The Orchestra Now (TŌN) Opens Its 2022–23 Season at Bard’s Fisher Center with Music Director Leon Botstein, September 10, 2022 – April 29, 2023
Programs Include Two Carnegie Hall Preview Performances, One Featuring the U.S. Premiere of
Hugo Kauder’s Symphony No. 1
Guest Artists are Conductors James Bagwell, Andres Rivas and Naomi Woo; Flutist Andrea Ábel,
Violinist Stella Chen, Soprano Samantha Martin, and Pianist Evren Ozel
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, September 1, 2022 — The Orchestra Now (TŌN) will launch its 2022-23 season at the Fisher Center at Bard on September 10–11 with a program that includes Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, George Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Lilacs, and Bard faculty member Joan Tower’s Concerto for Flute. Under the leadership of founder and Music Director Leon Botstein, the season will present creative combinations of both well-known and less familiar repertoire in 15 performances of eight different programs. All programs will be livestreamed on The Orchestra Now’s website, ton.bard.edu.
Highlights include two Carnegie Hall preview concerts, one offering the U.S. premiere of a new restoration of Viennese composer Hugo Kauder’s First Symphony (October 29-30 at Fisher Center and November 3 at Carnegie Hall) and a second examining Eastern European music through the rise and fall of Soviet communism (April 29-30 at Fisher Center and May 4 at Carnegie Hall). There will also be special presentations of Beethoven’s Missa solemnis (March 4-5) and Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe led by TŌN Associate Conductor James Bagwell (April 1-2), as well as a free concert at Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock with guest conductor Andres Rivas (November 20).
The Orchestra welcomes 37 new members to its eighth season, for a total of 62 musicians from 13 countries. Since it launched in 2015, TŌN has performed 576 works by 275 composers in 36 venues for more than 76,000 live and virtual concertgoers, with 298 soloists and 26 conductors.
Broadcasts and recordings
This year marks the sixth season of TŌN’s successful broadcast series on WMHT-FM, the classical music radio station of New York’s Capital Region, and the fifth season on WWFM, the Classical Network station serving New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, both featuring programs from the Orchestra’s Fisher Center series. TŌN’s performances are also heard regularly on American Public Media’s Performance Today.
TŌN’s new album, titled Classics of American Romantism, features George Frederick Bristow’s Symphony No. 4 “Arcadian” and William Henry Fry’s Niagara Symphony, and will be released on Bridge Records on September 16.
THE FISHER CENTER SERIES AT BARD, Sosnoff Theater
Joan Tower & Mahler’s 5th
Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 7 PM
Sunday, September 11, 2022 at 2 PM
Leon Botstein, conductor
Samantha Martin, soprano
Andrea Ábel, flute
George Walker: Lilacs
Joan Tower: Concerto for Flute
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5
TŌN begins its eighth season at Bard with Mahler’s heroic Fifth Symphony, plus two works featuring winners of the Bard College Conservatory Concerto Competition: George Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Lilacs, and the virtuosic flute concerto of Joan Tower, who has taught composition at Bard for 50 years.
Dvořák’s 7th & The Czech Symphonic Tradition
Saturday, October 1, 2022 at 7 PM
Sunday, October 2, 2022 at 2 PM
Leon Botstein, conductor
Josef Suk: Scherzo fantastique
Antonín Dvořák: Symphony No. 7
Bohuslav Martinů: The Frescoes of Piero della Francesca
Leoš Janáček: Sinfonietta
TŌN spotlights four Czech composers whose music exemplifies that country’s great symphonic legacy. The program includes Dvořák’s powerful Seventh Symphony and Janáček’s patriotic, brass-filled Sinfonietta.
Carnegie Hall Preview: The Lost Generation
This program will be performed at Carnegie Hall on November 3.
Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 7 PM
Sunday, October 30, 2022 at 2 PM
Leon Botstein, conductor
Adolf Busch (arr. P. Serkin): Variations on an Original Theme
Walter Braunfels: Sinfonia brevis
Hans Erich Apostel: Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Hugo Kauder: Symphony No. 1 (U.S. Premiere)
Conductor and Music Director Leon Botstein highlights four German and Austrian composers of the early 20th century whose music was unfairly ignored or suppressed during and following World War II. The evening opens with Adolph Busch’s Variations on an Original Theme, performed in an orchestration by his grandson, the late Peter Serkin, who was on the piano faculty at Bard. Busch’s original work, for piano four-hands, was composed in 1944 as a gift to his wife. The work was a favorite of Peter's and his father Rudolf Serkin, which they enjoyed playing together. Peter, later in his life, began investigating the music written by his grandfather and was attracted by the potential of the variations in an orchestral version, an idea that interested Leon Botstein. Peter Serkin worked on the project shortly before he passed away in 2020.
The program continues with Walter Braunfels’ Sinfonia brevis. A Frankfurt native, Braunfels was director of the Cologne Academy of Music from 1945 to 1950 but was removed during the rise of Nazi power for being half-Jewish and composing what the regime considered degenerate music. Leon Botstein then leads Hans Apostel’s version of Variations on a Theme by Haydn. Apostel was a modernist and student of Schoenberg. TŌN is partnering with the Hugo Kauder Society to debut a new restoration of the Viennese composer’s First Symphony. A self-taught composer, Kauder left Vienna when the Nazis took over Austria, and ended up in the U.S., where he made his living writing music and teaching music theory, composition, and violin in New York City until his death in 1972.
FREE CONCERT at Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock
Shostakovich & Ives
Sunday, November 20, 2022, at 3 PM
Andres Rivas, conductor
Aram Khachaturian: Greeting Overture
Fiodor Yakimenko: Lyric Poem dedicated to Rimsky-Korsakov
Charles Edward Ives: Overture and March "1776"
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9
TŌN Assistant Conductor Andrés Rivas leads the Orchestra at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, MA. The program includes Ukrainian composer Fiodor Yakimenko’s Lyric Poem, as well as Shostakovich’s Ninth Symphony and Ives’ overture to his never-written opera “1776.”
