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UPSTREAMING, the Fisher Center’s virtual stage.
World Opera Day is an international campaign to raise awareness of the positive impact and value of opera for society. As part of World Opera Day, the Fisher Center will present a lively and wide-ranging virtual conversation about opera today between Maestro Botstein and the acclaimed mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, who recently assumed the directorship of the Vocal Arts Program at Bard College. Their conversation will be available for streaming here, beginning October 25. Bard Music Festival members will receive early access to the conversation on October 20.
“Opera is immune to technological reproduction and is a unique amalgam of the visual language and sound,” says Botstein. “It is perhaps the most resilient, alluring, and enduring genre of the human imagination.”
Offering one of the most unique opera programs in the country, Bard presents a new, fully staged production of a rarely performed opera each year as part of the renowned SummerScape Festival. The operas are programmed in conjunction with Bard Music Festival, a summer series led by Botstein, which focuses on one composer each summer for an intensive series of concerts, lectures, and panel discussions. “Some of the most important summer opera experiences in the U.S. are … at Bard SummerScape.” —Financial Times
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fisher Center has been streaming selections from its rich archive of HD video recordings over UPSTREAMING, the Fisher Center’s Virtual Stage. On October 19, Bard SummerScape’s 2016 production of Pietro Mascagni’s Iris joins a robust selection of Bard SummerScape productions of rarely-performed operatic treasures available for viewing. Operas produced in recent years at Bard SummerScape (all currently streaming on UPSTREAMING) include the U.S. premieres of such neglected treasures as Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane (2019); Richard Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae (2012); Carl Maria von Weber’s Euryanthe (2014) and Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers (2015). These perfromances have been made available at no charge to ensure wider access to these rarely seen works. All of these programs can be viewed here.
About UPSTREAMING, the Fisher Center’s virtual stage. Archival Discoveries and New Commissions for the Digital Sphere.
UPSTREAMING broadens the Fisher Center’s commitment to reaching audiences far beyond the physical walls of our building, and offers new ways for us to engage with artists. Launched in April 2020, UPSTREAMING has released new content, including digital commissions, virtual events, and beloved performances and rich contextual materials from the archives of the SummerScape Opera and Bard Music Festival’s 30-year history. UPSTREAMING highlights different aspects of the breadth of programming the Fisher Center offers. New releases are announced via the Fisher Center’s weekly newsletter. To receive those updates and stay connected to UPSTREAMING, join the mailing list here.
ABOUT THE FISHER CENTER
The Fisher Center develops, produces, and presents performing arts across disciplines through new productions and context-rich programs that challenge and inspire. As a premier professional performing arts center and a hub for research and education, the Fisher Center supports artists, students, and audiences in the development and examination of artistic ideas, offering perspectives from the past and present, as well as visions of the future. The Fisher Center demonstrates Bard’s commitment to the performing arts as a cultural and educational necessity. Home is the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by Frank Gehry and located on the campus of Bard College in New York’s Hudson Valley. The Fisher Center offers outstanding programs to many communities, including the students and faculty of Bard College, and audiences in the Hudson Valley, New York City, across the country, and around the world. Building on a 159-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders.
# # #(10.19.20)
Concerts will Feature the World Premiere of Artist in Residence Erica Lindsay’s Adagio for String Orchestra (2020) and Works by Casals, Vivaldi, Mozart, Mahler, and ElgarOctober 24 Event Will Honor Cellist and Faculty Member Luis Garcia-Renart (1936–2020)
The Bard College Conservatory of Music presents a student and faculty showcase weekend, October 24–25, two free, live-streamed concerts featuring the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra, Leon Botstein, conductor, showcasing performances by celebrated violinists and new Conservatory faculty Gil Shaham and Adele Anthony, as well as students and other faculty from the Bard Music Program, Conservatory, and The Orchestra Now. The October 24 concert, at 7:30 p.m., is in honor of cellist and faculty member Luis Garcia-Renart (1936–2020), and features the world premiere of Artist in Residence Erica Lindsay’s Adagio for String Orchestra (2020), as well as works by Casals and Vivaldi. Garcia-Renart, who taught at Bard from 1962 until his death earlier this year, was a former student of Casals. The October 25 concert, at 3 p.m., includes performances of works by Mozart, Mahler, and Elgar. Both concerts are free and will be live streamed from the Fisher Center at Bard’s Sosnoff Theater. Reservations are required. Proceeds support the Conservatory Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit fishercenter.bard.edu.
October 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Bard College Conservatory Orchestra Leon Botstein, Music Director
Concert in honor of cellist and faculty member Luis Garcia-Renart (1936–2020)
“The Song of the Birds” (El cant dels Ocells)
La Sardana, Cello choir with faculty members Peter Wiley and Raman Ramakrishnan and cellists from the Conservatory, The Orchestra Now, and the Music Program
Adagio World Premiere
Conservatory Orchestra with Erica Kiesewetter, conductor
The Four Seasons
with faculty soloists Gil Shaham and Adele Anthony, violins
October 25 at 3 p.m.
Bard College Conservatory Orchestra Leon Botstein, Music Director
W. A. Mozart
Serenade No. 6 in D Major, KV 239 “Serenata notturna”
Adagietto from Symphony No. 5
Edward Elgar (1857–1934)
Introduction and Allegro, for string quartet and string orchestra in G Major, Op.47
BARD COLLEGE CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC
Tan Dun, Dean
Frank Corliss, Director
Marka Gustavsson, Associate Director
The Bard College Conservatory of Music expands Bard’s spirit of innovation in arts and education. The Conservatory, which opened in 2005, offers a five-year, double-degree program at the undergraduate level and, at the graduate level, programs in vocal arts and conducting. At the graduate level the Conservatory also offers an Advanced Performance Studies program and a two-year Postgraduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship. The US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, established in 2017, offers a unique degree program in Chinese instruments.
For more information, see bard.edu/conservatory.
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Become a Mentee
Live From Music Mountain, in partnership with Carnegie Hall, presented a special tribute to renowned pianist Peter Serkin, who taught at the Bard College Conservatory of Music from the time the program was established in 2005 until his death in February 2020. The special two-hour program, which was streamed on multiple platforms, included highlights of performances by Serkin and conversations with artists who were close to him, including Emanuel Ax, Jaime Laredo, Jeremy Denk, and Benjamin Hochman; Fred Sherry, Ida Kavafian, and Richard Stoltzman, cofounders with Serkin of the Tashi Quartet; producer Marty Krystall; Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt of the Dover Quartet; composers Derek Bermel and Andreia Pinto-Correia; and former student Tomoki Park.
