[Program Nine Remembering Ethel Smyth and Boulanger’s Circle at Home and Abroad]

Program Nine 
Remembering Ethel Smyth and Boulanger’s Circle at Home and Abroad

The American Symphony Orchestra’s first concert opens with Fête galante by Dame Ethel Smyth, a Victorian-born English suffragist whose lovers included the Princesse de Polignac, and whose grand opera The Wreckers received its first fully staged American production at SummerScape 2015.

Program Nine also features the harmonically adventurous Fifth Violin Concerto by Boulanger’s student Grażyna Bacewicż, a revered figure in Poland who merits wider recognition worldwide.

Boulanger’s own reach extended far beyond her homeland, and her impact on American composition was immense. She taught no fewer than eleven Pulitzer Prize laureates, including modernist masters Aaron Copland and Walter Piston, who was one of three Boulanger students to win the award twice. Both composers are represented, Piston by his Fourth Symphony, one of the past century’s finest contributions to the genre, and Copland by the popular and patriotic Lincoln Portrait, a work performed on many significant occasions with such venerable narrators as Eleanor Roosevelt, Barack Obama and the composer himself.


5 pm Performance

Ben Bliss, tenor; Janai Brugger, soprano; Luosha Fang, violin; Theo Hoffman, baritone; Joshua Hopkins, baritone; Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by James Bagwell and Leon Botstein, music director; and others

Ethel Smyth (1858–1944)
   Fête galante (1923)

Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)
   Theme and Variations (1911–14; orch R. Wilson, 2021)

Walter Piston (1894–1976)
   Symphony No. 4 (1950)

Aaron Copland (1900–90)
   A Lincoln Portrait (1942)

Grażyna Bacewicż (1909–69)
   Violin Concerto No. 5 (1954; U.S. premiere)

This performance includes a reception at intermission. Light refreshments will be served.

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