"The Best of Both Worlds"The five-year double-degree program combines rigorous Conservatory training with a challenging and comprehensive liberal arts program. The academic and music curriculums in the double-degree are thoroughly integrated in the supportive educational community at Bard. Conservatory students live, eat, and attend classes with non-Conservatory students, and are fully a part of the intellectual and social life of the College.
The Bard Conservatory Orchestra performs several concerts each semester and at least four times each year in the Frank Gehry–designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The orchestra also performs annual side-by-side concerts with members of the The Orchestra Now, conducted by Leon Botstein, and performs regularly at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility as part of the Bard Prison Initiative.
In addition to its regular performances at Bard, the orchestra has performed at Alice Tully Hall in New York City and Harvard University’s Sanders Theater. In spring 2012, the Conservatory Orchestra gave its first tour of greater China. The three-week tour, a collaboration with the Bard Music Festival, took the orchestra to the major halls of Taipei, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin, Wuhan, and Guangzhou. In spring 2014 the orchestra made its first concert tour of Europe with concerts in Berlin, Warsaw, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Budapest and Vienna.
Chamber Music and Solo Opportunities
Students perform in chamber music and special contemporary music concerts throughout the year. Students and faculty perform together in the Conservatory Sunday series at the Fisher Center's Sosnoff Theater, and in regional chamber music series.
Students also give shared or full-length solo recitals, with their teacher's permission. Each year, as many as three winners of the concerto competition perform as soloists with the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Botstein, in the orchestra's Fisher Center series. Conservatory students have also been soloists with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, and other professional ensembles.
In recent years, students and faculty have performed together in professional engagements in Beijing and Shanghai, China; at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.; Rhinebeck Chamber Music Society; Music Mountain in Falls Village, Connecticut; Bard Music Festival; and in Vero Beach, Florida; Budapest, Hungary; New York City; and throughout the Hudson Valley.
Composition majors are offered extensive performance opportunities through performances by the Da Capo Chamber Players and Conservatory Orchestra, the American Symphony Orchestra, and performances by fellow students as part of the contemporary music series Music Alive!