Press Room

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

The Orchestra Now Spring Season at Bard College

Tribute to Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary
Opera Special Event: Rest in Pieces
U.S. Premiere of César Franck’s What You Hear on the Mountain
Free Concert at Hudson Hall

Mark Primoff

Annandale-on-Hudson, NYThe Orchestra Now’s six-concert winter-spring season at Bard College’s Fisher Center will begin on Jan. 25 as the orchestra performs in The Sound of Spring, a Chinese New Year concert presented by the US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Central Conservatory of Music, China. TŌN’s subscription series continues on Feb. 8-9 with an all-Beethoven program in tribute to the 250th anniversary of the master composer’s birth. The soloist is pianist Anna Polonsky, a recipient of the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and frequent guest with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Rest in Pieces, a special program presented by the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, will celebrate the life of opera with the family and friends of Mozart, Strauss, Bizet, Copland, and Puccini, and will be performed on Mar. 6 and 8.

Also of note will be a program titled Into the Wilderness, offering the first New York performances in more than 50 years of two works: Vincent d’Indy’s Symphony on a French Mountain Air with solo pianist Blair McMillen—a winner of Juilliard’s Gina Bachauer Competition and faculty member of both Bard College Conservatory and the Mannes School of Music—and Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No. 7 (Sinfonia Antartica), featuring Filipino-American soprano Diana Schwam. In addition, the program will present the U.S. premiere of César Franck’s What You Hear on the Mountain, possibly the first symphonic poem in musical history (April 25-26). The Orchestra’s series will culminate with a performance of Mahler’s massive Resurrection Symphony featuring the combined forces of the Bard Conservatory Orchestra, Bard College Chamber Singers and Bard Festival Chorale led by conductor James Bagwell.


Tickets for most concerts are priced at $25–$35 and may be purchased online at, by calling the Fisher Center at 845.758.7900, or at the Fisher Center box office in the lobby of Sosnoff Theater.



Sosnoff Theater, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY

Special Event: The Sound of Spring

Sat, Jan 25, 2020 at 7 PM

Presented by the US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Central Conservatory of Music, China

Celebrate Lunar New Year and look forward to Spring with a lively concert of Chinese orchestral works performed by The Orchestra Now. Soloists from the Central Conservatory’s world-class faculty in traditional instruments will perform on Chinese percussion, erhu, pipa, sheng and suona.

Chen Bing, conductor (first half)

Jindong Cai, conductor (second half)

Wang Jianhua, percussion

Wang Lei, sheng

Yu Hongmei, erhu

Zhang Hongyan, pipa

Zhang WeiWei, suona


Ji Tian, Shaanxi folk singer

Tickets: $20

Beethoven’s Eroica

Sat, Feb 8, 2020 at 8 PM

Sun, Feb 9, 2020 at 2 PM

The 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest composers of all time is celebrated with a performance of Beethoven’s heroic third symphony

Leon Botstein, conductor

Anna Polonsky, piano


The Consecration of the House Overture

Piano Concerto No. 4

Symphony No. 3, Eroica


Special Event: Rest in Pieces

Fri, Mar 6, 2020 at 7:30 PM

Sun, Mar 8, 2020 at 3 PM

Presented by the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program

A special performance to celebrate the life of opera. At this one of a kind ceremony, the family and friends of Mozart, Strauss, Bizet, Copland, and Puccini will share their fondest memories, explore some of their deep-seated issues, and live out their secret dreams.

James Bagwell, conductor

Soloists from Bard Conservatory’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program

Tickets: $15- 40

TŌN Free Concerts: Mozart, Bach & Mendelssohn

Hudson Hall, Hudson, NY

Sun, Mar 29, 2020 at 3 PM

TŌN continues its series of free concerts at venues in New York City and beyond, providing families with an opportunity to attend their first orchestral performance and introduce a new generation to classical music. James Bagwell conducts two exhilarating works by Bach and Mozart, plus Mendelssohn’s third symphony, based on his tour of Scotland at age 20.