Bard Music Festival joins forces with The Orchestra Now (TŌN) and the Bard College Conservatory to present “Out of the Silence: A Celebration of Music,” a series of four free livestreamed concerts for string orchestra, piano and percussion (Sept. 5–26), coming to UPSTREAMING, the Fisher Center’s virtual stage. All programs are free, reservations requested. Pairing works by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, and Bartók—all past subjects of the Bard Music Festival—with music by 10 prominent Black composers, ranging from classical pioneer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, to contemporary Americans Alvin Singleton, Adolphus Hailstork, and Jessie Montgomery, the series celebrates Bard’s commitment to neglected rarities and the unquenchable joy of music making. All four programs will be performed without an audience and with appropriate safety measures on Bard College’s idyllic Hudson Valley campus by its unique graduate training orchestra, TŌN, under the leadership of Music Director Leon Botstein and other members of the TŌN artistic team. Hailed as “a highlight of the musical year” (Wall Street Journal), the Bard Music Festival is the inspiration for Bard’s annual seven-week SummerScape festival, whose devoted fans will no doubt enjoy the chance to experience virtually some of the adventurous Bard music-making they have been missing. Click here to hear Botstein and TŌN perform William Grant Still's Symphony No. 1, “Afro-American.”
Since its founding in 1990, the Bard Music Festival has succeeded in enriching the standard concert repertory with a wealth of important rediscoveries; as the New York Times points out, “wherever there is an overlooked potential masterpiece, Leon Botstein is not too far behind.” True to this mission, “Out of the Silence” shines a light on some of the important Black composers so rarely admitted to the canon. Examples of their work will be heard in September alongside music by four composers featured in early seasons of the festival. By celebrating more than three decades of musical exploration at Bard while amplifying some of society’s most unjustly neglected artistic voices, the series looks ahead to a more equitable future.
The Founder and Co-Artistic Director of the Bard Music Festival, the President of Bard College, and “one of the most remarkable figures in the worlds of arts and culture” (THIRTEEN/WNET), Botstein explains:
“These concerts are an affirmation of Bard’s commitment to the centrality of music in our public culture. The series takes its title from the opening work on this series, by William Grant Still. Out of the Silence therefore carries two meanings: the return of music to the public stage after months of silence, and the foregrounding of music too long kept in the shadows, music by Black composers who have never gotten their proper due on the concert stages of the world. As the performance of music begins anew, Bard will pioneer, as it has in the past, on behalf of those composers and works of music left, unjustly, in obscurity.”
It was Botstein who founded TŌN five years ago, to help make orchestral music relevant to 21st-century audiences. He leads the orchestra in all four programs of “Out of the Silence,” which also features appearances by TŌN’s Academic Director and Associate Conductor James Bagwell, Resident Conductor Zachary Schwartzman and Assistant Conductor Andrés Rivas. Keyboard faculty from the Bard Conservatory of Music will join TŌN for several performances.
“Out of the Silence”
“Out of the Silence” opens with two works by the great William Grant Still. The first African-American to have a symphony performed by a major U.S. orchestra, and the subject of a 2009 retrospective curated and conducted by Botstein at Lincoln Center, Still is represented by his meditative miniature Out of the Silence from Seven Traceries, and the evocative tone poem Serenade. Had Bard not been forced to postpone its regular summer season, this year’s attendees would have enjoyed a festival devoted to “Nadia Boulanger and Her World” (now scheduled for summer 2021). It is fitting, then, that Program One (September 5) features a piece by one of the French composer’s many distinguished students: the elegiac Lyric for Strings by George Walker, the first African-American winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music and “one of the greatest composers of our time” (Fanfare magazine). The concert concludes with TŌN’s account of the exuberant String Symphony No. 8 by Felix Mendelssohn, subject of the Bard Music Festival’s second season in 1991.
Program Two (September 12) offers a snapshot of contemporary music with works by three of today’s most compelling Black composers. A former composer-in-residence of both the Atlanta and Detroit Symphonies, Alvin Singleton is blessed with a “unique musical vision” (ArtsATL), while Adolphus Hailstork, another Boulanger student, has accrued a string of honors including Cultural Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia and Distinguished Alumni Award from Manhattan School of Music. Both men were born in the early 1940s, four decades before Jessie Montgomery. “Turbulent, wildly colorful and exploding with life” (Washington Post), Montgomery’s music has been recognized with the ASCAP Foundation’s Leonard Bernstein Award, and her current commissions include works for the New York Philharmonic and Carnegie Hall. Their compositions share the program with the Serenade for Strings by Antonín Dvořák, subject of the 1993 Bard Music Festival, who championed African-American and Native American music as the foundation for a homegrown U.S. musical style.
After opening with the Adagio trágico by Roque Cordero, who infused twelve-tone writing with the folk rhythms of his native Panama, Program Three (September 19) presents a pair of longer works. In his Four Novelettes, Anglo-African late-Romantic composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor demonstrates graceful lyricism with a light, balletic touch that is almost reminiscent of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, subject of the festival’s 1998 season, whose soulful Serenade for Strings concludes the concert.
The centerpiece of Program Four (September 26) is the Violin Concerto in G by Joseph Bologne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges. Violin soloist Ashley Horne, a member of both the American Symphony Orchestra and the Harlem Chamber Players, can also be seen in Le Mozart noir, a PBS documentary about the composer’s life. The son of a slave and a planter in French Guadeloupe, Chevalier de Saint-Georges was not only the first known classical composer of African ancestry, but also an accomplished violinist, champion fencer and colonel of the first all-Black military regiment in Europe. Bookending his concerto are orchestral arrangements of Solitude and Sophisticated Lady, two mid-century masterpieces by the inimitable Duke Ellington, and the Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta by Béla Bartók, subject of the 1995 festival.
The Orchestra Now (TŌN)
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a unique graduate training ensemble designed to help make orchestral music relevant to 21st-century audiences. Hand-picked from the world’s leading conservatories, including the Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard School, Royal Conservatory of Brussels and Shanghai Conservatory of Music, its young members share their insights through on-stage introductions and demonstrations, program notes written from a musician’s perspective, and one-on-one intermission chats with patrons. In regular seasons, as well as giving a concert series at Bard’s Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center, TŌN performs at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other key venues in New York City and beyond.
