Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The first program in the spring Bard Conservatory Concerts and Lectures will be a recital by pianist Melvin Chen on Sunday, February 27. Free and open to the public, the program begins at 3:00 p.m. in Olin Hall. Works featured on the program are Bach’s Partita No. 6 in B-flat Major; Grieg’s Lyric Pieces; Shostakovich’s Sonata No. 1; Schubert’s Sonata in C Minor, D. 958; and Schumann’s Toccata in C Major, Op. 7. Other programs in the spring series include a talk, “What Bach Knew,” on Wednesday, April 20, at 8:00 p.m., by New York Times critic at large Edward Rothstein, and a concert on Sunday, April 24, at 3:00 p.m., by the Bard Festival String Quartet. All events are free and open to the public and will be held in Olin Hall. “Melvin Chen is a pianist whose playing is powerful and driven,” writes Allan Kozinn of the New York Times. A native of Tennessee, 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 Tokyo, St. Lawrence, Mendelssohn, Miami, Orion, Borromeo, and Arditti quartets, and in contemporary music collaborations with Da Capo and St. Luke’s chamber players. 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. Highlights of last season include a second solo recital at Weill Recital Hall, lecture/recitals of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, a recording of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, and performances with the American Symphony Orchestra. Chen completed a doctorate in chemistry at 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 received a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and physics from Yale University; upon graduation he was awarded the New Prize by the fellows of Jonathan Edwards College. At Yale he studied with Boris Berman, Paul Kantor, and Ida Kavafian. Chen serves on the piano faculty of the Yale School of Music, and is assistant professor of music and interdisciplinary studies at Bard as well as associate director of the Bard College Conservatory of Music. “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 Robert Martin, director of the Conservatory and 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 is associate director of the Conservatory and also 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 soprano Dawn Upshaw; 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, five-year 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 the 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 845-758-7196, e-mail, or log onto the program’s website, #

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This event was last updated on 03-01-2005