James Bagwell, conductor

Bard Festival Chorale

Soloists from Bard’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program:

Margaret Tigue, soprano

Jardena Gertler-Jaffe, mezzo-soprano

Chuanyuan Liu, countertenor 

Maximillian Jansen, tenor

Wayne Paul, bass

Mozart: Regina Coeli, K. 276

Bach: Magnificat

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3, Scottish

Tickets: Free concert, RSVP in advance at is suggested

Into the Wilderness

Sat, Apr 25, 2020 at 8 PM

Sun, Apr 26, 2020 at 2 PM

A musical expedition featuring Vaughan Williams’ portrait of the mighty Antarctic and two French mountain treks, including the U.S. premiere of the first symphonic poem ever composed. This concert will be repeated at Carnegie Hall on April 30.

Leon Botstein, conductor

Blair McMillen, piano

Members of the Bard Festival Chorale

James Bagwell, choral director

Diana Schwam, soprano

Franck: What You Hear on the Mountain (U.S. Premiere)

d'Indy: Symphony on a French Mountain Air*

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 7, Sinfonia Antartica*

*First NY performances in over 50 years

Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony

Sat, May 9, 2020 at 8 PM

Sun, May 10, 2020 at 2 PM

The Orchestra Now and the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra join forces with the Bard College Chamber Singers and Bard Festival Chorale for a performance of Mahler’s colossal composition about the beauty of the afterlife, one of his most popular works.    

Leon Botstein, conductor

Bard Conservatory Orchestra

Bard College Chamber Singers

Bard Festival Chorale

James Bagwell, choral director

Soloists from Bard’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program

Mahler: Symphony No. 2, Resurrection

A co-presentation with the Bard College Conservatory of Music

The Orchestra Now

The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of 65 vibrant young musicians from 12 different countries across the globe: Bulgaria, China, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Peru, Taiwan, Ukraine, the U.K., and the U.S. All share a mission to make orchestral music relevant to 21st-century audiences by sharing their unique personal insights in a welcoming environment. Hand-picked from the world’s leading conservatories—including The Juilliard School, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Royal Conservatory of Brussels, and the Curtis Institute of Music—the members of TŌN are enlightening curious minds by giving on-stage introductions and demonstrations, writing concert notes from the musicians’ perspective, and having one-on-one discussions with patrons during intermissions.

Conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein, whom The New York Times said “draws rich, expressive playing from the orchestra,” founded TŌN in 2015 as a graduate program at Bard College, where he is also president. TŌN offers both a three-year master’s degree in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies and a two-year advanced certificate in Orchestra Studies. The orchestra’s home base is the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center at Bard, where they perform multiple concerts each season and take part in the annual Bard Music Festival. They also perform regularly at the finest venues in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others across NYC and beyond. HuffPost, who has called TŌN’s performances “dramatic and intense,” praises these concerts as “an opportunity to see talented musicians early in their careers.” 

The Orchestra has performed with many distinguished guest conductors and soloists, including Neeme Järvi, Vadim Repin, Fabio Luisi, Peter Serkin, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, Zuill Bailey, and JoAnn Falletta. In the 2019–20 season, conductors Leonard Slatkin and Hans Graf will also lead TŌN performances. Recordings featuring The Orchestra Now include Ferdinand Ries piano concertos with Piers Lane on Hyperion Records, and a Sorel Classics concert recording of pianist Anna Shelest performing works by Anton Rubinstein with TŌN and conductor Neeme Järvi. Upcoming albums include a second release with Piers Lane on Hyperion Records in the spring of 2020. Recordings of TŌN’s live concerts from the Fisher Center can be heard on Classical WMHT-FM and WWFM The Classical Network, and are featured regularly on Performance Today, broadcast nationwide. In 2019, the orchestra’s performance with Vadim Repin was live-streamed on The Violin Channel.

For upcoming activities and more detailed information about the musicians, visit

Leon Botstein

Leon Botstein brings a renowned career as both a conductor and educator to his role as music director of The Orchestra Now. He has been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992, artistic co-director of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival since their creation, and president of Bard College since 1975. He was the music director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra from 2003–11 and is now conductor laureate. In 2018, he assumed artistic directorship of Campus Grafenegg and Grafenegg Academy in Austria. Mr. Botstein is also a frequent guest conductor with orchestras around the globe, has made numerous recordings, and is a prolific author and music historian. He is editor of the prestigious The Musical Quarterly and has received many honors for his contributions to music. More info online at

Press Contacts

Pascal Nadon

Pascal Nadon Communications

Phone: 646.234.7088


Mark Primoff

Associate Vice President of Communications

Bard College

Phone: 845.758.7412


# # #

This event was last updated on 01-22-2020