Bard Music Festival presents “Out of the Silence: A Celebration of Music”
Streaming live from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY,
at UPSTREAMING, the Fisher Center’s virtual stage
Sat, Sep 5 at 5:30pm
The Orchestra Now, conducted by Leon Botstein and James Bagwell
William Grant Still (1895–1978): Out of the Silence, from Seven Traceries (1939)
William Grant Still (1895–1978): Serenade (1957)
George Walker (1922–2018): Lyric for Strings (1946)
Felix Mendelssohn (1809–47): String Symphony No. 8 in D (1822)
Sat, Sep 12 at 5:30pm
The Orchestra Now, conducted by Leon Botstein, James Bagwell, Andrés Rivas & Zachary Schwartzman
Jessie Montgomery (b. 1981): Strum (2018)
Alvin Singleton (b. 1940): After Choice (2009)
Adolphus Hailstork (b. 1941): Sonata da Chiesa (1990)
Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904): Serenade for Strings, Op. 22 (1875)
Sat, Sep 19 at 5:30pm
The Orchestra Now, conducted by Leon Botstein, Andrés Rivas and Zachary Schwartzman
Roque Cordero (1917–2008): Adagio trágico (1972)
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912): Four Novelettes, Op. 52 (1903)
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–93): Serenade for Strings, Op. 48 (1880)
Sat, Sep 26 at 5:30pm
The Orchestra Now, conducted by Leon Botstein
Duke Ellington (1899–1974): Solitude (1941; arr. Gould)
Duke Ellington (1899–1974): Sophisticated Lady (1932; arr. Gould)
Joseph Bologne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745–99): Violin Concerto in G, Op. 2, No. 1 (1773)
(with Ashley Horne, violin)
Béla Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta (1936)
All programs are subject to change.
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Vocal performance students will work with faculty in both the Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Bard College Music Program. Opportunities for collaboration include the Chamber Singers, led by Maestro James Bagwell; the annual, fully-staged Opera Workshop at Bard’s Fisher Center; and performance classes led by Rufus Müller. Performance coursework will be matched with body and breath awareness courses in the Feldenkrais Method and/or Alexander Technique.
For information about the Conservatory’s undergraduate program, visit here. For application and audition information, visit here. To open an application, visit here.
Vocal Degree Course Requirements
The requirements (by semester) of the bachelor of music degree in the Conservatory are:
Conservatory Course Requirements
All conservatory students take a full range of music classes including:
Conservatory Performance Requirements
All conservatory students must fulfill the following performance requirements:
Additional Performance Opportunities
Information about the Bard College bachelor of arts curriculum can be found here.
Faculty List: link to bios
Recognized as one of the finest conservatories in the United States, the Bard College Conservatory of Music, founded in 2005, is guided by the principle that young musicians should be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences to achieve their greatest potential. All undergraduates complete two degrees over a five-year period: a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in a field other than music. The Conservatory Orchestra has performed twice at Lincoln Center and has completed three international concert tours: in June 2012 to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; in June 2014 to Russia and six cities in Central and Eastern Europe; and in June 2016, to three cities in Cuba. For additional information about The Bard College Conservatory of Music, please visit bard.edu/conservatory.
# # #(8.18.20)
“I am so excited to welcome Gil Shaham and Adele Anthony to the faculty of the Bard Conservatory,” said Bard Conservatory Dean Tan Dun. “Their musical excellence and dedication to teaching will be a gift to the entire Conservatory community.”
In addition to private teaching, Shaham and Anthony will coach chamber music and lead regular master classes. Shaham and Anthony will perform regularly at Bard with the Bard Conservatory orchestra or TON and in chamber music and recital settings.
About Gil Shaham
Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time; his flawless technique combined with his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit has solidified his renown as an American master. The Grammy Award winner, also named Musical America’s Instrumentalist of the Year, is sought after throughout the world for concerto appearances with leading orchestras and conductors, and regularly gives recitals and appears with ensembles on the world’s great concert stages and at the most prestigious festivals.
Highlights of recent years include the acclaimed recording and performances of J. S. Bach’s complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin. In the coming seasons, in addition to championing these solo works, he will join his long time duo partner, pianist Akira Eguchi, in recitals throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
Appearances with orchestra regularly include the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and San Francisco Symphony, as well as multiyear residencies with the orchestras of Montreal, Stuttgart, and Singapore. With orchestra, Shaham continues his exploration of “Violin Concertos of the 1930s,” including the works of Barber, Bartok, Berg, Korngold, and Prokofiev, among others.
Shaham has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, earning multiple Grammys, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d’Or, and Gramophone Editor’s Choice. Many of these recordings appear on Canary Classics, the label he founded in 2004. His CDs include 1930s Violin Concertos, Sarasate: Virtuoso Violin Works, Elgar: Violin Concerto, Hebrew Melodies, The Butterfly Lovers, and many more. His most recent recording in the 1930s Violin Concertos series, Vol. 2, includes Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2, and was nominated for a Grammy Award. He will release a new recording of Beethoven and Brahms concertos with The Knights in 2020.
Shaham was born in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, in 1971. He moved with his parents to Israel, where he began violin studies with Samuel Bernstein of the Rubin Academy of Music at the age of 7, receiving annual scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. In 1981, he made debuts with the Jerusalem Symphony and Israel Philharmonic, and the following year, took first prize in Israel’s Claremont Competition. He then became a scholarship student at Juilliard, and also studied at Columbia University. He was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 1990 and, in 2008, he received the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. In 2012, he was named Instrumentalist of the Year by Musical America. Shaham performs on an Antonio Stradivari violin, Cremona c1719, with the assistance of Rare Violins In Consortium Artists and Benefactors Collaborative. He lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Adele Anthony, and their three children.
About Adele Anthony
Since her triumph at Denmark’s 1996 Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition, Adele Anthony has enjoyed an acclaimed and expanding international career. As a soloist with orchestra and in recital, as well as an active chamber music player, Anthony has performed throughout North America, Europe, Australia, India, and Asia.
In addition to appearances with all six symphonies of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, recent highlights include performances with the symphony orchestras of Houston, San Diego, Seattle, Fort Worth, and Indianapolis, as well as the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. An avid chamber music player, Anthony appears regularly at the La Jolla SummerFest and Aspen Music Festival. Her wide-ranging repertoire extends from the baroque of Bach and Vivaldi to contemporary works by Ross Edwards, Arvo Pärt, and Philip Glass.