Tickets: This concert is FREE, no tickets necessary, advance RSVP suggested. Check ton.bard.edu for RSVP information.Concertgoers will need to comply with health and safety requirements at the venue.
Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique
Saturday, February 11, 2023 at 7 PM
Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 2 PM
Leon Botstein, conductor
Evren Ozel, piano
Carl Maria von Weber: Der Freischütz Overture
Adolf von Henselt: Piano Concerto
Hector Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Leon Botstein and The Orchestra Now kick off the spring 2023 season with a romantic concert featuring Berlioz’s epic tale of an artist’s passion for a beautiful woman, Symphonie fantastique, and Henselt’s beautiful Piano Concerto, which was debuted by Clara Schumann in 1844.
Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe
Saturday, March 4, 2023 at 7 PM
Sunday, March 5, 2023 at 3 PM
James Bagwell, conductor
Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program soloists
Gilbert & Sullivan: Iolanthe
TŌN Associate Conductor James Bagwell leads soloists from the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program in a concert performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s fairyland fantasy, which The New York Times called “a madcap Victorian fairytale, rife with merriment!”
Beethoven’s Missa solemnis
Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 7 PM
Sunday, April 2, 2023 at 3 PM
Leon Botstein, conductor
Bard Festival Chorale
James Bagwell choral director
Ludwig van Beethoven: Missa solemnis
Leon Botstein leads The Orchestra Now and the Bard Festival Chorale in a performance of one of only three sacred works Beethoven ever wrote, the Missa solemnis.
Naomi Woo Conducts Ravel
Saturday, April 8, 2023 at 7 PM
Naomi Woo, conductor
Stella Chen, violin
Béla Bartók: Violin Concerto No. 2
Maurice Ravel: Mother Goose Suite
Maurice Ravel: La Valse
Canadian conductor Naomi Woo, the Assistant Conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra was named one of the “Top 30 Classical Musicians under 30” by the CBC in 2019. Her program includes a Bartók violin concerto with Lincoln Center Emerging Artist Award winner Stella Chen, and beloved works by Ravel.
Carnegie Hall Preview: Before and After Soviet Communism
This program will be performed at Carnegie Hall on May 4.
Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 7 PM
Sunday, April 30 at 2 PM
Leon Botstein, conductor
Karol Szymanowski: Songs of the Infatuated Muezzin
György Kurtág: ...concertante...
Boris Tishchenko: Symphony No. 5
Leon Botstein unearths seldom-heard masterpieces in this concert examining Eastern European music through the rise and fall of Soviet communism. Szymanowski’s 1918 Songs of the Infatuated Muezzin was written during a time when the composer’s interests turned towards exoticism. A song cycle for voice and piano, it is based on texts from the Polish poet Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz and evokes the improvisational cry of the men who call Muslims to prayer. Russian composer Boris Tishchenko’s Fifth Symphony is dedicated to Shostakovich in response to the death of his teacher, colleague, and friend. Hungarian composer György Kurtág’s early-21st-century ...concertante… consists of a single movement plus a coda scored for large orchestra and two string soloists with a wide range of tonal color. Premiered in 2003 by the Danish National Symphony Radio Orchestra, the work won the University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition
Tickets $25–$40; 5-concert subscription at 35% off. Choose your own subscription (mix and match 3 or more from all 8 concerts) at 25% off. All available online at fishercenter.bard.edu, or by calling the Fisher Center at 845.758.7900. Ticket holders will need to comply with the venue’s health and safety requirements, which can be found here.
The Orchestra Now
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of 62 vibrant young musicians from 13 different countries across the globe: Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. 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 Yale School of Music, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Royal Academy of Music, and the New England Conservatory 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 it performs multiple concerts each season and takes part in the annual Bard Music Festival. It also performs 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 Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Järvi, Gil Shaham, Fabio Luisi, Vadim Repin, Hans Graf, Peter Serkin, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, 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. Recent releases include an album of piano concertos with Orion Weiss on Bridge Records, and the soundtrack to the motion picture Forte. 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.
For upcoming activities and more detailed information about the musicians, visit ton.bard.edu.
Leon Botstein is founder and music director of The Orchestra Now (TŌN), music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra (ASO), artistic codirector of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival, and conductor laureate and principal guest conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (JSO), where he served as music director from 2003 to 2011. He has been guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre, Russian National Orchestra in Moscow, Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Taipei Symphony, Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfónica Juvenil de Caracas in Venezuela, among others. In 2018, he assumed artistic directorship of Campus Grafenegg and Grafenegg Academy in Austria.
Recordings include acclaimed recordings of Othmar Schoeck’s Lebendig begraben with TŌN, Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner with the ASO, a Grammy-nominated recording of Popov’s First Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra, and other various recordings with TŌN, ASO, the London Philharmonic, NDR Orchestra Hamburg, and JSO, among others. He is editor of The Musical Quarterly and author of numerous articles and books, including The Compleat Brahms (Norton), Jefferson’s Children (Doubleday), Judentum und Modernität (Bölau), and Von Beethoven zu Berg (Zsolnay). Honors include Harvard University’s prestigious Centennial Award; the American Academy of Arts and Letters award; and Cross of Honor, First Class, from the government of Austria, for his contributions to music. Other distinctions include the Bruckner Society’s Julio Kilenyi Medal of Honor for his interpretations of that composer’s music, the Leonard Bernstein Award for the Elevation of Music in Society, and Carnegie Foundation’s Academic Leadership Award. In 2011, he was inducted into the American Philosophical Society.
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