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Bard Fisher Center Announces Full 2018-19 Season of Performances

A New Series of Free Events Comes to Montgomery Place; Film with Live Orchestra Returns; The Orchestra Now Presents a 5-Concert Series; The Bard Conservatory Celebrates Joan Tower; Icons Isabella Rosselini, Lea Delaria, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and More

Eleanor Davis
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— The 2018-19 Fisher Center season brings some of the world’s boldest artists and most unusual repertoire into the “unforgettable” (Time Out New York) Frank Gehry-designed Sosnoff and LUMA Theaters.  This autumn, the Fisher Center also ventures beyond its walls, with outdoor performances at Montgomery Place and an urgent new work at Bard’s Chapel of the Holy Innocents.  

More than 40 productions will be presented from September 2018 to May 2019.  This fall-spring season (the largest in the Center’s 15-year history) continues the extraordinary artistic successes of SummerScape 2018.  The acclaimed summer festival delivered “The greatest creation of dance theater so far this century” with Four Quartets, a “darker, sexier Peter Pan,” and “a winner” with the opera Demon (The New York Times).

With many free events and tickets starting at $25 for all paid performances, sell-outs are certain.  Tickets and more information are available at or by calling the box office at 845-758-7900.

The Stage at Montgomery Place: Gathering on the Banks

The Fisher Center presents an inaugural series of free, outdoor events. Montgomery Place, a 380-acre estate adjacent to the main Bard College campus and overlooking the Hudson River, is a designated National Historic Landmark set amid rolling lawns, woodlands, and gardens, against the spectacular backdrop of the Catskill Mountains.

Bard College: The Montgomery Place Campus
River Rd, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Bring your own lawn chair or blanket. Contact the box office if you require accessible seating. Food and beverages from local vendors are available for purchase.

Outdoor Film Screening
Alfred Hitchcocks North by Northwest
Presented in partnership with Upstate Films
Saturday, September 15 at 7 pm
Raindate: Sunday, September 16*
Grounds open at 6 pm
Free, Registration Required

Gripping, suspenseful, and visually iconic, this late-period Hitchcock classic, featuring an exhilarating score by legendary Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann, is one of the most popular spy thrillers of all time. The Hudson River serves as a backdrop in the film, and for this night at the movies, under the stars.

Outdoor Concert
A Celebration of Americana Music
Featuring Spirit Family Reunion and More
Sunday, September 23 at 4 pm
Rain date: Saturday, September 22*
Grounds open at 3 pm
Free, Registration Required

Raise your spirits with Spirit Family Reunion, a young Americana band from Brooklyn. Featuring Bard alums Maggie Carson ’07 and Or Zubalsky MFA ’17, the band’s raw, high-energy “open door gospel" songs, reminiscent of bluegrass and Appalachian music, “translate perfectly info foot-stomping singalongs” (NPR). Additional acts to be announced.

Outdoor Dance Performance
Souleymane Badolo: Yimbégré
Saturday, September 29 at 6 pm
Rain date: Sunday, September 30*
Grounds open at 5 pm
Free, Registration Required

In the Mooré language, yimbégré means “beginning.” For the powerful dancer, choreographer, and Bard faculty member Souleymane “Solo” Badolo, born in Burkina Faso and currently based in Brooklyn, to begin again is to exercise personal freedom—yet often at the expense of familial roots. In this deeply personal work, Badolo pits ancestry against aspiration to explore the delicate balance between maintaining ties and seeking new homes free from creative and political intolerance. Featuring live music.

*In case of inclement weather, rain dates will be announced 24 hours prior to the scheduled event.


The Bard Conservatory Celebrates Joan Tower
Sosnoff Theater
Sunday, September 16 at 3 pm
Tickets: $15-50

In celebration of Joan Tower’s 80th birthday, Conservatory faculty members perform works by the composer, including three world premieres.

Featuring Laurie Smukler, violin; Raman Ramakrishnan, cello; Blair McMillen, piano; Anthony McGill, clarinet; Sō Percussion; Dawn Upshaw, soprano; Kayo Iwama, piano; Da Capo Chamber Players; and Benjamin Hochman, piano.

