Press Room

See what they're saying about us.
Main Image for Press Room

Bard Conservatory Orchestra Class Offers a Public Performance at the Fisher Center on May 14

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—The Bard Conservatory Orchestral Training and Repertoire class, with Leon Botstein, offers a public performance by the Conservatory Orchestra at its last instructional session, meeting on Wednesday, May 14. The class begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Sosnoff Theater of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. The Conservatory Orchestra, conducted by Botstein, performs Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage, Op. 27; Haydn’s Symphony No. 87; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5; and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1. Admission is free; no reservations are necessary, and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. [Note: The performance may be interrupted at points for instruction.]

The purpose of the Orchestral Training and Repertoire class is to introduce Conservatory students to the art of orchestral playing. The weekly sessions include preparation for concerts, orchestral exercises, and readings of important orchestral repertoire.

Leon Botstein, who directs the Conservatory’s Orchestral Studies Program, is music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the radio orchestra of Israel. Radio broadcasts of Botstein’s concerts with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra may be heard in syndication throughout the United States. He is also the founder and coartistic director of the Bard Music Festival. In addition, he is the editor of The Musical Quarterly and author of numerous articles and books. For his contributions to music he has received the award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Harvard University’s prestigious Centennial Award, as well as the Cross of Honor, First Class from the government of Austria. Botstein was invited by former Secretary General Kofi Annan to address the United Nations on the topic “Why Music Matters.” Since 1975 he has been president of Bard College.

For additional information, call 845-758-7196, e-mail, or visit For directions to the Fisher Center, visit


The Bard College Conservatory of Music

Robert Martin, Director

Melvin Chen, Associate Director

Building on its distinguished history in the arts and education, Bard College launched The Bard College Conservatory of Music, which welcomed its first class in August 2005. Now in its third year, the Conservatory’s undergraduate program is guided by the principle that musicians should be broadly educated in the liberal arts and sciences to achieve their greatest potential. While training and studying for the bachelor of music degree with world-class musicians and teachers and performing in state-of-the-art facilities, such as the Frank Gehry–designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Conservatory students also pursue a bachelor of arts degree at Bard, one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges.

Conservatory faculty include violinists Eugene Drucker, Yi-Wen Jiang, Ani Kavafian (master classes), Ida Kavafian, Soovin Kim, Weigang Li, Laurie Smukler, and Arnold Steinhardt; violists Steven Tenenbom, Michael Tree, and Ira Weller; cellists Sophie Shao and Peter Wiley; double bassist Marji Danilow; pianists Melvin Chen, Jeremy Denk, Richard Goode (master classes) and Peter Serkin; oboists Laura Ahlbeck and Richard Dallessio; flutists Nadine Asin (master classes) and Tara Helen O’Connor; clarinetists Laura Flax and David Krakauer; bassoonist Marc Goldberg; horn players Julie Landsman and Jeffrey Lang; trombonist John Rojak; trumpeter Mark Gould; and tuba player Alan Baer. Joan Tower and George Tsontakis direct the Conservatory Composition Program. The Colorado Quartet and Da Capo Chamber Players are in residence. Members and principals of the American Symphony Orchestra are available for instruction, coaching, and leading of sectional rehearsals of the Conservatory Orchestra. In addition, the resources and faculty of the Bard College Music Program are available to students of the Conservatory. The Graduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship, directed by Frank Corliss, provides accompanists for students in the undergraduate and graduate vocal arts programs.

The Graduate Program in Vocal Arts is a two-year master of music degree conceived and directed by soprano Dawn Upshaw. The course work is designed to support a broad-based approach to a singing career that extends from standard repertory to new music. Alongside weekly voice lessons and diction and repertory courses is training in acting, as well as core seminars that introduce and tie together the historical/cultural perspective, analytical tools, and performance skills that distinguish vocal and operatic performance at the highest level. In addition to artistic director Upshaw, the program includes head of program Kayo Iwama; voice teachers Edith Bers, Patricia Misslin, and Lorraine Nubar; diction coach Jennifer Ringo; Alexander Technique teachers Gwen Ellison and Judith Grodowitz; staff pianist Ying-Chien Lin; and career workshop coordinator Carol Yaple. Master classes have been held with conductor James Conlon; pianist Richard Goode; vocalists Phyllis Curtin, Timothy Hill, and Lucy Shelton; and directors JoAnne Akalaitis, Eve Shapiro, and Peter Sellars.

The Conductors Institute at Bard aims to promote technical clarity and precision in baton movement; disarm the competitive learning process so that conductors assist and support one another; and encourage conductors to be advocates of contemporary composers. The six-week summer Conductors Institute offers four programs: the Discovery Program; the Composer-Conductor Program for composers who want to learn the fundamentals of conducting; Visual Score Study/Baton Placement and Body Movement Technique; and the Conducting Program for Fellows and Colleagues, in which students study with Maestro Harold Farberman and guest conductors and composers. The M.F.A. in Conducting Program comprises two consecutive summer Institutes and course work during the intervening academic year. The academic-year program features master classes in technical score study and analysis; class study in orchestral repertoire, composition, German or Italian for conductors, a “second” instrument, and solfège; and podium time, including class sessions with the Institute String Quintet, conducting opportunities with orchestra and chorus, and a thesis concert with the Institute Orchestra.

For more information about the Bard College Conservatory of Music, call 845-758-7196, e-mail, or visit

# # #


To download hi-res press photos, click on thumbnail images below:

Leon Botstein

Photo: Steve J. Sherman

The Richard B. Fisher Center

for the Performing Arts at Bard College

Photo: Peter Aaron/Esto

The Bard Conservatory Orchestra

Photo: Karl Rabe



back to top



This event was last updated on 05-15-2008