SummerScape 2024 • On Sale Now!

Academic Programs

Two programs in Bard’s Division of the Arts—the Theater & Performance and Dance Programs—are housed in the Fisher Center.

The Theater & 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 The Orchestra Now—a unique pre-professional orchestra and graduate program, the Bard Conservatory of Music, the US-China Music Institute, and the Bard Music Program.

Many other Bard academic programs present public forums and special events at the Fisher Center throughout the academic year.

Theater & Performance

The Theater & Performance Program aims to develop innovative thinkers and artists who use great theatrical ideas from the past and present to imagine and instigate the theater of the future. Theater and performance are intrinsically collaborative art forms, and collaboration and devised theater making are at the heart of Bard’s program.


The Bard Dance Program sees the pursuit of artistry and intellect as a single endeavor and the study of the body as a cognitive act, demanding both physical practice and exploration of the broader academic contexts in which the art form exists. The program fosters the discovery of a dance vocabulary that is meaningful to the dancer/choreographer and essential to his or her creative ambitions.

The Orchestra Now

The Orchestra Now (TŌN), a unique training orchestra and master’s degree program founded by Bard in 2015, is preparing a new generation of musicians to break down barriers between modern audiences and great orchestral music of the past and present. At a TŌN concert, musicians and audience inspire one another, each following their curiosity with a shared sense of adventure.

Bard Conservatory of Music

Bard College Conservatory of Music expands Bard’s spirit of innovation in arts and education. The Conservatory, which opened in 2005, offers a five-year, double-degree program at the undergraduate level and—at the graduate level—programs in vocal arts, conducting, instrumental performance, as well as Chinese music and culture. Also at the graduate level, the Conservatory offers an Advanced Performance Studies Program and a two-year Postgraduate Collaborative Piano Fellowship.

US-China Music Institute

The US-China Music Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music promotes the study, performance, and appreciation of music from contemporary China, and supports musical exchange between the United States and China. In partnership with the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China, the Institute has embarked on the Chinese Music Development Initiative, creating several groundbreaking projects, including the first degree-granting program in Chinese instrument performance in a U.S. conservatory, the annual China Now Music Festival, an annual conference, and youth programs in Chinese music.

Vocal Arts Program

The Graduate Vocal Arts Program is a unique master of music program in vocal arts, created to prepare the young singer for the special challenges of pursuing a professional life in music in the 21st century. Students work on operatic, art song, chamber music, and new music repertoire throughout the coursework of the program. Operatic repertoire is studied and performed throughout the curriculum and in fully staged productions at the Fisher Center.

Music Program

The Bard College campus is awash in music; by all accounts, that fact is one of the school’s most distinctive features. The Music Program, one of the largest programs on campus, provides a wide range of musical concentrations, from classical composition and performance to jazz, electronic music, musicology, ethnomusicology, and music theory.

The Performing Arts are Essential

Support the creation of innovative work by adventurous artists.