Bard Conservatory of Music Presents Orchestra Concert with World-Renowned Conductor and Composer Tan Dun on May 13ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY —The Bard Conservatory Orchestra presents a concert celebrating works by Bedřich Smetana (1824-84), Claude Debussy (1862-1918), Grigoraș Dinicu (1889-1949), Tōru Takemitsu (1930-96), and Benjamin Britten (1913-76). Conducted by Tan Dun, world-renowned conductor and composer, the program will feature Smetana’s Vltava (The Moldau), No. 2, from Má Vlast (My Country); Debussy’s Rhapsody for Saxophone and Orchestra with saxophone player Eric Zheng ’24; and Dinicu’s Ciocârlia (The Lark) with violinist Yida An ’24. Following an intermission, it continues with Takemitsu’s I Hear the Water Dreaming with flautist Jillian Reed ’21; and Britten’s Four Sea Interludes, Op. 33a from the opera Peter Grimes. The performance will be held on Saturday, May 13, at 8 pm in the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater. To reserve tickets, visit fishercenter.bard.edu, or call 845-758-7900 (Mon-Fri 10 am-5 pm).
In his cycle of six symphonic poems, Má Vlast (My Country), Bedřich Smetana paid tribute to the natural beauty and history of his native Bohemia. The Moldau became the most popular of the set, and provided the famous unifying theme—adapted from a Swedish folksong Smetana heard while living in Sweden in the late 1850s—throughout the overall work.
Claude Debussy’s Rhapsody for Saxophone and Orchestra, a commission left incomplete at his death, was given its final shape by his friend, the composer Jean Roger-Ducasse, and performed and published posthumously in 1919. The work is more lyrical than virtuosic, and stylistically revisits many of Debussy’s favorite Spanish rhythms.
The melody of Grigoraș Dinicu’s arrangement of Ciocârlia (The Lark) was first introduced by his grandfather Angheluș Dinicu, a virtuoso on the nai, a Romanian pan flute consisting of reed or bamboo pipes glued together—a modern version of the ancient Greek panpipe. Angheluș, who was of Roma ethnicity, first played “The Lark” during the 1889 World Exposition in Paris, the event for which the Eiffel Tower was built.
Toru Takemitsu, the great Japanese composer, was frequently inspired by the image of water. He composed a whole “Waterscape” cycle in the 1980s, and the contemplation of flowing movement led him to also consider visualizing dreams in I Hear the Water Dreaming. He drew on various conceptual backgrounds—including French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s study of the different cultural symbolic meanings of water, along with aboriginal myths of “dreamtime” gleaned from Takemitsu’s travels to Australia—resulting in a unique mixture of emotionalism and intellectual rigor in his composition.
Benjamin Britten’s great opera Peter Grimes was based on a poem by the 18th-century poet George Crabbe, who lived in the village of Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast near Britten's birthplace. The character of Grimes, who is a villain in Crabbe’s poem, is reimagined in the opera as a complex outcast who is brought down by his emotional instability and his deeply prejudiced environment. The Four Sea Interludes capture much of the opera’s special ambiance, featuring the sea itself as a protagonist of the work while conveying the austere atmosphere that provides the background to the plot.
About Tan Dun
The world-renowned artist and UNESCO Global Goodwill Ambassador Tan Dun has made an indelible mark on the world’s music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions. A winner of today’s most prestigious honors including the Grammy Award, Oscar/Academy Award, Grawemeyer Award, Bach Prize, Shostakovich Award, and most recently Italy’s Golden Lion Award for Lifetime Achievement, Tan Dun’s music has been played throughout the world by leading orchestras, opera houses, international festivals, and on radio and television. Most recently, Tan Dun was named as Dean of the Bard College Conservatory of Music. As dean, Tan Dun will further demonstrate music’s extraordinary ability to transform lives and guide the Conservatory in fulfilling its mission of understanding music’s connection to history, art, culture, and society.
As a conductor of innovative programs around the world, Tan Dun has led the China tours of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra. His current season includes leading the Orchestre National de Lyon in a six-city China tour, the Guangzhou Symphony Orchestra in a four-city tour of Switzerland and Belgium as well as engagements with the Rai National Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra where he was recently named Artistic Ambassador. Tan Dun currently serves as the Principle Guest Conductor of the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra. Dun has led the world’s most esteemed orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Münchner Philharmoniker, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, among others.
#About the Bard College Conservatory
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, conducting, and instrumental performance, as well as Chinese music and culture. Also at the graduate level, the Conservatory offers an Advanced Performance Studies Program and a two-year Post-graduate 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. The Conservatory Orchestra has performed twice at Lincoln Center, and has completed four international concert tours to China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan; Russia and six cities in Central and Eastern Europe; and to three cities in Cuba. bard.edu/conservatory
About Bard College
Founded in 1860, Bard College is a four-year, residential college of the liberal arts and sciences located 90 miles north of New York City. With the addition of the Montgomery Place estate, Bard’s campus consists of nearly 1,000 parklike acres in the Hudson River Valley. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and bachelor of music degrees, with majors in more than 40 academic programs; graduate degrees in 13 programs; eight early colleges; and numerous dual-degree programs nationally and internationally. Building on its 163-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard College has expanded its mission as a private institution acting in the public interest across the country and around the world to meet broader student needs and increase access to liberal arts education. The undergraduate program at our main campus in upstate New York has a reputation for scholarly excellence, a focus on the arts, and civic engagement. Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders. For more information about Bard College, visit bard.edu.
Bard Press Contact:Ania Bartkowiak
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