Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily M. Darrow
THE WOODSTOCK CHAMBER ORCHESTRA PERFORMS FOUR THEMATIC CONCERTS AT BARD DURING THE 2005-06 SEASON ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—David Leighton, the new artistic director of the Woodstock Chamber Orchestra (WCO), will open the 2005–06 season with the first of a series of four thematic concerts on Friday, September 16, at Bard College. The concerts, presented in cooperation with The Bard Center, will begin at 8:00 p.m. at Bard College’s Olin Hall. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for students, and free for children 12 and under. Inspired by J. K. Rowling’s enterprising and resourceful young wizard, Harry Potter, the first concert on Friday, September 16, is titled “Heroes and Sorcerers—The World of Harry Potter.” In addition to selections from John Williams’s scores for the Harry Potter films, Leighton said he has chosen works that contain a sense of wonder and discovery similar to that expressed in the films. Richard Wagner composed Siegfried Idyll as a Christmas present for his wife, Cosima, shortly after the birth of their son, Siegfried. “Using themes from the Ring of the Nibelungen, which he was composing at the time, Wagner conjures up the childhood of the hero-to-be,” says Leighton. Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite, No. 1, Mussorgsky’s A Night on Bald Mountain, and Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice all open up a world of fantastic mythical creatures. Leopold Stokowsky immortalized the Apprentice in the Disney movie Fantasia. “An American Thanksgiving,” will be performed on Friday, November 4, at 8:00 p.m., and features Woodstock composer Alan Shulman’s Waltzes for Orchestra, Samuel Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1915, and works by Copland and Gershwin. On Friday, March 10, at 8:00 p.m., the WCO will perform works by Mozart, Johann Strauss, and Richard Strauss in the program “Magic in Vienna.” The 2005–06 season concludes with “A Night at the Opera” on Friday, April 28, at 8:00 p.m., when the young opera singers will join the WCO for a concert version of Verdi’s Il Trovatore. WCO’s appointment of David Leighton as its new artistic director is the culmination of a yearlong search from a field of more than 120 candidates. Leighton, a graduate of the Juilliard School, was invited by Rafael Kubelik to the Metropolitan Opera as assistant chorus master and assistant conductor when he was 22 years old. He has been a recital accompanist for Luciano Pavarotti, Renata Scotto, Marilyn Horne, Montserrat Caballé, and Paul Plishka. He conducted the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Dallas Opera; Nashville Opera; Anhaltisches Theater Dessau; Germany; Châtelet Théâtre Musicale de Paris; and IRCAM (Pierre Boulez, director). Leighton assisted the late Sir Georg Solti in the world premiere of Sir Michael Tippett’s Byzantium with the Chicago Symphony. As artistic director of the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany, he gave piano recitals and conducted performances featuring 20th-century masterpieces. The Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, formed in 1980 by musicians from the Woodstock area, now comprises professional musicians from the entire Hudson Valley. WCO commissions works by local and regional composers and performs in Woodstock, Kingston, Saugerties, and at Bard College. For further information, reservations, or for directions, visit or call 845-246-7045. # # # (8/22/05)

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This event was last updated on 08-29-2005