Artistic Leadership and Academic Faculty
Leon Botstein is the president of Bard College, has been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years, and is the former music director of the Jerusalem Symphony. He has performed and recorded with major orchestras throughout the world, including the LA Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, and Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, among others. He is also Artistic Director of Bard SummerScape, which each year presents a fully-staged opera and celebrates the music world of a selected composer in the Bard Music Festival.
Associate Conductor and Academic Director
James Bagwell is a noted conductor of both orchestras and choruses. He has been choral director of the Bard Festival Chorale since 2003, and is principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. He has been director of The Collegiate Chorale and The Dessoff Choirs. He regularly performs in the Cincinnati May Festival and guest conducts regularly throughout the country. Since 2002 he has been on the music faculty of Bard College and has taught at Bard College Conservatory of Music.
Zachary Schwartzman has conducted throughout the United States and in such countries as Brazil, England, and Bosnia. He is the music director of Blue Hill Troupe, and has been assistant conductor at the American Symphony Orchestra and the Bard Music Festival since 2012. He was formerly house conductor of The Gilmmerglass Festival, and was assistant conductor at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opera Atelier, among others.
Director of Audition Preparation and Principal String Coach
Erica Kiesewetter is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where she studied with Ivan Galamian. She has been Concertmaster of the American Symphony Orchestra, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Opera Orchestra of New York, New York Pops, Stamford Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, and Amici New York. She has toured internationally and recorded with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She has been Visiting Associate Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at Bard College since 2010.
Director of Chamber Music and Arts Advocacy
Bridget Kibbey, solo harpist, is renowned for her performances and recordings of both harp repertoire and contemporary commissions and projects. She has won the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, The Classical Recording Foundation's Young Artist Award, Concert Artist Guild's International Competition, and Astral Artist Auditions. Her debut album, Love is Come Again, was named one of the Top Ten Releases by Time Out New York. She may also be heard on Deutsche Grammophon with Dawn Upshaw, on a recording of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ayre and Luciano Berio’s Folk Songs.
Fabio Luisi, Gerard Schwarz, JoAnn Falletta, Oleg Caetani, Federico Cortese, Marcelo Lehninger, and Jindong Cai
Sebastian Danila is a composer and musicologist, and holds a Ph.D. in composition from New York University’s Steinhardt School, where he was part of the adjunct faculty. He is also manager of the libraries for The Orchestra Now, the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and the American Symphony Orchestra. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States. He has written extensively on the Romanian composer Anatol Vieru.