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Bard's Fisher Center Presents An Outstanding Fall Season of Music, Dance, Art, and Theater Productions

Tickets go on sale September 2

Image Credit: Photo by Christian Slater
Mark Primoff

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—This fall, The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College presents an extraordinary series of music, dance, art, and theater programs. The season features world-class musical performances, orchestral and chamber concerts, contemporary performance and art events, and innovative student productions from September through December. Additional program information can be found at Tickets will go on sale September 2, and can be ordered online at or by calling the box office at 845-758-7900

Highlights of the fall season include celebrated violin virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn performing on the “Red Violin”—the legendary 1720 “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius; Mozart’s Requiem conducted by the renowned Ádám Fischer; The House Is Open, a cross-disciplinary exhibition of installation and performance presented by Live Arts Bard and the Center for Curatorial Studies; a weekend of John Cage concerts, featuring Sō Percussion; Neil Gaiman in conversation with artist Audrey Niffenegger; the return of the American Symphony Orchestra; Conservatory Sundays with Joan Tower and Dawn Upshaw; Longy School of Music of Bard College’s Sistema Side by Side Orchestra in concert; a special holiday production of David Parker ’81 and The Bang Group’s Nut/Cracked; and a variety of student performances.


Saturday, September 6 at 2 p.m.

Live Arts Bard

Miguel Gutierrez

Open Rehearsal of Age & Beauty Part 2: Asian Beauty at the Werq Meeting or The Choreographer and Her Muse

LUMA Theater

Free; reservations required (suitable for ages 18 and up)

Miguel Gutierrez is a Bessie Award–winning choreographer and Guggenheim Fellow whose most recent performance, Age & Beauty Part 1, Mid Career Artist/Suicide Note or &:-/, premiered at the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Gutierrez will develop the second part of the Age & Beauty trilogy at LAB this fall—a tragicomic meditation on middle age, youthful hopefulness, and the politics of queer performance.

Residency support for Miguel Gutierrez provided, in part, by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the New York Live Arts–Bard College Dance Program Partnership. 


Saturday, September 20 at 3 p.m.

Longy School of Music of Bard College

Sistema Side by Side Orchestra

Conducted by Jorge Soto

Sosnoff Theater

Free; reservations required

The Sistema Side by Side Orchestra travels from Boston to honor Maestro José Antonio Abreu, founder of El Sistema, the unique program from Venezuela that brings about social change through music and has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of children worldwide.
In Longy’s Sistema Side by Side program in Cambridge, Massachusetts, conservatory students mentor students from El Sistema–inspired programs across the state. Through joint rehearsals and performances, these young musicians deepen their musical skills, make new friends, and learn that hard work and dedication can open doors to new opportunities. Maestro Abreu will be in attendance to receive an honorary degree from Bard College.


Saturday, September 20 through Sunday, September 21

John Cage Weekend


The John Cage Trust presents

The Ten Thousand Things


LUMA Theater

Saturday, September 20

Preconcert talk at 7 p.m.

Performance at 8 p.m. 

Tickets: $30*

The Ten Thousand Things is a title given by musicologist James Pritchett to a grand project initiated by John Cage in 1953 involving the composition of independent pieces for various media, each bearing a number title, each capable of being played alone or together with any number of the others. Such an open work could be added to constantly, and since the performing ensemble would not be fixed, Cage’s composition remains perpetually “in progress.” This performance brings together five of these pieces, spanning the years 1953 to 1956, in a chance-determined musical collage: 59 ½” for a String Player (1953), 45’ for Speaker (1954), 31’ 57.9864” for a Pianist (1954), 26’ 1.1499” for a String Player (1955), and 27’ 10.554” for a Percussionist (1956).  

Sō Percussion “Branches”

We Are All Going in Different Directions

Sosnoff Theater

Sunday, September 21 at 3 p.m.