Ticket sales benefit the Conservatory’s Tower Scholarship Fund in composition.


Alfred Hitchcocks PSYCHO
Live with the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra
Presented in partnership with Upstate Films
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, September 22 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, September 23 at 2 pm
Tickets: $25-75

One of the greatest suspenseful thrillers of all time, this cinematic masterpiece comes alive with Bernard Herrmann’s spine-tingling score performed live by the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra.

Starring Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins, and featuring one of the most memorable scenes in cinematic history, Psycho centers on the fateful encounter of secretary Marion Crane (Leigh), who finds refuge in a secluded motel after stealing money from her employer, and the motel's disturbed and reclusive manager, Norman Bates (Perkins).

Tickets sales benefit the Bard Conservatory Scholarship Fund. A Symphonic Night at the Movies is a production of PGM Productions, Inc. (New York) and appears by arrangement with IMG Artists.


The Orchestra Now
Leon Botstein, Music Director
Sosnoff Theater
October 6, 7; November 3, 4; December 12; February 9, 10; April 6, 7, 27, 28
Tickets: $25–35
Subscriptions available

Saturday, October 6 at 8 pm
Sunday, October 7 at 2 pm
Brahms & England
Leon Botstein, conductor
Joseph Joachim, Hamlet Overture
Johannes Brahms, Violin Concerto
Zhen Liu, violin, winner of the 2017 Bard College Conservatory Concerto Competition
Edward Elgar, Symphony No. 1

Saturday, November 3 at 8 pm
Sunday, November 4 at 2 pm
Coplands Lincoln Portrait
Leon Botstein, conductor
Charles Ives, “Decoration Day” from the Holidays Symphony
Elliott Carter, Concerto for Orchestra
Walter Piston, Symphony No. 2
Aaron Copland, Lincoln Portrait

Wednesday, December 12 at 7 pm
Russian Evolution: From Rimsky-Korsakov to Gliére
Leon Botstein, conductor
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Symphony No. 1
Reinhold Glière, Symphony No. 3, “Ilya Muromets”

Saturday, February 9 at 8 pm
Sunday, February 10 at 2 pm
Leon Botstein, conductor
Richard Wagner, “Siegfried’s Rhine Journey from Götterdämmerung” (arr. Humperdinck)
Pytor Tchaikovsky, Francesca da Rimini
Richard Strauss, Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life)

Saturday, April 6 at 8 pm
Sunday, April 7 at 2 pm
Verdis Requiem
Leon Botstein, conductor
Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem

Saturday, April 27 at 8 pm
Sunday, April 28 at 2 pm
De Profundis: Out of the Depths
Leon Botstein, conductor
Virgil Thomson, “De Profundis”
Joachim Raff Psalm 130:  “De Profundis”—U.S. premiere
Lera Auerbach “De Profundis” (Violin Concerto No. 3)
Lili Boulanger Psalm 130: “Du fond de l’abîme” (De Profu
Vadim Repin, violin
Elizabeth de Trejo, soprano
Bard Festival Chorale


Live Arts Bard

Andrew Schneider
Preview performances
Live Arts Bard Commission
LUMA Theater
Friday, October 12 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, October 13 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, October 14 at 4 pm
Tickets start at $25

What connections are we missing in an always-on world? Interactive media artist Andrew Schneider and his collaborators perform a cartography of the all-too-fleeting revelations, narratives, and emotional interactions flooding our bodies and brains every second. A breathtaking intersection of human physicality and stunning visual technology, NERVOUS/SYSTEM decodes the stories we miss each time we blink.

New Saloon
Minor Character
Preview performances
LUMA Theater
Friday, November 30 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 1 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $25

Founded by Bard alums Milo Cramer ’12, Morgan Green ’12, and Madeline Wise ’12, New Saloon is one of New York City’s most exciting young theater companies. In this kaleidoscopic adaptation of Uncle Vanya, a cast of 16 performers collage a century’s worth of English translations—from the flowery 1916 version to Google Translate’s nonsensical rendition—into one sprawling, intimate, quietly disastrous evening.