Anthony’s recording work includes releases with Sejong Soloists, Eric Ewazen, Concerto for Violin and String Orchestra (Albany); a recording of Philip Glass’s Violin Concerto with Takuo Yuasa and the Ulster Orchestra (Naxos); Arvo Pärt’s Tabula rasa with Gil Shaham, Neeme Järvi, and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (Deutsche Grammophon); and her latest recording of the Sibelius Violin Concerto and Ross Edwards’s Maninyas with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (Canary Classics/ABC Classics).
Anthony performs on an Antonio Stradivarius violin, crafted in 1728.
About the Bard College Conservatory
Recognized as one of the finest conservatories in the United States, the Bard College Conservatory of Music, founded in 2005, is guided by the principle that young musicians should be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences to achieve their greatest potential. All undergraduates complete two degrees over a five-year period: a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in a field other than music. The Conservatory Orchestra has performed twice at Lincoln Center, and has completed three international concert tours: in June 2012 to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; in June 2014 to Russia and six cities in Central and Eastern Europe; and in June 2016, to three cities in Cuba. For additional information about the Bard College Conservatory of Music, visit bard.edu/conservatory.
Xinyi Wang has experienced quarantine twice in the past few months, and although she has been quarantined for a total of three months, she still has a bright smile on her face. Her initial period of isolation was in Jiangsu, China, in January, when she went home from Bard for winter break. She was quarantined with her family during the week of the annual spring festival. Even though Xinyi was stuck inside, she enjoyed herself because “spring festival was fun, with a lot of eating and drinking.” Her time there was focused on her family, while her time at Bard has been focused on schoolwork.
Xinyi managed to make it back to Bard, and was surprised to be quarantined again because of COVID-19 regulations, but working on her Senior Project in classical studies has kept her busy. For her project she chose to write about an inspiring Greek female character: Ariadne, daughter of Pasiphaë and the Cretan king Minos, who helped the Athenian hero Theseus escape the Labyrinth after he slew the Minotaur. She discovered the character through her adviser, classics professor Lauren Curtis, and was intrigued by how a female character was viewed in ancient poetry and how the same character is perceived in 20th-century opera. Xinyi appreciates her professors, who have stayed connected with her through this difficult time. She is also grateful for her adviser, who has been a help above and beyond academics. “She is very supportive,” Xinyi exclaims. “She pushes me to get out more.”
Xinyi, who has one more year at Bard as a double major in the Bard College Conservatory of Music, finds joy in playing her violin and staying connected to her friends via WeChat. She has learned to enjoy the peace of the quiet campus. As she chooses her classes for the fall, she is looking forward to the coming academic year, when the campus will be full of people again.
Melody Moore, Jay Hunter Morris, Nathan Berg, Betsy Bishop, Robert Stahley, and others, including students of the Conservatory’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program. Salome takes place Friday, April 3, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 5, at 2 p.m. in the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater. Tickets start at $15 and can be ordered online at fishercenter.bard.edu or by calling the box office at 845-758-7900. $5 student tickets are available to Bard undergraduate students through the Passloff Pass.
Adapted from Oscar Wilde’s one-act play, Richard Strauss’s opera Salome depicts the biblical story of Salome, the Judean princess who demanded, and obtained, the head of St. John the Baptist. Bard Visiting Associate Professor of Music Peter Laki writes that the first performance of Salome, given in Dresden on December 9, 1905, caught even the most progressive critics off guard. “There was little doubt that the opera was a masterpiece, that its music was radically innovative, even ‘revolutionary,’ but many were profoundly disturbed by the image of Salome kissing the severed head of John the Baptist on the mouth,” writes Laki, stressing that, despite its early notoriety, Salome was Strauss’s first successful opera and went on to become part of the standard repertoire of every house that can meet the almost superhuman demands it places on the singers and the enormous orchestra alike. “The opera certainly stands with Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, which followed eight years later, at the threshold of a new era. It did away with many old taboos and presented human situations and emotions in a way they had never been presented before. Strauss made an old story breathtakingly new, boldly confronting the dark sides of the human psyche.”
libretto: Hedwig Lachmann (1865-1918) after Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
music: Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
Melody Moore, Salome
Jay Hunter Morris, Herod
Nathan Berg, Jochanaan
Betsy Bishop, Herodias
Robert Stahley, Narraboth
Hailey MacEvoy ’20, Page of Herodias
Ricardo Lugo, First Nazarene
Ben Wager, First Soldier
Andrew Potter, Second Soldier
Marc Molomet, First Jew
Vincent Festa, Second Jew
Cody Ray Caho ’21,Third Jew
Chauncey Parker, Fourth Jew
Paul An, Fifth Jew
Paul LaRosa, Second Nazarene
Lighting Designer: Jax Messenger
Projection Designer: S. Katy Tucker
To purchase tickets, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or go to fishercenter.bard.edu.
Concert of Arias supporters raised more than $600,000, with proceeds benefiting the Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers and Houston Grand Opera Studio’s ongoing outreach efforts to identify, attract, and nurture young artists who have the potential for major careers in opera.
Originally from Clinton, New York, Chinese American mezzo-soprano Sun-Ly Pierce recently completed the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music and holds a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music. As a winner of the Marilyn Horne Song Competition, Pierce will perform on an international recital tour with pianist Chien-Lin Lu. The tour includes appearances in Santa Barbara, Chicago, New York City, and London and will feature the premiere of a new song cycle written by two-time Grammy Award winning composer, Jennifer Higdon. This past fall, Pierce joined the Broad Street Orchestra as Dorinda in Handel’s Acis and Galatea. She returns to the Music Academy of the West this summer as a 2020 Vocal Fellow, performing the role of L’enfant in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges and covering Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel.
Special guest soloists from the Central Conservatory of Music include Wang Jianhua, percussion; Wang Lei, sheng; Yu Hongmei, erhu; Zhang Hongyan, pipa; Zhang Weiwei, suona; and Shaanxi Folk singer Ji Tian.
The program features HongMei (Red Plum) Capriccio for Erhu, by Wu Houyuan; Yun Xiang Hua Xiang Pipa Concerto, by Wang Danhong; Long Teng Hu Yue Percussion Concerto, by Li Minxiong; YanAn YanAn for Tenor, Suona and Orchestra, by Li Shaosheng; Wan Li Xing Sheng Concertino for Sheng and Orchestra, by Hao Weiya; and The Spring Festival Overture by Li Huanzhi. Special Chinese New Year public reception before the concert, starting at 6 p.m.