Tickets: $25*

Branches—named after one of John Cage’s later works—is a new project at Bard. Curated by Conservatory faculty Sō Percussion, it is an experiment in hybrid arts. Music, theater, video, dance, visual art, and other media are explored in the spirit of openness and adventure that Sō Percussion brings to its own work, which is directly inspired by Cage’s. We Are All Going in Different Directions captures that spirit in a performance with Bard musicians that includes classic Cage scores and new original works.

*Ticket to both John Cage Celebration concerts: $40

Sō Percussion appears as part of Branches, a new partnership between the Fisher Center, The

Bard College Conservatory of Music, and the John Cage Trust.

Sō Percussion performances and residency at the Fisher Center are supported by New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Helen F. Whitaker Fund, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust.


Friday, October 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Live Arts Bard

Neil Gaiman in conversation with Audrey Niffenegger

Sosnoff Theater

Tickets: $25; $5 for Bard community

In the second in a regular series of conversations hosted by Bard professor Neil Gaiman, best-selling author and artist Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife) will discuss time travel, Doctor Who, graveyards, taxidermy, graphic novels, pictures, books, and long-distance romance.


Sunday, October 5 at 3 p.m.

Conservatory Sundays

Music Alive!

Joan Tower and Blair McMillen, Artistic Directors

“Dynamic Women Making Music from Around the Globe” 

Sosnoff Theater

Tickets: $15, $20, free to the Bard community

Conservatory students perform works by female composers Kaija Saariaho (Finland), Julia Wolfe (United States), Pauline Oliveros (United States), Jennifer Higdon (United States), Tania León (Cuba), and Iva Bittová (Czech Republic). The program features more than 30 student performers, with a special appearance by soprano Dawn Upshaw.  


Thursday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Live Arts Bard

Tankred Dorst and Ursula Ehler

A reading of Discovery of America and other works

Olin Hall 102

Free; reservations required

Two of Germany’s most distinguished contemporary playwrights, Tankred Dorst and Ursula Ehler, will be in residence at LAB this fall to research and develop Discovery of America, a new play dealing with the experience of German prisoners of war in the Hudson Valley during World War II. In this public presentation, Dorst and Ehler read from their work in progress, and from their previous collaborations.

Presented in collaboration with the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities at Bard, Bard Center for Civic Engagement, Bard German Studies Program, and the Goethe-Institut.


Friday, October 17

Conservatory Special Event: “Remembering the Genocide of European Roma during World War II”

Mozart’s Requiem

Conducted by Ádám Fischer

Panel discussion at 4 p.m., László Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building

Performance at 6:30 p.m., Sosnoff Theater

Free admission to both events

A special event, conceived by acclaimed Hungarian conductor Ádám Fischer, explores issues of history and responsibility. A panel discussion, moderated by Leon Botstein, includes Fischer and leading figures from the fields of history, human rights, and international law. A performance of the Mozart Requiem by the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra, students of the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program, Bard College Chamber Singers, and members of the chorus of the Longy School of Music of Bard College follows.


Friday, October 24 and Saturday, October 25

American Symphony Orchestra

Conducted by Leon Botstein, Music Director

Sosnoff Theater

Preconcert talk
at 7 p.m.

at 8 p.m.

Tickets: $25–40

Subscribe to all three 2014-15 Season ASO concerts for $90

The first ASO concert of the season features Fryderyk Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor and Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 in C Major (“Great”). Winner of the 2014 Bard College Conservatory Concerto Competition Maryna Kysla ’15, piano, appears as a soloist.


Sunday, November 2 at 3 p.m.

Conservatory Sundays

Bard College Conservatory Orchestra

Conducted by Leon Botstein

Sosnoff Theater

Tickets: $15, $20

Program includes Beethoven, Symphony No. 8 in F Major; Reger, Four Tone Poems after Boecklin; and Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 in B Minor (“Pathétique”).


Wednesday, November 5, through Sunday, November 9

Theater and Performance Program

A work-in-progress new musical

Conceived by Amanda Palmer and directed by Steve Bogart

LUMA Theater

Wednesday–Sunday, November 5–9 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 8 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $15 adults; $10 seniors, Bard alumni/ae, and non-Bard students; free to the Bard community 

A new music theater show, developed by composer, writer, and performer Amanda Palmer in collaboration with current and former Bard students. Coproduced with Live Arts Bard.


