others TBA Saturday, November 6, 2004 Panel Art in Wartime Olin Hall 10:00 a.m. – noon Laurel E. Fay; Jennifer Day; others TBA Program Two Elective Affinities A Musical and Spiritual Friendship Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater 1:00 p.m. Preconcert talk: Marina Frolova-Walker 1:30 p.m. Performance Dmitrii Shostakovich (1906–75): String Quartet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 68 (1944) String Quartet No. 3 in F Major, Op. 73 (1946) Benjamin Britten (1913–76): String Quartet No. 2 in C Major, Op. 36 (1945) Emerson String Quartet Program Three 7:00 p.m. Preconcert talk 8:00 p.m. Performance World War II and Its Aftermath Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater (Same program as Friday evening.) Sunday, November 7, 2004 10:00 a.m. Preconcert panel: “The Fall of Berlin” Program Four Music and World War II Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater 2:00 p.m. Performance Dmitrii Shostakovich (1906–75): Piano Quintet in G Minor, Op. 57 (1940) Sergey Prokofiev (1891–1953): Sonata in D Major, Op. 94, for flute and piano (1943) Béla Bartók (1881–1945): Sonata for solo violin, Sz 117, BB 124 (1944) Paul Hindemith (1895–1963): From Ludus tonalis (1942) Jeremy Denk, piano; Yoko Matsuda, violin; Paula Robison, flute; Shanghai String Quartet. # # #

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This event was last updated on 05-23-2005