The program will be repeated on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 3 p.m. at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, New York, NY.
Visit barduschinamusic.org/new-year-2020 for more details.
This concert is co-presented by the Central Conservatory of Music, China, with the participation of China Institute in New York.
“At first glance, Czernowin, an Israeli native who teaches at Harvard, is an unlikely composer for such a project. Much of her work has tended toward images of primordial upheaval and elemental change. Her previous operas, Pnima and Infinite Now, conjured scenes of 20th-century catastrophe: the Holocaust in the former, the First World War in the latter. She avoids familiar harmonic signposts and is inclined toward spectacularly vivid eruptions of instrumental and electronic sound. The wonder of Heart Chamber is how she uses her radical sonic palette to evoke the stream of consciousness beneath the surface of ordinary life.”
fishercenter.bard.edu or call the box office at 845-758-7900.
James Bagwell maintains an active international schedule as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral music. He was recently named associate conductor of The Orchestra Now (TŌN), and in 2009 was appointed principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. From 2009 to 2015, he served as music director of The Collegiate Chorale. Highlights of his tenure include conducting a number of operas-in-concert at Carnegie Hall, including Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon, and Boito’s Mefistofele. He conducted the New York premiere of Philip Glass’s “Toltec” Symphony and Golijov’s Oceana, both at Carnegie Hall. Since 2011, he has collaborated with singer and composer Natalie Merchant, conducting major orchestras across the country, including the San Francisco and Seattle Symphonies.
He has trained choruses for numerous American and international orchestras, including the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, and American Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with conductors including Charles Dutoit, Andris Nelsons, Gustavo Dudamel, Alan Gilbert, Gianandrea Noseda, Yannik Nézet-Séguin, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Louis Langrée, Ivan Fischer, Jesús López-Cobos, and Robert Shaw.
Bagwell prepared The Collegiate Chorale for concerts at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland; in 2012, the Chorale traveled to Israel and the Salzburg Festival for four programs with the Israel Philharmonic. Since 2003, he has been director of choruses for the Bard Music Festival, conducting and preparing choral works during the summer festival at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. He frequently appears as guest conductor for orchestras around the country and abroad, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Tulsa Symphony, and the Interlochen Arts Festival. He is professor of music at Bard College, director of performance studies, and codirector of the Graduate Conducting Program at Bard College Conservatory of Music.
A renowned opera singer and recitalist, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe is one of the most highly respected and critically acclaimed artists of her generation. Her repertoire ranges from Handel to Wagner, and German lieder to contemporary and classic American songs. Blythe has performed on many of the world’s great stages, such as Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Paris National Opera, San Francisco, Chicago Lyric, and Seattle Opera. She was named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year in 2009, received an Opera News Award in 2007, and won the Richard Tucker Award in 1999. Blythe recently released her first crossover recording on the Innova Recordings label with pianist Craig Terry.Blythe’s performances include the title roles in Carmen, Samson et Dalila, Orfeo ed Euridice, La Grande Duchesse, Tancredi, Mignon, and Giulio Cesare; Frugola, Principessa, and Zita in Il Trittico; Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre; Waltraute in Götterdämmerung; Azucena in Il Trovatore; Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera; Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress; Ježibaba in Rusalka; Jocasta in Oedipus Rex; and Ino/Juno in Semele. She also created the role of Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.Blythe has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Opera Orchestra of New York, Hallé Orchestra, and Concertgerbouworkest, among others. She has also appeared at the Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, and Ravinia festivals, and at BBC Proms. Conductors with whom she has worked include Harry Bicket, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Mark Elder, Christoph Eschenbach, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Robert Spano, Patrick Summers, and Michael Tilson Thomas.Blythe has been presented in recital in New York by Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in both its Great Performers Series at Alice Tully Hall and American Songbook Series at the Allen Room, Town Hall, 92nd Street Y, and Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has also been presented by the Vocal Arts Society and at the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.; Cleveland Art Song Festival; University Musical Society in Ann Arbor; Philadelphia Chamber Music Society; Shriver Hall in Baltimore; and San Francisco Performances.She has premiered several song cycles written for her, including Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson by the late James Legg; Covered Wagon Woman by Alan Louis Smith, which was commissioned by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and recorded with the ensemble (CMS Studio Recordings); and Vignettes: Ellis Island, also by Smith, featured in a television program entitled Vignettes: An Evening with Stephanie Blythe and Warren Jones. She is also artistic director of the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar at the Crane School of Music and artistic director of the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program.
Ira Coleman was born on April 29th, 1956 in Stockholm, Sweden. He was raised in France until 1968 and thereafter lived in Germany for fourteen years. Ira studied bass at Germany’s “Hochschule für Musik, Köln” from 1980 to 1982. Thereafter, he moved to the US to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated in 1985.
Coleman currently resides in Rhinebeck, New York and has performed with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jessye Norman, Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, Dizzy Gillespie, Grover Washington Jr., Barbara Hendricks, Branford Marsalis, Betty Carter, Kathleen Battle, Tony Williams, Baaba Maal, Michel LeGrand, Billy Taylor, Cab Calloway, Billy Cobham, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Ensemble, The Duke Ellington Orchestra under the direction of Mercer Ellington and many other artists. Ira Coleman was the musical director for Ernest Ranglin’s Ska Ensemble from 1996-1999 and Dee Dee Bridgewater from 2002-2009. Ira Coleman has branched out to play world music and has arranged, recorded and produced for musicians from Senegal and Mali.
Coleman has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Tokyo’s Budokkan Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertsgebouw, Paris Olympia and Salle Pleyel, Montreux Stravinsky Hall, Lucerne KKL, Cologne Philharmonie, the Hollywood Bowl, Beiteddine (Lebanon), Berkeley’s Greek Theatre as well as at the JVC, Nice, Berlin, Paris, Playboy, Antibes, North Sea, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Pori, Montreal Jazz and Womad Festival to name a few.
John Esposito is an American pianist/composer/drummer/producer who works on a wide array of creative music projects. His technical skills and the range of his artistic palette extend across the stylistic boundaries of the Stride Piano, Swing, Bebop, Modal and Free Music movements. He has performed and recorded with artists including Nick Brignola, Dave Douglas, Dave Holland, Carter Jefferson, Franklin Kiermyer, Joe Lovano, J.R. Monterose, David “Fathead” Newman, Eric Person, Arthur Rhames, Sam Rivers, Roswell Rudd, Pharaoh Sanders and John Stubblefield.