Saturday, November 15 at 8 p.m.

The Red Violin

Elizabeth Pitcairn, violin

Cynthia Elise Tobey, piano

Sosnoff Theater

Tickets: $25–40

Celebrated violin virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn performs with the legendary 1720 “Red Mendelssohn” Stradivarius, the Christie’s auction of which in 1990 is said to have inspired the 1999 Academy Award–winning film The Red Violin. The program includes Franz Schubert’s Rondo for violin and piano (“Rondeau Brillant”), Gabriel Fauré’s Sonata No. 1 for violin and piano, Franz Liszt’s Liebestraum No. 3, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Sonata No. 9 for violin and piano.


Thursday, November 20, through Sunday, November 23

Live Arts Bard

The House Is Open

A pop-up exhibition of installation and performance

Presented in collaboration with the Center for Curatorial Studies

Multiple locations within the Fisher Center

Free preview: Thursday, November 20 from 5–10 p.m.

Friday, November 21 from 2–10 p.m.

Saturday, November 22 and Sunday, November 23 from noon–10 p.m.

Performance times vary; see below.

Admission: $30, $10 all students (suitable for ages 18 and up)

Admission includes all exhibitions and performances throughout the weekend, with reservations required for specific performance times.

The House is Open is an inquisitive and playful pop-up exhibition that challenges the exhibition model by posing the questions: If art museums can host performances, can a performing arts center host visual art? What would change the ways in which audiences encounter art; or the ways that institutions commission artists? For four extraordinary days the Fisher Center is transformed into a temporary art museum, hosting the work of major artists who are working at the fast-changing intersection of the performing and visual arts. With a single admission ticket, discover installations and performances in parts of the building not normally open to the public—you’ll be free to wander through hidden areas of the Fisher Center as if you were in a gallery—and return as many times as you like over the weekend. The house will truly be open.

The exhibition includes:

Jack Ferver/Marc Swanson MFA ’04
World Premiere / LAB Commission


Choreographer, writer, and performer Jack Ferver and visual artist Marc Swanson MFA ’04 collaborate on a hybrid performance and art installation inspired by Jean Genet’s iconic play Les Bonnes (The Maids). Chambre is a sometimes farcical, sometimes savage, contemporary exploration of otherness, gender, celebrity, and the class divide.

Thursday, November 20 at 8 p.m.

Friday, November 21 at 4 p.m.

Saturday, November 22 at 7 p.m.

Sunday, November 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Ralph Lemon

New York Premiere / LAB Co-commission

Scaffold Room

Ralph Lemon merges performance, visual art, music, and text in his new work Scaffold Room, an inquisitive hybrid “lecture-performance-musical,” refracting ideas of contemporary performance through archetypal black female personae in American culture.

Friday, November 21 at 6 p.m.

Saturday, November 22 at 1:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Sunday, November 23 at 5:30 p.m

Jennifer Monson / iLAND

Live Dancing Archive

Jennifer Monson’s newest work is a visceral exploration of the dancing body as a physical archive of experience and place. Compiled from more than a decade of dance-based environmental research, Live Dancing Archive draws from video documentation of Monson’s past performances in addition to improvised scores.

Friday, November 21 at 8 p.m.

Saturday, November 22 at 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 23 at 3:30 p.m.

John Kelly

The Escape Artist Redux

While rehearsing a theater show based on the life of the Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio, a stressed-out performer has a catastrophic trapeze accident. Stranded on a gurney in a hospital room with a broken neck, he escapes and finds refuge in the images that flood his mind—the sinners and saints, the prostitutes and gods—that populate Caravaggio’s paintings. 

Thursday, November 20 at 6 p.m.

Friday, November 21 at 10 p.m.

Saturday, November 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 23 at 2 p.m.

