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The Orchestra Now (TŌN) Opens 2017-18 Fisher Center Series at Bard College

Six programs and a Free Concert at Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock

Mark Primoff
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, September 13, 2017 – The Orchestra Now (TŌN) opens its 2017-18 season with the first concert of its Fisher Center series at Bard College on September 23-24. Now in its third year, the success of the TŌN program has led to a total of more than 80 outstanding graduate musicians from 12 different countries chosen from hundreds of applicants from leading conservatories around the globe.
The first of six programs offers an all-Russian program of music by Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev, led by Leon Botstein. Soloist Chaojun Yang—a winner of the Bard College Conservatory 2016 Concerto Competition—will be featured in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (September 23–24). The second program in the series spotlights baritone Nathaniel Sullivan, another Bard College Conservatory 2016 Concerto Competition winner, in Frank Martin’s Six Monologues from Jedermann. The eerie work is taken from Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s drama Everyman, and deals with man’s fear of death, and how faith and repentance will open the gates of heaven. The concert closes with Beethoven’s joyous Ninth Symphony (October 21–22).
Former Seattle Symphony Orchestra director and now music director of The All-Star Orchestra Gerard Schwarz will be a guest conductor for the third concert, leading the Orchestra in Bruckner’s Romantic Symphony (November 18). James Bagwell will conduct the Ensemble in Gershwin’s An American in Paris (February 3-4). The penultimate program, led by Leon Botstein, includes both Mahler’s seventh symphony and Weber’s first clarinet concerto with Elias Rodriguez, winner of TŌN’s 2017 Concerto Competition. An all-Stravinsky concert led by Leon Botstein will include the second New York performance of the Russian composer’s Funeral Song, and his revolutionary Rite of Spring (April 14-15).
Soloists for the series also include baritone Jonathan Beyer and mezzo-soprano Katherine Pracht, as well as the Bard College Chamber Singers and Bard Festival Chorale.
Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony
Sat. Sep 23, 2017 at 8 pm
Sun. Sep 24, 2017 at 2 pm
Leon Botstein, conductor
ChaoJun Yang, piano
Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 3
Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Sat. Oct 21, 2017 at 8 pm
Sun. Oct 22, 2017 at 2 pm
Leon Botstein, conductor
Nathaniel Sullivan, baritone
Bard College Chamber Singers & Bard Festival Chorale
Frank Martin: Six Monologues from Jedermann
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9
Bruckner’s Romantic Symphony
Sat. Nov 18, 2017 at 8 pm
Gerard Schwarz, conductor
Eugene Goossens: Jubilee Variations
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4, ‘Romantic’
Gershwin’s An American in Paris
Sat. Feb 3, 2018 at 8 pm
Sun. Feb 4, 2018 at 2 pm
James Bagwell, conductor
Jennifer Higdon: blue cathedral
Gershwin: An American in Paris
Schumann: Symphony No. 2
Mahler’s Seventh Symphony
Sat. Feb 17, 2018 at 8 pm
Sun. Feb 18, 2018 at 2 pm
Leon Botstein, conductor
Elias Rodriguez, clarinet
Weber: Clarinet Concerto No. 1
Mahler: Symphony No. 7
Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring
Sat. Apr 14, 2018 at 8 pm
Sun. Apr 15, 2018 at 2 pm
Leon Botstein, conductor
Katherine Pracht, mezzo-soprano
Jonathan Beyer, baritone
Bard College Chamber Singers & Bard Festival Chorale
Funeral Song
Symphony of Psalms
Requiem Canticles
The Rite of Spring
Ticket prices begin at $25 and may be purchased by calling the box office at 845-758-7900, in person at the Fisher Center box office, or by visiting the website at
TŌN continues its popular series of free concerts at multiple venues in New York City and beyond, providing families with an opportunity to attend their first orchestral performance and exposing a new generation to classical music. This first program will be led by associate conductor and academic director James Bagwell at the Great Hall at Cooper Union in Manhattan (October 1) and Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock (October 3). The concerts include a performance by award-winning baritone Nathaniel Sullivan of Gruber’s darkly comic Frankenstein!! The work is based on a collection of children's verses by the absurdist poet H.C. Artmann.  
Haydn & Frankenstein!!
Tue. Oct 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm at Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock
James Bagwell, conductor
Nathaniel Sullivan, baritone
Sibelius: Valse triste
Heinz Karl Gruber: Frankenstein!!
Haydn: Symphony No. 104, ‘London’
Tickets: These concerts are FREE, no tickets necessary. RSVPs can be made one month before each concert at or by calling The Orchestra Now at 646.237.5034.
Details of the Orchestra’s full season are available here.
The Orchestra Now
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of some 80 vibrant young musicians from more than 12 different countries around the globe, whose goal is to make orchestral music relevant to 21st-century audiences. They are lifting the curtain on the musicians’ experience by sharing their unique personal insights in a welcoming environment. Hand-picked from hundreds of applicants 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 not only rousing audiences with their critically-acclaimed performances, but also enlightening curious minds by presenting on-stage introductions and demonstrations at concerts, offering program notes written from the musicians’ perspective, and connecting with patrons through one-on-one discussions during intermissions.
Conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein founded TŌN in 2015 as a master’s degree program at Bard College, where he also serves as president. The Orchestra is in residence at Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, offering multiple concerts there each season as well as participating in the annual Bard Music Festival. The Orchestra also performs numerous concert series at major venues in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as a schedule of free performances across New York City boroughs. TŌN has collaborated with many distinguished conductors, including Fabio Luisi, Neeme Järvi, Gerard Schwarz, and JoAnn Falletta.
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 2003–2011, and is now conductor laureate. In 2018, he will assume artistic directorship of the institute of Grafenegg, 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 the 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
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This event was last updated on 09-18-2017