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Music Program Presents Vocal Concert at Fisher Center on December 12

Emily Darrow




Program Features Works by Bach and Vivaldi


ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—Under the direction of James Bagwell, the Bard College Symphonic Chorus and Chamber Singers perform in the acoustically superb Sosnoff Theater of the Fisher Center on Wednesday, December 12. The program begins at 8:00 p.m. and tickets are $5 (free for Bard students and children 12 and under).


The program includes Bach’s Cantata 21 (“Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis”) and Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major. Featured vocal soloists are tenor Rufus Müller and bass Arthur Burrows. “Both of these fine singers are on the faculty at Bard, and both are distinguished Bach singers.  They will be joined by undergraduate soloists as well,” explains Maestro Bagwell.


Arthur Burrows, associate professor of music at Bard College, is a member of the Riverside Chamber Singers, Abbey Singers, New York Pro Musica, and has been a guest artist with the Waverly Consort. Burrows has been a guest performer with the American Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Joffrey Ballet, New York Renaissance Band, Robert Shaw Chorale, and Chautauqua Opera Company; and a soloist with Margaret Hillis Concert Choir and Orpheus Orchestra. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from The Juilliard School of Music. He has been an artist in residence at City College of New York; assistant professor at Trenton State University and SUNY at Purchase; instructor at Stanford University; and assistant professor of voice at Boston University.


“Among the soloists, the standout was Rufus Müller, easily the best tenor I have ever heard in a live Messiah” (New York Times). British/German tenor Müller is a leading Evangelist in Bach’s Passions, and his unique dramatic interpretation of this role has confirmed his status as one of the world’s most sought after performers. He gave the world premiere of Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of the St. Matthew Passion, which he also recorded for United and which was broadcast on BBC TV; he recently repeated his performance in a revival of the production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York. In demand for oratorio and opera, Müller has worked with many leading conductors including Franz Welser-Möst, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Roger Norrington, Ivor Bolton, Richard Hickox, Nicholas McGegan, Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Philippe Herreweghe, Joshua Rifkin, Andrew Parrott, Nicholas Kraemer, and Ivan Fischer. He has given solo recitals in the Wigmore Hall and the Barbican Concert Hall in London as well as for BBC Radio, and in Munich, Tokyo, Barcelona, Madrid, Utrecht, Paris, Salzburg, and New York. Müller is visiting assistant professor of music at Bard College.

Conductor James Bagwell maintains an active schedule throughout the United States as a conductor of choral, operatic, and orchestral literature. In December 2006 he made his major orchestra debut, leading the Jerusalem Symphony in two concerts. In March 2007 he led a subscription concert with the Tulsa Symphony (TSO), and in October returned to conduct two concerts with the TSO. In summer 2005 he led six sold-out performances of Copland’s The Tender Land as part of Bard SummerScape, which received unanimous praise from the New York Times, New Yorker, and Opera News. He returned to SummerScape in 2006 to conduct three Offenbach operettas, and in 2007 he led a new production of The Sorcerer. Now in his ninth season as music director of Light Opera Oklahoma, he conducted three new productions for the 2007 summer festival season, including the OK Mozart International Music Festival in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Since 2001 Bagwell has conducted numerous concerts with the Bard Festival Chorale and the Bard Chamber Players. In October 2002 he premiered Cinderella’s Bad Magic by microtonal composer Kyle Gann as part of the Alternativa Festival in Moscow. In 2005, he was named music director of the Dessoff Choirs in New York City, which, under his leadership, made three appearances at Carnegie Hall, most recently with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic in October 2007.


In 2003 Bagwell was named director of choruses for the Bard Music Festival, conducting and preparing choral works during the summer festival at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard, and at Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Since 2004 he has prepared the Concert Chorale of New York for concerts with the American Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Mostly Mozart Festival, all in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. Bagwell has trained choruses for a number of major American and international orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NHK Symphony (Japan), St. Petersburg Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He has worked with such noted conductors as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Michael Tilson Thomas, Louis Langrée, Leon Botstein, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Raymond Leppard, James Conlon, Christof Perick, Jesús López-Cobos, Erich Kunzel, Leon Fleischer, and Robert Shaw. Since 1997 he has been music director of the May Festival Youth Chorus in Cincinnati, conducting regularly during the May Festival, Carolfest, and outreach concerts throughout the Cincinnati area. In addition to his work with the Youth Chorus, he prepared the May Festival Summer Chorus for eight seasons for the Riverbend Summer Festival. 


James Bagwell is artistic director for the New York Repertory Singers, and serves as conductor for the Berkshire Bach Society Choruses. From 1998–2001 he was artistic director and conductor of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and the Indianapolis Chamber Singers, a professional ensemble he formed in 1999. In 2000 he joined the faculty of Bard College, where he is director of the Music Program.


Seating for the December 12 concert is on a first-come, first-served basis. For further information, call 845-758-7900.

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To download high-resolution press photos (300 dpi jpegs), click on thumbnail images below for links to images.

Rufus Muller   James Bagwell


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This event was last updated on 12-13-2007