John is the owner/executive producer of Sunjump Records. He has created music for theater, dance, film, TV commercials, and multimedia performance art. He is a music faculty member and artist-in-residence at Bard College and resides in New York State’s Hudson Valley.
Maximillian Jansen, a tenor originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, is a student in the Graduate Vocal Arts Program studying in the studio of Lorraine Nubar. Known for his sweet timbre and sensitivity to text, he has performed the roles of Ferrando in Così fan tutte, the titular role in Albert Herring, and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte. Jansen has appeared as a soloist with Concerts in the Village, Cincinnati Fusion Ensemble, Civic Orchestra of Victoria, and Middletown Symphony. He has been a member of professional opera choruses such as Pacific Opera Victoria, Queen City Opera, and Cincinnati Opera. Jansen was a Schubert Fellow at SongFest at the Colburn School in 2014, where he worked with composers Libby Larsen, Jake Heggie, and John Musto in master classes on their own work. Jansen has collaborated with coaches including Graham Johnson, Sanford Sylvan, Vicki Kirsch, and Lisa Hasson. He holds a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance from Miami University (2015).
Pauline Tan is a Filipino mezzo-soprano whose deep love for poetry and song has taken her across the globe to pursue a career in music. She began her studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she completed her undergraduate degree in vocal performance. Some notable performances at the conservatory include mezzo-soprano soloist for Duruflé’s Requiem, alto soloist for Handel’s Messiah, and alto soloist for Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. She is a frequent soloist with the NEC Chamber Singers, with whom she was an alto section member. Her operatic debut was as Amastre in Serse, and in 2019 she sang the role of Ottavia in NEC’s production of L’incoronazione di Poppea. She has also performed the title role of Carmen and Mistress Quickly in Falstaff. She is pursuing a master’s degree in vocal arts at the Bard College Conservatory under the artistic direction of Stephanie Blythe, Kayo Iwama, and Erika Switzer. She has studied voice with Christopher Arceo and Karen Holvik, and is currently studying under Edith Bers.
Tate Tiemann is a baritone from Conowingo, Maryland. A recent graduate of Towson University, Tiemann is excited to be a part of the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program, pursuing his master’s degree in music. His most recent roles include Bob from The Old Maid and the Thief, Dr. Gregg from Gallantry, and Il conte d’Almaviva from Le nozze di Figaro. When he’s not singing, he enjoys cooking, watching medical dramas, and playing with his cat, Rómulo.
Margaret Tigue was recently a Vocal Arts Fellow at Tanglewood Music Center (TMC). In 2019, she was the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem with The Orchestra Now, and was praised in OperaWire for “a power and a seeming effortlessness that was quite amazing.” Her performance highlights include the role of Helena in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate with the Ann Arbor Camerata Orchestra, and the New York premiere of Tania León’s Memory at National Sawdust, and Oliver Knussen’s Whitman Settings with the TMC Orchestra. Tigue studies at the Bard Conservatory’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, where she works with Stephanie Blythe, Kayo Iwama, and Lorraine Nubar. Tigue was awarded an encouragement award in the Michigan district of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2017, and received first prize in the University of Michigan Friends of Opera Undergraduate Competition in 2015.
Filipino American soprano Diana Schwam is receiving her master’s degree at the Bard Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Lorraine Nubar. As an avid lover of opera, she has portrayed La Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro, the title role in Massenet’s Cendrillon, and Madame Lidoine in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites with Oberlin Opera Theater. Schwam has also performed as Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Zdenka (Arabella), and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni). Recent highlights include performing at Oberlin College and Conservatory’s 2019 Commencement Recital, the soprano solo in Brahms’s Requiem with Oberlin’s 50th reunion class, and the premiere of a song cycle by composer Liam Kaplan in April 2019. Past highlights include the Danenberg Honors Recitals at the Oberlin Conservatory and in New York City, and a master class with the internationally renowned Marilyn Horne during her residency at the Oberlin Conservatory. A firm believer in the role of the singer-actor, Schwam has roots in her love of musical theater, which has taught her the importance of storytelling in her music making.
Recognized as one of the finest conservatories in the United States, The Bard College Conservatory of Music, founded in 2005, is guided by the principle that young musicians should be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences to achieve their greatest potential. All undergraduates complete two degrees over a five-year period: a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in a field other than music. The Conservatory Orchestra has performed twice at Lincoln Center, and has completed three international concert tours: in June 2012 to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; in June 2014 to Russia and six cities in Central and Eastern Europe; and in June 2016, to three cities in Cuba. For additional information about The Bard College Conservatory of Music please go to the website at bard.edu/conservatory.
Preconcert Talk: Florence Price and the Emergence of African American Composers in the 21st Century
The Bard College Conservatory Orchestra performs a concert at the Fisher Center at Bard’s Sosnoff Theater on Saturday, December 7 at 8 p.m. Conducted by James Bagwell, director of performance studies and the Graduate Conducting Program at Bard Conservatory of Music, the Orchestra performs Florence Price Symphony No. 1 in E minor; Jackson Spargur ’20 Polaris premiere; and Aaron Copland Billy the Kid. There will be a preconcert talk, “Florence Price and the Emergence of African American Composers in the 21st Century,” at 7 p.m. All ticket sales benefit the Conservatory Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $15-20 suggested donation. To reserve tickets, go to fishercenter.bard.edu or call the box office at 845-758-7900.
The Symphony in E minor is the first symphony written by the American composer Florence Price. The work was completed in 1932 and was first performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The piece was Price’s first full-scale orchestral composition and was the first symphony by a black woman to be performed by a major American orchestra. The opening movement has melodies and rhythms typically found in Afro-American folk music, while the following slow movement features a moving hymn tune of Price's design. Both concluding movements are fast and return to the juba dance concept. They contain hints of fiddles and banjos, antic slide whistle effects, and a recurring three-against-two melody which end this loveable work on a whimsical note.
The preconcert talk, “Florence Price and the Emergence of African American Composers in the 21st Century,” is with James Bagwell; Whitney Slaten, Assistant Professor of Music; Kyle Gann, Taylor Hawver and Frances Bortle Hawver Professor of Music; and and Myra Young Armstead, Vice President for Academic Inclusive Excellence and Lyford Paterson Edwards and Helen Gray Edwards Professor of Historical Studies.
Upcoming Conservatory Programs:Winter Songfest
James Bagwell, Conductor
Sunday, December 15 at 3 p.m. December 7, 2019
To reserve tickets, go to fishercenter.bard.edu or call the box office at 845-758-7900.