Fisher Center Presents

Kenyon Victor Adams (Little Ray)
Prayers of the People
Presented with the Hannah Arendt Center and New York Live Arts, as part of the Arendt Center’s annual conference, Citizenship and Civil Disobedience.

Chapel of the Holy Innocents
Friday, October 12 at 6 pm
Tickets start at $25

Marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Prayers of the People is a secular liturgical performance of Dr. King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” This participatory performance, directed by Bill T. Jones, takes the structure of an Episcopal liturgy to bring to life his words, written from jail in response to a joint letter from eight religious leaders urging him to stop disrupting the peace.

The Chapel of the Holy Innocents was built in 1857 with local oak and stone from quarries across the Hudson River in Ulster County. The structure was rebuilt in 1859 after the original edifice was destroyed by fire.

Meshell Ndegeocello
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, October 20 at 8 pm
Tickets start at $25

Lush, subversive, and sublime, the music of Meshell Ndegeocello sparked a new movement in soul music, and has earned her 10 Grammy nominations over her astounding career. With the release of her new album, Ventriloquism, Ndegeocello tackles covers of songs that redefined black pop and R&B in the ’80s and ’90s, such as Prince, Janet Jackson, TLC, Tina Turner, and more, offering a fresh perspective and musical refuge during these uncertain times.

Vijay Iyer and Teju Cole
Blind Spot
Sosnoff Theater
Friday, October 26 at 8 pm
Tickets start at $25

Pioneering jazz composer and pianist Vijay Iyer and Nigerian American writer and photographer (and Bard faculty member) Teju Cole present a powerful new collaboration. With images and text from Cole’s newly released book of the same title alongside Iyer’s live score, Blind Spot investigates humanity’s blindness to tragedy and injustice throughout history.

“No one in jazz sounds like Iyer.”—Chicago Tribune

“One of the most vibrant voices in contemporary writing”—Los Angeles Times on Teju Cole

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
With a live, original score by Chris Washburne
Featuring Rags and Roots
Presented with Catskill Jazz Factory
Sosnoff Theater
Friday, November 2 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $25-45

The classic silent horror film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari comes to new life accompanied by the live, original music of jazz genius Chris Washburne and his ensemble, Rags and Roots. Drawing on melodies from 1921, the year the film was made, the score features a live tap dancer and a septet of top jazz artists accompanying a newly remastered print of the film.

Brian Reed
Creating S-Town: A New Way to Tell a Story
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, November 10 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $25-50

The cocreator of last year’s groundbreaking podcast S-Town discusses how he developed an entirely new kind of storytelling. Using audio outtakes and revealing details cut from the final version, Brian Reed pulls back the curtain on this rigorously reported and entirely true piece of storytelling journalism that broke podcast records.

United States Air Force Heritage of American Concert Band
Veterans Day Concert
Sosnoff Theater
Sunday, November 11 at 2 pm
Free; Reservations Required

For six decades, USAF Heritage of America Concert Band has inspired and entertained across the country in honor of our Nation’s veterans. Comprised of over forty professional Airman-musicians, the ensemble makes their Fisher Center debut to celebrate Veteran’s Day with renditions of patriotic favorites, marches, orchestral classics, jazz and Broadway standards, and more.

Isabella Rosellini
Link Link Circus
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, November 17 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $25-55

Award-winning actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini takes inspiration from the natural world in her new theatrical lecture, addressing the latest scientific discoveries about animal minds, intelligence, and emotions. With Pan, her trained dog, Rossellini transforms herself into Aristotle, Descartes, B. F. Skinner, and Charles Darwin to deliver a vivid monologue about the brilliance of the animal kingdom.

Isabella Rossellini is “the best professor you could ever imagine: witty, lovely to watch.”—New York Magazine

Lea DeLaria
Oh F*ck Its Christmas
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, December 8 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $25-55

Join DeLaria, star of Orange Is the New Black, for a very special and extra sassy concert of holiday favorites with her jazz ensemble.