Tad Beck

Double Document 

Tad Beck’s visual art works are exercises in reading the body in athletic, choreographic, and erotic contexts, often displacing movements and gestures from one of these arenas to another. Double Document hybridizes the traditions of portraiture and performance documentation in a series of photographs that collapse multiple photographic and performative moments into a single image.

On view November 20–23 during exhibition hours

Nature Theater of Oklahoma


Empire is a tribute to Andy Warhol’s 1964 silent, black-and-white film of the same name, remade by Nature Theater of Oklahoma, the internationally renowned theater company. Instead of filming the Empire State Building, as Warhol did, Nature Theater is creating an animated version, drawn by hand, one 4 x 6” index card at a time. It will ultimately last more than eight hours—the same length as Warhol’s film. You’re invited to view the project so far, and contribute your own drawings to the animation.

On view November 20–23 during exhibition hours

LAB programs are made possible by the generous support of the members of the LAB Creative Council. Ralph Lemon and Jack Ferver received LAB Choreographic Fellowships, made possible in part by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The presentation of Scaffold Room is made possible in part by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Sunday, December 7 at 3 p.m.

Conservatory Sundays

Winter Songfest

With Dawn Upshaw and students of the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program

Sosnoff Theater

Tickets: $15, $20

A festive holiday celebration with Dawn Upshaw and students of the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program.


Sunday, December 14 at 3 p.m.

Conservatory Sundays

Bard College Conservatory Orchestra

Conducted by Cristian Măcelaru

Sosnoff Theater

Tickets: $15, $20

Under the baton of Cristian Măcelaru, winner of the 2014 Solti Conducting Award and one of the fast-rising stars of the conducting world, the Conservatory Orchestra performs Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphoses, Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments, and Serge Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances.


A Special Holiday Event

David Parker and The Bang Group’s Nut/Cracked

Choreography by David Parker ’81

Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Sosnoff Theater

Saturday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 21 at 2 p.m.

Tickets: $25–45 (suitable for ages 12 and up)


Nut/Cracked—The Bang Group’s beloved, witty response to The Nutcracker—has delighted audiences for more than a decade. Nut/Cracked takes its inspiration from all corners of the dance canon, from tap riffs to en pointe ballet, by way of bubble wrap, disco, and Chinese take-out noodles. In Nut/Cracked, choreographer David Parker finds beauty in the ridiculous, waltzing us through many incarnations of Tchaikovsky’s score, including versions by Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller, as well as the traditional orchestral suite. You’ll never watch The Nutcracker in quite the same way again!




Bard College Student Programs at the Fisher Center:


Friday–Sunday, October 24–26

Dance Program

Moderation Concert


LUMA Theater

October 24–26 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, October 25 at 2 p.m. 

Free; reservations required


Choreographed and performed by Bard students, assisted by professional lighting and costume designers, this concert gives students a chance to explore new territory in dance making. Some dances are presented in partial fulfillment for acceptance into the program.


Wednesday, December 3 at 8 p.m.

Music Program

Bard College Symphonic Chorus, Chamber Singers, and Baroque Ensemble

Directed by Alexander Bonus and conducted by James Bagwell


Sosnoff Theater

Tickets: $5 adults; free to the Bard community with ID



Wednesday, December 10 at 8 p.m.

Bard College Orchestra

Sosnoff Theater

Free admission


The Bard College Orchestra, conducted by Geoffrey McDonald, will present a diverse program of works ranging from classical to contemporary repertoire. The ensemble features students in the College and Conservatory, as well as music faculty and members of the Bard community at large.



Friday, December 12 through Sunday, December 14

Dance Program

Senior Dance Concert


LUMA Theater

Friday–Sunday, December 12–14 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 14 at 2 p.m.

Free; reservations required


An evening of Senior Projects in dance, this concert represents a culmination of four years of work by the graduating seniors in the Bard Dance Program.




For more information go to, or call the box office at 845-758-7900.


The Fall 2014 season is made possible in part through the generous support of the Board of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College and the Friends of the Fisher Center, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo
and the New York State Legislature.


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August 2014


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This event was last updated on 08-12-2014