The Orchestra Now Announces Two Additional Symphonic Concerts to Be Livestreamed as Part of Its Fall Season on November 1 and 14, 2020
STAY TŌNED, The Orchestra’s New Digital Platform, Has Featured More Than 60 Audio and Video Streams Since April 2020The Orchestra Now (TŌN) has announced the addition of two more symphonic concerts to be livestreamed for free as part of its fall season. On November 1, Music Director and Founder Leon Botstein will conduct a program pairing 20th century works by Schoenberg, Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas, and R. Strauss with Handel’s Water Music; and on November 14, he will lead the Orchestra in the rarely heard Scherzi musicali by Black American composer Ulysses Kay. The concert will also feature Haydn’s Symphony No. 48 and works by Varèse and Hindemith. The livestreamed concerts are free and will be available for streaming after the performances.
The November concerts follow the Orchestra’s earlier fall livestreamed series Out of the Silence: A Celebration of Music, a four-concert virtual celebration of music showcasing Black composers presented with the Bard Music Festival in September; and the October 17 performance of string concertos by Polish, Czech, and Brazilian composers conducted by Zachary Schwartzman. All concerts will be made available on TŌN’s website. The additional November performances will be the final concerts livestreamed from the Fisher Center at Bard in TŌN’s fall season. The graduate students will finish with their academic courses for the remainder of the semester and then return in February 2021 to continue their academic and musical activities.
TŌN has presented more than 60 audio and video streams since April 2020. They are offered on STAY TŌNED, its new portal regrouping all digital initiatives. The events feature weekly new and archived audio and video recordings showcasing recitals, chamber music, and symphonic programs, including collaborations with the Bard Music Festival that are also available on the Fisher Center at Bard’s virtual stage, UPSTREAMING. Some of the performances, such as the Sunset Serenade series, were performed outdoors for physically distanced audiences. Much of the content is also available on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Handel & Strauss
Sunday, November 1, 2020 at 2 PM
This concert pairs three works from the early 20th century—including R. Strauss’ elegiac Metamorphosen, written in the final months of WWII, and one of Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas’ earliest orchestral compositions, Cuauhnáhuac—with Handel’s Baroque Water Music Suite, composed for one of King George I’s royal water parties on the River Thames in 1717.
Leon Botstein, conductor
Handel: Water Music Suite No. 1
Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1
Silvestre Revueltas: Cuauhnáhuac
R. Strauss: Metamorphosen
ACCESS: RSVP here to receive a direct link to the livestream on the day of the concert. This concert will be available for delayed streaming on STAY TŌNED starting on November 5.
Haydn’s Maria Theresa
Saturday, November 14, 2020 at 5:30 PM
Leon Botstein conducts three 20th-century works that all premiered in the U.S.—including the rarely heard Scherzi musicali by Black American composer Ulysses Kay, who taught at Lehman College in the Bronx for twenty years—along with Haydn‘s regal Maria Theresa Symphony, performed for the Holy Roman Empress in 1773.
Leon Botstein, conductor
Blair McMillen, piano
Hindemith: Concert Music for Piano, Brass, and Harps
Ulysses Kay: Scherzi musicali
Haydn: Symphony No. 48, Maria Theresa
ACCESS: RSVP here to receive a direct link to the livestream on the day of the concert. This concert will be available for delayed streaming on STAY TŌNED starting on November 19.
Bard College Academic Year and Safety
To adapt to current circumstances, Bard College created detailed protocols for testing and screening, daily monitoring of symptoms, contact tracing, quarantine practices, and physical distancing in the classroom and across the Bard campus. This includes specific protocols for musicians campus-wide in both its undergraduate and graduate programs. TŌN has successfully pivoted its activities to comply and in addition to physically distanced rehearsals, the musicians have resumed their academic coursework. Since August, procedures required a separation of brass and wind instruments from the larger ensemble. Currently, restrictions on winds and brass have been eased, and limited numbers may be added to the Orchestra. This can be credited to Bard’s diligent testing and protocols.
The Orchestra Now
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of 72 vibrant young musicians from 14 different countries across the globe: Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Peru, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.K., and the U.S. All share a mission to make orchestral music relevant to 21st-century audiences by sharing their unique personal insights in a welcoming environment. Hand-picked from the world’s leading conservatories—including The Juilliard School, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Royal Conservatory of Brussels, and the Curtis Institute of Music—the members of TŌN are enlightening curious minds by giving on-stage introductions and demonstrations, writing concert notes from the musicians’ perspective, and having one-on-one discussions with patrons during intermissions.
Conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein, whom The New York Times said “draws rich, expressive playing from the orchestra,” founded TŌN in 2015 as a graduate program at Bard College, where he is also president. TŌN offers both a three-year master’s degree in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies and a two-year advanced certificate in Orchestra Studies. The orchestra’s home base is the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center at Bard, where they perform multiple concerts each season and take part in the annual Bard Music Festival. They also perform regularly at the finest venues in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others across NYC and beyond. HuffPost, who has called TŌN’s performances “dramatic and intense,” praises these concerts as “an opportunity to see talented musicians early in their careers.”
The Orchestra has performed with many distinguished guest conductors and soloists, including Hans Graf, Neeme Järvi, Vadim Repin, Fabio Luisi, Peter Serkin, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, Zuill Bailey, and JoAnn Falletta. Recordings featuring The Orchestra Now include two albums of piano concertos with Piers Lane on Hyperion Records, and a Sorel Classics concert recording of pianist Anna Shelest performing works by Anton Rubinstein with TŌN and conductor Neeme Järvi. Buried Alive with baritone Michael Nagy, released on Bridge Records in August 2020, includes the first recording in almost 60 years—and only the second recording ever—of Othmar Schoeck’s song-cycle Lebendig begraben. Upcoming releases include an album of piano concertos with Orion Weiss on Bridge Records. Recordings of TŌN’s live concerts from the Fisher Center can be heard on Classical WMHT-FM and WWFM The Classical Network, and are featured regularly on Performance Today, broadcast nationwide. In 2019, the orchestra’s performance with Vadim Repin was live-streamed on The Violin Channel.
For upcoming activities and more detailed information about the musicians, visit theorchestranow.org.
Leon Botstein brings a renowned career as both a conductor and educator to his role as music director of The Orchestra Now. He has been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992, artistic co-director of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival since their creation, and president of Bard College since 1975. He was the music director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra from 2003–11 and is now conductor laureate. In 2018, he assumed artistic directorship of Campus Grafenegg and Grafenegg Academy in Austria. Mr. Botstein is also a frequent guest conductor with orchestras around the globe, has made numerous recordings, and is a prolific author and music historian. He is editor of the prestigious The Musical Quarterly and has received many honors for his contributions to music. More info online at LeonBotstein.com.
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