Jazz singer, actor, writer, and stand-up comic Lea DeLaria “talks like a coffee grinder, and sounds like a cross between Ella Fitzgerald and a Broadway diva.” —Guardian

Cécile McLorin Salvant and Dan Tepfer
Les Belles Chansans Françaises
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, December 22 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $25-70

Multiple Grammy Award-winning vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant returns to the Fisher Center for a special winter concert. Accompanied by Franco-American virtuoso pianist Dan Tepfer, the duo presents the enchanting music of the French Songbook, from Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel to Serge Gainsbourg and more. Sung in French.

Susan Orlean and Sarah Thyres Crybabies
A live podcast with special guest
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 pm
Tickets start at $25

Writer Susan Orlean (The Orchid Thief, New Yorker) and actor Sarah Thyre (Strangers with Candy, Late Night with Conan O’Brien) want to make you cry. Their hilarious and touching podcast, Crybabies, returns to the Fisher Center for another special live edition to talk about what tickles the tear ducts.

“It’s a lot like hitting the jackpot corner at a really good cocktail party.”—NPR


Bard College Dance Program/American Dance Festival Partnership

Ephrat Asherie
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, April 14 at 2 pm
Tickets: $25

Led by The Boston Globe’s “bona fide b-girl,” Ephrat Asherie Dance makes their Fisher Center debut with Odeon, a high-energy, hybrid hip-hop work set to and inspired by the music of early 20th-century Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth, played live.


Jazz at the Fisher Center 
Sound The Trumpet!

Three of today’s top trumpet players lead a three-part series exploring the rhythmic influences and musical storytelling that have shaped hip-hop, reggae, merengue, and beyond.

Presented in association with the Catskill Jazz Factory

Jazz and the Birth of Hip-Hop
Led by Keyon Harrold
LUMA Theater
Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 pm
Tickets start at $25

Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Keyon Harrold, named “the future of the trumpet” by Wynton Marsalis, paints a picture of today’s hip-hop within the history of jazz. Featuring original compositions, classic songs from the evolution of hip-hop, and new works from Harrold’s recent album release The Mugician.

Jamaican Roots
Led by Etienne Charles, featuring Shenel Johns
LUMA Theater
Saturday, March 16 at 7:30 pm
Tickets start at $25

Trinidadian trumpeter Etienne Charles leads this concert featuring rising Jamaican vocalist Shenel Johns, rightfully described as “history in the making” by the Boston Globe. Exploring the styles of mento, ska, reggae, rocksteady, dub, and their various contemporary influences, Charles and Johns feel the flow of Jamaican influence on today’s global sound of blues, jazz, and pop.

The Vibes of Venezuela
Led by Etienne Charles and Linda Briceño, featuring Jorge Glem
LUMA Theater
Friday, April 19 at 7:30 pm
Tickets start at $25

Journey through the rhythms of 19th-century popular waltz, 1920s merengue, and the lively cantor of traditional joropo in this celebration of Venezuelan jazz. Vocalist and trumpeter Linda Briceño and cuatro virtuoso Jorge Glem join trumpeter Etienne Charles to examine African, Native South American, and European influences on the modern music of Venezuela.


Bard College Conservatory of Music

Bard Youth Chinese Orchestra
Premiere Performance
Sosnoff Theater
Friday, August 24 at 8 pm
Free and open to the public; reservations required

The Bard Youth Chinese Orchestra presents a program of exciting new music specifically written for Chinese instruments by contemporary Chinese composers. The BYCO is composed of over 50 young musicians, mostly from China, who have come to Bard in August to play together under the artistic direction of Jindong Cai of Bard College and Yu Hongmei of the Central Conservatory of Music.  The concerts are presented by the US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, in partnership with the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing.

Chine Now Music Festival
Facing the Past, Looking to the Future: Chinese Composers in the 21st Century
Sosnoff Theater
Friday, October 19 at 8 pm
Tickets: $25-35

Jindong Cai, Conductor
Members of The Orchestra Now and musicians from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing

The Orchestra Now, with Jondong Cai, conductor and artistic director of the Festival, perform a program which includes contemporary compositions by Ye Xiaogang, Zhou Long, and Cheng Yi, inspired by the Opium Wars and the Nanjing Massacre, and world-premiere performances of commissioned works by composers from the Central Conservatory of Beijing.

