Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
Program features works by Amy Beach, Dvořák, Mozart, and Respighi ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard Center presents “Colorado Quartet and Friends” on Sunday, March 13. Free and open to the public, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Bard College’s Olin Hall. Joining the Colorado Quartet—Julia Rosenfeld and Deborah Redding, violins; Marka Gustavsson, viola; and Diane Chaplin, cello—are mezzo-soprano Joan Fuerstman, oboist Stephen Hammer, and flutist Patricia Spencer. The program will include Mozart’s Quartet in F Major for oboe and strings, with Stephen Hammer; Respighi’s Il Tramonto (“The Sunset”) for mezzo-soprano and string quartet, with Joan Fuerstman; Amy Beach’s Theme and Variations in A Minor, Op. 80, for flute and string quartet, with Patricia Spencer; and Dvořák’s Quartet in F Major, Op. 96 (“American”). The Bard Center’s spring concert series continues on Sunday, March 20, at 3:00 p.m. with violinist Yoko Matsuda and pianist Reiko Honsho, who will perform Schoenberg’s Phantasy, Op. 47; Janáček’s Sonata for Violin and Piano; Ives’s Sonata No. 4 for Violin and Piano; and Ravel’s Sonate pour violon et piano. On Wednesday, April 13, at 8:00 p.m., the Da Capo Chamber Players will “Celebrate Bard” in a concert featuring the Bard gamelan and works by Bard faculty. All concerts are free and open to the public and are held in Olin Hall. For further information about the concert series, call 845-758-7425. # About the Artists: “These four women are the musical equals of any string quartet in the world,” writes John Sutherland of the Colorado Quartet in the Seattle Times. “That’s a bold statement, but the musicians have the goods to back it up. . . . The Colorado Quartet demonstrated an amazing mix of individual and ensemble musicianship.” Artists in residence at Bard, 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. Based in the New York City area, the quartet appears regularly in major halls around the globe; the ensemble recently 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, including recent appearances on 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 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 quartet’s most recent release, Beethoven’s Quartets Op. 59 and 74, is on Parnassus Records. Equally at home performing standard literature and newer works, the quartet has premiered compositions by such leading composers as Ezra Laderman, Joan Tower, and Karel Husa. 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. Mezzo-soprano Joan Fuerstman has performed extensively as a recitalist, opera singer, and oratorio singer throughout the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe. Among her solo credits are performances with the New York Philharmonic, 92nd Street Y Chamber Orchestra, New York Choral Symphony, and Bach Aria Group. Among the conductors she has performed with are Leonard Bernstein, Erich Leinsdorf, Zubin Mehta, George Solti, Pierre Boulez, Robert Shaw, and Colin Davis. Her opera appearances include roles with the New York City Opera, National Opera Company, and Turnau Opera. As a performer of chamber music, she was soloist for several seasons with New York Pro Musica and has appeared with the Da Capo Chamber Players. Fuerstman has performed numerous recitals in the New York area, including Merkin Hall, and also has given recitals at many colleges. She has performed at many summer festivals, including the Bard, Pepsico, Mostly Mozart, and Basically Bach Festivals, and she was a founding member of the Summit Chamber Music Festival in upstate New York. She has made recordings for the SONY, Columbia Records, Decca Gold Label, and RCA labels. Fuerstman holds a bachelor of music degree from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro and a master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Her teachers have included Richard Cox, Rose Bampton, Anna Hamlin, and Arthur Burrows. Since 1996 she has served on the music faculty of Bard College, teaching voice, courses in vocal repertoire, and coaching opera. She is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, and resides in New York City. Stephen Hammer, one of America’s leading players of historical woodwinds, serves as principal oboe and recorder of the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, Concert Royal, the Aston Magna Festival at Bard, and other groups. He was cofounder of the New York Collegium and served as its first artistic director. Hammer has also performed on and experimented extensively with the Yamaha WX7 wind controller and created a wide array of sounds for it on various MIDI synthesizers; his wind synthesizer reading of the Britten Metamorphoses represents a novel approach to playing "old" music on modern instruments. He lives near Tivoli, New York. “Patricia Spencer’s presence was striking and her playing was extraordinary in its control over minutiae of dynamics, pitch, and timbre, particularly in relationship to the complex, fluid electronic environment that surrounded her. The performance was the tour de force of technique, emotion, and spirituality that the piece requires; it will stand as one of the highlights of the musical season,” wrote Richard Dyer in the Boston Globe. Recent high points in Spencer’s career, devoted to new music, include a recital in Moscow for the Alternativa Festival; the premiere of Shulamit Ran’s flute concerto, Voices, at the National Flute Association convention; and the premiere of solo flute works by Louis Karchin and Eugene Lee at the Sonic Boom Festival. An exciting repertoire of pieces has been written for her, including Thea Musgrave’s Narcissus and Judith Shatin’s Kairos, which were featured on her solo CD (Neuma Records). Her CD with pianist Linda Hall features Boulez’s Sonatine, plus works by Carter, Perle, Korde, Talma, Martirano, Kreiger, and Jaffe. Both CDs received rave reviews from Fanfare and the American Record Guide. Spencer has received awards for her solo recordings and commissioned projects from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. As a recitalist and member of Da Capo Chamber Players, she has commissioned more than 80 solo, duo, and chamber works for flute. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Robert Willoughby, Spencer also has studied with Marcel Moyse, John Wummer, and Josef Marx. She teaches flute and chamber music at Bard College and Hofstra University. # # # (2/25/05)

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This event was last updated on 03-14-2005