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The Fisher Center Presents the American Symphony Orchestra, October 12 and 13 

October Concert Features Works by Rachmaninoff,
von Weber, Zur, and Strauss

Eleanor Davis

Image Credit: Photo by János Sutyák

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College presents the opening concert of the 2012–13 season of the popular American Symphony Orchestra (ASO) series on Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13, at 8 p.m. The concert will be conducted by Leon Botstein, music director, with a preconcert talk by Peter Laki, visiting associate professor of music at Bard College, beginning at 7 p.m. Individual tickets are $25, $30, $35, and $40. Call 845-758-7900 or visit the Fisher Center website at to purchase tickets or for further information.

The October program features Serge Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14, Péter Blága, tuba; Carl Maria von Weber’s Bassoon Concerto in F, Op. 75 and Andante and Rondo Ungarese, J.158, Op. 35, David Nagy, bassoon; Menachem Zur’s Tuba Concerto, Péter Blága, tuba; and Richard Strauss’s Eine Alpensinfonie, Op. 64.  Nagy and Blága are the winners of the 2011 Bard College Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition.

One of the highlights of the program will be Strauss’s Alpine Symphony. After a dozen years focusing on opera, Richard Strauss returned to symphonies in a massive way with his opulent Alpensinfonie, or Alpine Symphony. Strauss cast the symphonic poem in 22 continuous sections to which he gave titles. Christopher Gibbs, James H. Ottaway Jr. Professor of Music, describes some of the tone poem’s sections: “ ‘The Ascent’ features hunting horns sounded in the distance; ‘Entry into the Forest’ offers some repose and magical orchestration reminiscent of Wagner’s ‘Forest Murmurs,’ coupled with Mahlerian bird calls; water sounds make an appearance in ‘Wandering beside the Brook’ and then become a torrent with ‘At the Waterfall.’ And ‘Thunderstorm,’ prominently featuring wind and thunder machines, breaks the mood to provide a violent climax.” 

Concert Two of the 2012–13 series, on Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23, features Harold Farberman’s Clarinet Concerto and Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8. Concert Three, on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, features an all–Wagner program: Lohengrin: Preludes to Acts I and III; Tristan und Isolde: Prelude and Liebestod; and Die Walküre: Act I.

Season subscriptions are available. For more information, contact the box office at

About the Performers:  

Leon Botstein is music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. He is founder and coartistic director of the Bard Music Festival, which celebrated its 22nd season this year at Bard College, the institution he has served as president since 1975. Botstein has guest conducted major orchestras throughout the world. Among his recordings are operas by Strauss, Dukas, and Chausson, as well as works by Shostakovich, Dohnányi, Liszt, Bruckner, Bartók, Hartmann, Reger, Glière, Szymanowski, Brahms, Copland, Sessions, Perle, and Rands. He is the editor of The Musical Quarterly and the author of many articles and books. For his contributions to music he has received the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Centennial Medal of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art. He is a recipient of the Carnegie Foundation’s Academic Leadership Award and a member of the American Philosophical Society.

Founded in 1962 by legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski, the American Symphony Orchestra continues its mission to demystify orchestral music and make it accessible and affordable to everyone. Under music director Leon Botstein, the ASO has pioneered what the Wall Street Journal called “a new concept in orchestras,” presenting concerts in the Vanguard Series at Carnegie Hall curated around various themes from the visual arts, literature, politics, and history, and unearthing rarely performed masterworks for well-deserved revival. The ASO is the resident orchestra of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where it appears in a winter subscription series as well as Bard’s annual SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival.

David A. Nagy was born and raised in Hungary and moved to the United States at age 18 to pursue double degrees at The Bard College Conservatory of Music, where he is a Bitó Scholar. He is currently studying with Patricia Rogers, Mark Goldberg and Luis Garcia- Renart. Nagy has appeared in concerts on four continents, including solo recitals in Hungary, Venezuela, and the United States. He recently gave a marathon performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s two piano trios with his trio TNT. Other recent concert  appearances include the world premier of Dylan Mattingly’s single-movement concerto for bassoon and chamber ensemble, A Way a Lone a Last a Loved a Long the Riverrun, with Contemporaneous, and performances of J. S. Bach’s Flute Partita in A Minor as the prelude to Robert Kelly’s play Orpheus. Upcoming performances include a senior recital, Madness at the End, featuring his own arrangements of Debussy’s Sonata for Cello, and an evening of world premieres for solo bassoon written by young composers. He was named a distinguished visitor of Táchira County, Venezuela, while he was a teaching artist at the San Juan de Colòn Music Festival. Nagy was awarded the Kodály Prize in 2007 for his excellence in music and academics, and was the recipient of the 2003 “Student of the Year” cup. He is a passionate after-hours translator of literature, and a writer, photographer, and graphic designer. He plays on a 1976 Püchner Model 24, a gift from his mother upon his acceptance to the Bard Conservatory.

Péter Blága was born in Debrecen, Hungary, and began his musical studies on euphonium and then on tuba in elementary school. He attended the Zoltán Kodály music high school in Debrecen, studying with Márta Tör˝oné Tóth, and completed his undergraduate work at the Ferenc Lizst Music Academy in Budapest, where he studied with László Szabó. Blága is currently a graduate performance certificate student at The Bard College Conservatory of Music, where he has studied with Alan Baer, principal tubist of the New York Philharmonic, and Derek Fenstermacher, principal tubist of New Jersey Symphony. Blága won the first and special prizes in a Hungarian national tuba competition for high school students in 2006; in 2010, as a freshman at the Liszt Academy, he won second prize in the International Brass and Percussion Competition in Debrecen, and the following year took first prize in the same competition. He won the Conservatory Concerto Competition at Bard College in 2012. He has received generous support for his studies at Bard College from Olivia and László Bitó.

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This event was last updated on 10-02-2012