SummerScape 2024 • Now through August 18

Bard Music Festival

Program Seven • From Bolshoi to Broadway: Rachmaninoff in America

August 12, 2022

Add to Calendar2022-08-12 8:00 pm2022-08-12 8:00 pmEDTProgram Seven • From Bolshoi to Broadway: Rachmaninoff in AmericaFisher Center, Sosnoff Theater,
Loading Events

Once in America, Rachmaninoff soon established himself as a leading virtuoso, devoting so much time to touring and recording that his compositional output dramatically declined. However, as Program Seven reveals, he took great interest in the nation’s music, not least its lighter side.

He drew inspiration from both Ellington and Gershwin, attending the famous world premiere of Rhapsody in Blue, as orchestrated by Ferde Grofé, and enjoyed the work of such fellow émigrés as songwriter Vernon Duke, who arranged the Vocalise, and violin legend Jascha Heifetz, with whom Rachmaninoff gave a hugely successful benefit concert at the Metropolitan Opera.

Program Seven concludes with the composer’s own little-known two-piano arrangement of his Symphonic Dances, which synthesizes nostalgia for his Russian roots with contemporary American rhythms, sonorities and styles.

7:30 pm Preconcert Talk
8 pm Performance:
Charlie Albright, Allegra Chapman, Danny Driver, and Piers Lane, piano; Luosha Fang, violin; Narek Arutyunian, clarinet; Kristen Lee Sergeant, vocals; and the Bard Festival Ensemble

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943)
Symphonic Dances, Op. 45, arr. for two pianos (1940)

George Gershwin (1898–1937)
Rhapsody in Blue (1924) 

Ferde Grofé (1892–1972)
Russian Rose (Fox Trot) (1922)

Works by Duke Ellington (1899–1974); Jascha Heifetz (1901–87)Vernon Duke (1903–69); Marc Blitzstein (1905–64); and others


The 2022 SummerScape season is made possible in part by the generous support of Jeanne Donovan Fisher, the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation, the Advisory Boards of the Fisher Center at Bard and Bard Music Festival, and Fisher Center and Bard Music Festival members. The 2022 Bard Music Festival has received funding from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

Plan Your Visit