Artistic Leadership and Academic Faculty
Leon Botstein is the president of Bard College, has been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years, and is the former music director of the Jerusalem Symphony. He has performed and recorded with major orchestras throughout the world, including the LA Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, and Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, among others. He is also Artistic Director of Bard SummerScape, which each year presents a fully-staged opera and celebrates the music world of a selected composer in the Bard Music Festival.
Academic Director and Associate Conductor
James Bagwell is a noted conductor of both orchestras and choruses. He has been choral director of the Bard Festival Chorale since 2003, and is principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. He has been director of The Collegiate Chorale and The Dessoff Choirs. He regularly performs in the Cincinnati May Festival and guest conducts regularly throughout the country. Since 2002 he has been on the music faculty of Bard College and has taught at Bard College Conservatory of Music.
Jindong Cai is the director of the US-China Music Institute and a professor of music at the Bard College Conservatory of Music. Prior to joining Bard he was a professor of performance at Stanford University. Over the 30 years of his career in the United States, Maestro Cai has established himself as an active and dynamic conductor, scholar of Western classical music in China, and leading advocate of music from across Asia. He is a three-time recipient of the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.
Zachary Schwartzman has conducted throughout the United States and in such countries as Brazil, England, and Bosnia. He is the music director of Blue Hill Troupe, and has been assistant conductor at the American Symphony Orchestra and the Bard Music Festival since 2012. He was formerly house conductor of The Gilmmerglass Festival, and was assistant conductor at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opera Atelier, among others.
Fabio Luisi, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, JoAnn Falletta, Neeme Järvi, Hans Graf, Oleg Caetani, Federico Cortese, Jan Latham-Koenig, and Marcelo Lehninger.
Professor of Orchestral Practice
Erica Kiesewetter is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where she studied with Ivan Galamian. She has been Concertmaster of the American Symphony Orchestra, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Opera Orchestra of New York, New York Pops, Stamford Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, and Amici New York. She has toured internationally and recorded with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She has been Visiting Associate Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at Bard College since 2010.
Director of Chamber Music and Arts Advocacy
Bridget Kibbey, solo harpist, is renowned for her performances and recordings of both harp repertoire and contemporary commissions and projects. She has won the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, The Classical Recording Foundation's Young Artist Award, Concert Artist Guild's International Competition, and Astral Artist Auditions. Her debut album, Love is Come Again, was named one of the Top Ten Releases by Time Out New York. She may also be heard on Deutsche Grammophon with Dawn Upshaw, on a recording of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ayre and Luciano Berio’s Folk Songs.
Éric Trudel is an Associate Professor of French and the Chair of the Division of Languages and Literature at Bard College. He is the author of La terreur à l'oeuvre: Théorie, poétique et éthique chez Jean Paulhan, coeditor of several volumes, and has written numerous articles on Jean Paulhan, Chris Marker, Remy de Gourmont, Tanguy Viel, and modern and contemporary French and Francophone poetry. He is the managing editor of Formes Poétiques Contemporaines (SUNY Buffalo).