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Natalie Merchant Performs in Concert with The Bard College Conservatory of Music Orchestra on Saturday, March 5

Saturday Night Benefit Concert at the Sosnoff Theater

Image Credit: Photo by Mark Seliger
Eleanor Davis
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. —The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts presents Natalie Merchant in concert with The Bard College Conservatory of Music Orchestra on Saturday, March 5 at 8 p.m. Conducted by James Bagwell, the concert is a benefit for the Conservatory’s Scholarship Fund. Tickets are $60 or $100, with a $200 benefit ticket option which includes priority seating and a post-concert reception with the artists. For tickets and information call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900, or go to

Merchant will perform songs from her latest recording project, Leave Your Sleep (Nonesuch Records, 2010), as well as selected works from her extensive catalogue. A captivating live performer, Merchant has been described as a “brassy, deep singer with interesting nuances that are like a captivating deep chocolate” (Salt Lake City Tribune). For Leave Your Sleep, the singer-songwriter adapted the poetry of e.e. cummings, Ogden Nash, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Gerard Manley Hopkins into songs influenced by klezmer, bluegrass, chamber music, and folk.

The Conservatory Orchestra features more than 35 musicians, with string and wind instruments, piano, and percussion. Merchant will also be joined on stage by special guests Uri Sharlin, piano and accordion, and Erik Della, guitar and background vocals

The proceeds from this special concert will benefit students at The Bard College Conservatory of Music as well as students enrolled in the Conservatory Preparatory Division, which offers young people between the ages of 5 and 18 the joy of studying music in the context of a first-class academy.

For more information call the box office at 845-758-7900.


About Natalie Merchant

Over her 28-year career Natalie Merchant has earned a place among America’s most respected recording artists, with a reputation for being a songwriter of quality and a captivating performer. Merchant began her musical career as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the pop music band 10,000 Maniacs and released two platinum and four gold records with the group between 1981 and 1993 (The Wishing Chair, In My Tribe, Blind Man’s Zoo, Hope Chest, Our Time in Eden, and MTV Unplugged). In 1994 Merchant began her solo career with a self-produced debut album, Tigerlily (1995), selling 4 million copies. In the years following, she released Ophelia (1998), Natalie Merchant Live (1999), and Motherland (2001). In 2003 she independently released an album of traditional and contemporary folk music, The House Carpenter’s Daughter, on her own label, Myth America Records. In 2005 she curated a collection of her own work for a double album she titled Retrospective. She has collaborated both on stage and in the studio with a wide range of artists: REM, Wynton Marsalis, The Chieftains, Mavis Staples, Daniel Lanois, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, David Byrne, Philip Glass, Billy Bragg, Wilco, Tracy Chapman, Cowboy Junkies, Ryan Adams, Lokua Kanza, Yungchen Lhamo, The Fairfield Four, Gavin Bryars, Jakob Dylan, Susan McKeown, Chris Botti, Lúnasa, The Klezmatics, Katell Keineg, Dan Zanes, and Medeski, Martin & Wood.


Throughout her entire career Merchant has also been dedicated to supporting a wide array of nonprofit organizations, lending both financial support and raising public awareness. Scenic Hudson, The Center for Constitutional Rights, Riverkeeper, Doctors Without Borders, Greenpeace, The Association to Benefit Children, Planned Parenthood, and The Southern Center for Human Rights are among the social justice groups to which she has been devoted. She was recently appointed by the governor of New York to serve a five-year term as a member of the prestigious New York State Council on the Arts. After the birth of her daughter in 2003 Merchant took an extended break from recording and touring. For the past six years she has been researching, writing, and recording a collection of songs adapted from the works of various classic and contemporary poets. This project, Leave Your Sleep, is her first studio album in seven years and was released in April 2010 on Nonesuch Records.


About The Bard College Conservatory of Music


The mission of The Bard College Conservatory of Music is to provide the best possible preparation for a person dedicated to a life immersed in the creation and performance of music. The conservatory features a unique double degree program in which all undergraduate conservatory students receive a bachelor of music and a bachelor of arts in another field. In addition, the conservatory offers graduate programs in Vocal Arts, led by renowned soprano Dawn Upshaw, and in Conducting, led by Harold Farberman, as well as a Post-Graduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship, directed by Frank Corliss. For more information, visit


About the Conservatory Preparatory Division


The Bard College Conservatory of Music Preparatory Division is a Saturday program of study for students ages 5–18, with instruction offered in piano, violin, cello, double bass, flute, and voice. The program includes private lessons (of age-appropriate length); Performance Class, group sessions in which students play for each other in a relaxed and supportive environment; Musicianship Class, in which elements of music theory and history, as well as ear training, are offered; and monthly and end-of-semester recitals, which are open to parents and friends. Because of its connection to The Bard College Conservatory of Music, the Preparatory Division provides its students with many advantages, including an expert and nurturing faculty, many of whom have connections with the Conservatory.


For more information visit




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This event was last updated on 01-25-2011