The Fisher Center develops, produces, and presents performing arts across disciplines through new productions and context-rich programs.
Explore our programs below.
Described as “part boot camp for the brain, part spa for the spirit” (New York Times) and a “highbrow hotbed of culture” (Huffington Post), Bard SummerScape is an annual summer arts festival. Since its inaugural season in 2003, the festival is held in tandem with the Bard Music Festival and features performances of opera, dance, theater, music, film, and cabaret.
Bard Music Festival
The Bard Music Festival is an annual classical music festival held during the month of August. Founded in 1990, the Bard Music Festival has established its unique identity in the classical concert field by presenting programs that, through performance and discussion, place selected works in the cultural and social context of the composer’s world. Programs of the Bard Music Festival offer a point of view. The intimate communication of recital and chamber music and the excitement of full orchestral and choral works are complemented by informative preconcert talks, panel discussions by renowned musicians and scholars, and special events. In addition, each season University of Chicago Press publishes a book of essays, translations, and correspondence relating to the festival’s central figure.
A marvel of engineering derived from a beloved nineteenth century Belgian tradition, the Spiegeltent is a glittering mirrored pavilion with a sumptuous interior of carved wood surfaces, parquet floor, beveled mirrors, stained-glass windows, and sumptuous velvet canopies; it has enchanted guests since its introduction to the festival in 2006. As a part of SummerScape, “a hotbed of intellectual and aesthetic adventure” (The New York Times), the Spiegeltent is central to the festival’s offerings of thought-provoking, awe-inspiring artistry, and unbridled festivity.
Fisher Center LAB
Fisher Center LAB is the Fisher Center’s artist residency and commissioning program, providing custom-made and meaningful support for innovative artists across disciplines. Since its launch in 2012, Fisher Center LAB has supported residencies, workshops, and performances for hundreds of artists, incubating new projects and engaging audiences, students, faculty and staff in the process of creating contemporary performance.
Two programs in Bard’s Division of the Arts—the Theater and Performance and Dance Programs—are housed in the Fisher Center. The Theater and Performance Program offers studies in acting, directing, and playwriting. The Dance Program focuses on contemporary practices and offers courses including dance composition, technique, performance, dance science and history. In addition, the Fisher Center hosts performances by Bard’s Music Program, the Bard Conservatory of Music, the US-China Music Institute, as well as The Orchestra Now—a unique pre-professional orchestra and graduate program. Many other Bard academic programs programs present public forums and special events at the Fisher Center during the academic year.
The Fisher Center’s virtual stage. Offering archival discoveries and new commissions for the digital sphere, Upstreaming broadens the Fisher Center’s commitment to reaching audiences far beyond the physical walls of our building and presents new ways of engaging with the artists we collectively hold so dear.
Fisher Center Beyond Bard
Transformative performances from the banks of the Hudson and across the globe. As an incubator for innovative performing arts, many of the Fisher Center’s original commisions that premiered at Bard have gone on tour worldwide.