Press Room

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

The Fisher Center and Catskill Jazz Factory Present Double Trouble: Jazz Meets Classical, Featuring Dan Tepfer and Aaron Diehl


Eleanor Davis

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY – The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College and the Catskill Jazz Factory present American Pianist’s Association Cole Porter Fellows Dan Tepfer and Aaron Diehl in “Double Trouble: Jazz Meets Classical,” Friday, October 30th at 8 p.m. in the Fisher Center’s LUMA Theater. In this exclusive, collaborative performance, Tepfer and Diehl bring an unprecedented mash-up of J.S. Bach and the Great American Songbook, blending traditional with contemporary, and improvisational jazz styles with classical upbringings. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 845-758-7900.

The New York Times describes Diehl’s talent as “melodic precision, harmonic erudition, and elegant restraint,” and Tepfer as a pianist that “combines superb technique with a complex set of impulses: he’s a deeply rational improviser drawn to the unknown.”

“Aaron really comes from a place of being a student of the early tradition of jazz piano; I come from a passion for the more modern, ‘cutting-edge’ jazz,” said Tepfer. “In many ways Aaron is working his way forward and I'm working my way backwards in terms of how we're each filling in our knowledge of the music. The places where we meet: our common love for Bach and the American Songbook—these are the starting places for our upcoming collaboration.”

This event marks Tepfer and Diehl’s first performance together in the Hudson Valley, however, neither are strangers to the Catskill Jazz Factory and its programming across the region. Diehl served as the founding Artistic Director of the Catskill Jazz Factory in 2012, driven by the desire to nurture the development of young jazz artists and enthusiasts in the local community. Tepfer and Diehl have each performed separately in partnership with the Catskill Jazz Factory over the past three years with programs including Tepfer’s Goldberg Variations / Variations, Diehl’s Jelly & George, and most recently, a sold-out centenary tribute to Billie Holiday at the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater featuring the Aaron Diehl Trio and Grammy-nominated vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant.

About the Artists:

Born in Paris to American parents, “tremendously gifted” (LA Times) pianist-composer Dan Tepfer has translated his bi-cultural identity into an exploration of music that ignores stylistic bounds. His 2011 Goldberg Variations / Variations, which pairs his performance of Bach’s work with improvised variations of his own, has received broad praise as a “riveting, inspired, fresh musical exploration” (New York Times).

Tepfer has worked with the leading lights in jazz, including extensively with saxophone luminary Lee Konitz, while releasing seven albums as a leader. As a composer, he is a recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for works including Concerto for Piano and Winds, premiered in Prague Castle with himself on piano, and Solo Blues for Violin and Piano, premiered at Carnegie Hall. Bringing together his undergraduate studies in astrophysics with his passion for music, he is currently working on integrating computer-driven algorithms into his improvisational approach. Awards include first prize and audience prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition, first prize at the East Coast Jazz Festival Competition, and the Cole Porter Fellowship from the American Pianists Association. His recent soundtrack for the independent feature Movement and Location was voted Best Original Score at the 2014 Brooklyn Film Festival.

Pianist Aaron Diehl is one of the most sought-after jazz virtuosos, playing with what the New York Times describes as “melodic precision, harmonic erudition, and elegant restraint.” Diehl’s meticulously thought-out performances, collaborations, and compositions are a leading force in today’s generation of jazz contemporaries, spearheading a distinct union of traditional and fresh artistry.

Diehl’s next album on Mack Avenue Records, Space, Time, Continuum​, emphasizes the artistic collaborations between generations. It includes performances by NEA Jazz Master Benny Golson (tenor saxophone) and Duke Ellington Orchestra alumnus Joe Temperley (baritone saxophone), alongside Diehl’s trio. The majority of the album consists of his original compositions, with the title track cowritten by Grammy-nominated jazz singer Cécile McLorin Salvant. 2014–15 season highlights include: serving as music director for the Jazz at Lincoln Center New Orleans Songbook concert series, performing in the premiere of Philip Glass’s complete Etudes, collaborating with Spanish flamenco guitarist Dani De Morón in Flamenco Meets Jazz, and touring with Cécile McLorin Salvant.

Diehl is the 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival Commission Artist, the 2013 recipient of the Jazz Journalists Associations Award for Up-And-Coming Artist, the 2012 Prix du Jazz Classique recipient for his album Live at the Players from the Académie du Jazz, and is the winner of the 2011 Cole Porter Fellowship from the American Pianists Association. In an effort to nurture the development of young jazz artists and the community, Diehl was the inaugural Artistic Director of the Catskill Jazz Factory.

About Catskill Jazz Factory:

The Catskill Jazz Factory is a nonprofit sister program of the 23Arts Initiative founded in 2012 by Hudson Valley residents Piers and Lucy Playfair.

A powerful new arts model, the Catskill Jazz Factory offers in-school workshops and concerts, artist residencies, and world-class performances throughout the Hudson Valley. Through this programming, the Jazz Factory supports some of today's best young jazz artists with educational, creative, and performance opportunities at diverse venues across the region. By partnering with educational facilities, arts organizations, and a variety of local non-profits and businesses, the Catskill Jazz Factory encourages audiences of all ages to participate in community building through jazz.

Previous programs boast collaborations with a number of world-class musicians, including pianists Marcus Roberts and André Mehmari, trombonists Wycliffe Gordon and Chris Washburne, and vocalists Charenee Wade and Cécile McLorin Salvant. For more information go to

About The Richard B. Fisher Center at Bard College:

Named for the late Richard B. Fisher, the former chair of Bard’s Board of Trustees, the Fisher Center has become an influential force in performing arts programming, earning critical acclaim for innovative productions of opera, orchestral, chamber, dance, and theater programs. The Center was designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry and distinguished acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, and has received international praise for its breathtaking architecture and superb sound.

Each summer the Fisher Center presents the Bard SummerScape festival, eight weeks of performing arts programs reflecting the life and times of the featured composer of the esteemed Bard Music Festival, now celebrating its 26th year. Fall and spring seasons include original productions, special one-night-only concerts, and touring artists from around the globe.

The Fisher Center is home to the Bard College Theater & Performance and Dance Programs, providing students access to exceptional theater facilities and opportunities to work with professional directors and dramaturges on publicly attended productions throughout the year. Live Arts Bard, a residency and commissioning program, is a laboratory for professional artists in theater, dance, and performance to test ideas and develop new projects, many of which premiere at the Fisher Center. The Bard College Conservatory of Music and Bard College Music Program stage regular orchestral and chamber concerts.


# # #



back to top



This event was last updated on 10-09-2015