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Program One The Exemplary Musician

August 6, 2021

Add to Calendar2021-08-06 5:00 pm2021-08-06 5:00 pmESTProgram One The Exemplary Musician
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"Lili’s sharply imagined cantata, “Faust et Hélène,” which made her the first woman to win the Prix de Rome, anchors the opening program, and sprinklings of works by Poulenc, Satie, Debussy, Ravel, and Messiaen throughout the weekend evoke the cultural milieu of Paris in the first half of the last century."—New Yorker

Anchored by TŌN, and exploiting Bard’s unusual ability to integrate orchestral, choral, solo and chamber works within a single event, this opening concert pairs several of Nadia Boulanger’s own compositions—her Mussorgskian piano piece Vers la vie nouvelle, selected songs and Lux aeterna, her brief tribute to her sister, Lili—with music by some of her most distinguished female students.

Nadia was both teacher and role model to Louise Talma, the first woman to receive back-to-back Guggenheims; Julia Perry, who synthesized her classical training and African-American heritage; Polish neoclassicist Grażyna Bacewicz; South African-British composer Priaulx Rainier; and Nadia’s adored but envied younger sister, Lili.

Lili is represented by her haunting Pie Jesu, a piece she dictated on her deathbed, and by Faust et Hélène, the cantata with which she became the first woman to win the coveted Prix de Rome, surpassing the older sister to whom she dedicated it.


5 pm Performance


J'Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
Samantha Hankey, mezzo-soprano
Joélle Harvey, soprano
Nicholas Phan, tenor
Matthew White, tenor
Joshua Hopkins, baritone

Jessica Bodner, viola
Luosha Fang, viola
Fei-Fei, piano
Bridget Kibbey, harp
Karen Kim, violin
Renée Anne Louprette, organ
Jesse Mills, violin
Tony Rymer, cello
Erika Switzer, piano
Orion Weiss, piano
The Orchestra Now, conducted by Rebecca Miller and by Leon Botstein, music director

Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979)
   Vers la vie nouvelle (1915)
   Lux aeterna (c. 1920)

Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)
   Faust et Hélène (1913)
   Pie Jesu (1918)

Priaulx Rainier (1903–86)
   Reminiscence (1935)

Louise Talma (1906–96)
   Alleluia in the Form of a Toccata (1945)

Grażyna Bacewicz (1909–69)
   Music for Strings, Trumpet, and Percussion (1958)

Julia Perry (1924–79)
   Stabat mater (1951)