With the Bard Conservatory Orchestra, members of the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, Bard College Symphonic Chorus, Bard College Chamber Singers, and Bard Preparatory Chorus.
Guest conductor James Bagwell maintains an active international schedule as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral music. He was recently named associate conductor of The Orchestra Now (TŌN) and in 2009 was appointed principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. From 2009 to 2015 he served as music director of The Collegiate Chorale. Highlights of his tenure include conducting a number of operas-in-concert at Carnegie Hall, including Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda, Rossini’s Möise et Pharaon, and Boito’s Mefistofele. He conducted the New York premiere of Philip Glass’s “Toltec” Symphony and Golijov’s Oceana, both at Carnegie Hall. Since 2011, he has collaborated with singer and composer Natalie Merchant, conducting major orchestras across the country, including the San Francisco and Seattle Symphonies.
The Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program presents Stephanie Blythe in “Sing, Bard!” a cabaret-style musical journey of song, from opera to popular standards, on Saturday, November 9, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25–$150; the $150 premium level ticket includes an intimate reception and more songs with the artists. To reserve tickets go to fishercenter.bard.edu or call the box office at 845-758-7900.
Mezzo-soprano Blythe, director of the Bard College Conservatory of Music Graduate Vocal Arts Program (VAP) and winner of The Dallas Opera’s 2019 Maria Callas Award, performs this lively evening of song accompanied by Craig Terry, pianist and musical arranger, and soloists from the Vocal Arts Program.
“It is a thrill to share songs that mean so much to so many with the members of the VAP and our audience here at Bard, my new musical and creative home,” says Blythe. “Every day that I spend at this wonderful Conservatory is a blessing—this concert is a way to thank Bard and its audience for their spirit of generosity.”
The program includes popular songs such as “Tale of the Oyster” (1929) Cole Porter; “The Man That Got Away” (1953) Harold Arlen/Ira Gershwin; “With A Song In My Heart” (1929) Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart; “If You Don’t Want My Peaches” (1914) Irving Berlin; “I Think It’s Gonna Rain Today” (1968) Randy Newman; and more.
To reserve tickets go to fishercenter.bard.edu or call the box office at 845-758-7900.
The Bard College Conservatory Orchestra performs a concert at the Fisher Center at Bard’s Sosnoff Theater on Saturday, October 26 at 8 p.m. Conducted by Leon Botstein, music director, the Conservatory Orchestra performs Charles Ives “The Fourth of July” from Holiday Symphony; Sibelius Symphony 7 in C major, Op. 105; Honegger Symphony 3 “Liturgique”; and Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture (1880). All ticket sales benefit the Conservatory Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $15-20 suggested donation. To reserve tickets, go to fishercenter.bard.edu or call the box office at 845-758-7900.
Upcoming Conservatory Programs:
The Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program Presents:
Stephanie Blythe in “Sing, Bard!”
A cabaret style musical journey of song, from opera to popular standards
Saturday, November 9 at 8 p.m.
James Bagwell, Guest Conductor
Saturday, December 7 at 8 p.m.
Jackson Spargur Polaris world premiere
Florence Price Symphony No.1 in E minor
Aaron Copland Billy the Kid, ballet
James Bagwell, Conductor
Sunday, December 15 at 3 p.m.
With the Bard Conservatory Orchestra, members of the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, Bard College Symphonic Chorus, Bard College Chamber Singers, and Bard Preparatory Chorus.
Recognized as one of the finest conservatories in the United States, The Bard College Conservatory of Music, founded in 2005, is guided by the principle that young musicians should be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences to achieve their greatest potential. All undergraduates complete two degrees over a five-year period: a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in a field other than music. The Conservatory Orchestra has performed twice at Lincoln Center, and has completed three international concert tours: in June 2012 to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; in June 2014 to Russia and six cities in Central and Eastern Europe; and in June 2016, to three cities in Cuba.
video preview here. Conservatory faculty members Daniel Phillips, violin; Peter Wiley, cello; Blair McMillen, piano; and Benjamin Hochman, piano, will perform. This special program takes place on September 28 at 8 p.m., at the Fisher Center Center for the Performing Arts’ Sosnoff Theater. Tickets sales benefit the Conservatory Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $25–$150; the $150 ticket level includes a reception and meet and greet with the artists. To reserve tickets, go to fishercenter.bard.edu or call the box office at 845-758-7900.
Yezu is one of over 2,100 U.S. citizens who will conduct research, teach English, and provide expertise abroad for the 2019–20 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as their record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 390,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Fulbrighters address critical global challenges in all disciplines while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 84 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.
“Odyssey: The Chamber Music Society” in Greece will air on PBS on September 6, the first program of Live from Lincoln Center made outside the United States. The two-hour episode follows musicians of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as they journey across Greece, performing works embodying the essence of classical music in iconic settings. The production features a performance of Professor Tsontakis’s music as well as interviews with the composer.
Anna Lindemann’s New Cross-Disciplinary Performance Delves Into the Social Lives of Ants and Humans (September 6 - 8)
Bard Conservatory Vocal Arts Program alumni/ae Michael Hoffman '15 and Lucy Fitz Gibbon '15, with collaborative piano fellow Ryan MacEvoy McCullough, are premiering The Colony at the Studio Theatre, University of Connecticut Storrs campus. Hoffman directs, soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon and pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough perform in this "unique tour-de-force of science-inspired art ... the birth of a whole new genre."“A unique tour-de-force of science-inspired art. Anna Lindemann is a brilliant animator, composer, and performer… [her] work marks the birth of a whole new genre.” — David Rothenberg (author, philosopher, musician)
STORRS, CT: Animator, composer, and performer Anna Lindemann premieres her newest work, The Colony, an art-science performance about sisterhood and the evolution of communication in two of the most social creatures on earth: humans and ants. Three performances on September 6 - 8 take place at the Studio Theatre, located on the University of Connecticut Storrs campus. Tickets are free, with reservations highly recommended by visiting www.thecolony.show.
In this performance, Lindemann herself portrays the loving, bookish, and stubborn Mona as she struggles to reconnect with her estranged relatives, performed by soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon and pianist Ryan MacEvoy McCullough. Mona turns to the ant colony for inspiration and direction. With more than 500,000 ant sisters migrating, raiding, and even reproducing as one superorganism, an army ant colony appears to Mona as the paragon of successful social existence. Co-written by Lindemann and Emma Komlos-Hrobsky and directed by Michael Hofmann, The Colony ventures into speculative fiction and includes projected animations and imagery alongside live spoken and musical performance, all informed by scientific research on ant colonies.