Preconcert panel discussion with composers and performers.

Bard College Conservatory Orchestra
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, October 27 at 8 pm
Tickets: $15-20 suggested donation to the Conservatory Scholarship Fund

Leon Botstein, music director
Richard Wagner, Tannhäuser: Overture and Venusberg
Joan Tower, Tambor
Serge Prokofiev, Symphony No. 6 in E-flat major, Op. 111 

Bard College Conservatory Orchestra
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, December 1 at 8 pm
Tickets: $15-20 suggested donation to the Conservatory Scholarship Fund

Xian Zhang, guest conductor
Corey Chang ’19, Persephone Abducted, world premiere
Antonin Dvorak, Concerto for Cello in D minor, Op. 104
  Peter Wiley, cello
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Scheherezade, Op. 35

Winter Songfest
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, December 15 at 8 pm
Tickets: $10

James Bagwell, conductor

This holiday tradition features a program of works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, including “Fantasia on Christmas Carols” and excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. With the Bard College Symphonic Chorus, Bard College Chamber Singers, members of Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, Bard Conservatory Orchestra, and The Orchestra Now (TŌN).

Bard Conservatory Concerto Competition
Sosnoff Theater
Sunday, February 17 at 11 am
Free and open to the public

Final Round
Finalists from the Bard Conservatory compete for the opportunity to perform with the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra, The Orchestra Now, and the American Symphony Orchestra.

Bard Conservatory and Bard Music Program Present
Schuberts Winterreise
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, February 16 at 8 pm
Tickets: $25-35

Franz Schubert, Die Winterreise (The Winter Journey)
   Rufus Müller, tenor   
   Kayo Iwama, piano

Days before his death from syphilis in November 1828, Franz Schubert was putting the finishing touches on this, the most famous of all song cycles. The journey of the title takes the protagonist from anger to pain, with startling detours into remembered joy and hope, then finally from despair to death.

Bard College Conservatory Orchestra
Sosnoff Theater
Saturday, March 9 at 8 pm
Tickets: $15-20 suggested donation to the Conservatory Scholarship Fund

Mark Russell Smith, guest conductor
and Dawn Upshaw, soprano
Samuel Barber, Symphony in One Movement, Op. 9
Oliver Knussen, “Requiem—Songs for Sue”
Mussorgsky/Ravel, Pictures at an Exhibition

Bard College Conservatory Orchestra
Sosnoff Theater
Friday, May 10 at 8 pm
Sunday, May 12 at 3 pm
Richard Strauss Salome, Op. 54


The 2018–19 season is made possible in part through the generous support of Jeanne Donovan Fisher, the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation, the Board of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, and the members of the Fisher Center, as well as a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The Passloff Pass $5 student ticket program is made possible through the generous support of an anonymous alumnus.

Live Arts Bard is made possible by the members of the Live Arts Bard Creative Council.

The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College

Named for the late Richard B. Fisher, former chair of Bard’s Board of Trustees, the Fisher Center has become an influential force in performing arts programming, earning critical acclaim for innovative productions of opera, orchestral, chamber, dance, and theater programs. The Center was designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry and distinguished acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota, and has received international praise for its breathtaking architecture and superb sound.

Each summer the Fisher Center presents the Bard SummerScape festival, seven weeks of performing arts programs reflecting the life and times of the featured composer of the esteemed Bard Music Festival, now celebrating its 30th year. Fall and spring seasons include original productions, special one-night-only concerts, and touring artists from around the globe.

The Fisher Center is home to the Bard College Theater & Performance and Dance Programs, providing students access to exceptional theater facilities and opportunities to work with professional directors and dramaturges on publicly attended productions throughout the year. The Bard College Conservatory of Music and Bard College Music Program stage regular orchestral and chamber concerts.

This event was last updated on 08-22-2018