Funny, poignant, enlightening, and just the right amount of strange, The Colony aims to kindle a sense of awe and understanding of our diverse biological world, while using the ant colony as a lens for understanding the ever-present challenge of human connection. As part of a new genre called Evo Devo Art, The Colony weaves together evolutionary and developmental biology (Evo Devo) with multidisciplinary art. Audiences can expect to be entranced by visualizations of ant pheromone trails, a musical aria from the perspective of an ant queen, and a dance sequence set in a grocery store inspired by army ant swarm raids. In all, The Colony juxtaposes forms of biological communication – which have developed over millions of years – with modern technological media as a means of grappling with the paradox of acute loneliness in a world more connected than ever.
The Colony’s script is co-written by Lindemann and Emma-Komlos Hrobsky; Lindemann also composed the music and directed animations by Sarah Shattuck, Jasmine Rajavadee, Allie Marsh, and herself. Michael Hofmann directs, with costumes by Brittny Mahan, lights by Sam Biondolillo, sound by Katie Salerno, and additional film direction by Ryan Glista.
The Colony draws visual materials and research in part from the world-class Carl W. and Marian E. Rettenmeyer Army Ant Guest Collection housed at the University of Connecticut and is one of a number of “AntU” initiatives inspired by the collection.
This year’s festival will coincide with New York State’s newly announced Senate Resolution No. J2103 by Senator James Sanders Jr. of Queens, “recognizing October 1, 2019, as China Day and the first week of October 2019, as Chinese American Heritage Week, to strengthen the friendship and bilateral relationship between the State of New York and Chinese Americans.”
The musical highlight of the festival takes place at 7:30 p.m. on October 1, “China Day,” at Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall. “From the Middle Kingdom to the Wild West” is an orchestral concert featuring the world premiere of Men of Iron and the Golden Spike 铁汉金钉, a symphonic oratorio by celebrated composer Zhou Long honoring the over 20,000 Chinese laborers who contributed to the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in the American West 150 years ago. This piece was commissioned by the US-China Music Institute at Bard College in partnership with the Chinese Railroad Workers of North America Project and the Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford University. Over three years in the making, the idea was conceived by US-China Music Institute director Jindong Cai and Stanford history professor Gordon Chang, who enlisted Zhou Long to write the music and writer Su Wei to provide the libretto. Zhou Long is well known for his seamless blending of Chinese and Western elements to create singularly expressive compositions, including the 2010 opera “Madame White Snake” which earned him a Pulitzer Prize. His new concerto for orchestra, Classic of Mountain and Seas 山海经, will also receive its U.S. premiere on October 1. Zhou describes Classic as a musical map inspired by “ancient supernatural aesthetics.” Both pieces will be performed by The Orchestra Now with festival artistic director Jindong Cai conducting. The orchestra will follow the path of the great rail line that connected East to West by performing the concert a second time at Stanford University’s Bing Concert Hall on October 6 at 2:30 p.m.
Another major festival concert will take place on Monday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m. in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall. Titled “Wellington Koo the Diplomat – A Life in Song,” this multimedia event features performances by world-renowned Chinese artists including Luoyong Wang as narrator, soprano Ying Huang and bass-baritone Shenyang, and a world-premiere new chamber piece by composer Peng-Peng Gong. With video projections, dramatic narration, and music, this concert will explore Koo’s role in opening China to the world and developing its relationship with the United States. A gala dinner and auction to benefit the US-China Music Institute will follow the concert in the Weill Music Room at Carnegie Hall.
With both of these concerts the festival puts a spotlight on the important contributions of Chinese in the United States, from the largely unknown to the world-famous. The Chinese railroad workers played a pivotal role in the Westward expansion of the U.S. during the 19th century, but their labors were not widely reported and have rarely been acknowledged. Zhou Long’s oratorio will give new voice to their epic story. Diplomat Wellington Koo participated in some of the most important events of the 20th Century, famously refusing to sign the 1919 Treaty of Versailles out of concern for China’s position in the post-war reorganization of world power, then serving as Ambassador to the U.S. and as a judge in the International Court of Justice, and playing a major role in the creation of the United Nations.
Jindong Cai, director of the US-China Music Institute and artistic director of the China Now Music Festival, sees the festival as a cultural counterpoint to the current political landscape. "Politics often divides people, but in art and music, you always find connections. With the China Now Music Festival as our looking glass, we hope to continue bringing people and traditions from China and America together through music."
Other festival events continue to explore these and other topics in US-China relations. On September 25 at 6:30 p.m., the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) in Manhattan will host an evening with Zhou Long, Su Wei, and Jindong Cai to discover the conception, creation, and performance of Men of Iron and the Golden Spike. On September 28 at noon at the Jim Ottoway Jr. Film Center at Bard College, the US-China Music Institute presents a film preview of the forthcoming documentary “Beethoven in Beijing,” discussing the future of classical music through an exploration of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s close ties to China. An excerpt will be shown followed by conversation with the filmmakers and festival director Jindong Cai. On September 29 at 7:00 p.m., pianist Susan Chan comes to the Bard College Conservatory of Music to perform a selection of solo works inspired by Chinese musical traditions, including pieces by Tan Dun, Zhou Long, Chen Yi, and Alexander Tcherepnin.
A related special event will take place on September 28 at 8:00 p.m. at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College. The Bard College Conservatory of Music is presenting a film concert with live orchestra performance of Tan Dun’s Martial Arts Trilogy, with Tan Dun conducting the Bard Conservatory Orchestra in his first appearance as the newly appointed dean of the Conservatory of Music. Tickets from this event benefit the Conservatory Scholarship Fund.
Events and Tickets
Read More in Broadway World
Open Dress Rehearsal at the Fisher Center on Sept. 29
The Institute has partnered with the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing to promote the study, performance, and appreciation of music from contemporary China, creating a new channel for cultural exchange.
The Bard College Conservatory of Music presented The Degree Recital of the Graduate Conducting Program on March 30, featuring conductors Renée Anne Louprette and Michael Patterson, who led exceptional performances of works by Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Mozart, and Stravinsky for an enthusiastic, near-capacity audience in Olin Hall.
“I believe it is important for all students—of all instruments and from all countries—to open their ears and minds to the sounds and traditions and musical ideas of other cultures.”
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