The Bard Music Festival returns for its 33rd season with an exploration of the life and work of Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958), one of the greatest symphonists of the 20th century.
Few figures have had such a formative and protean influence on their musical environment as the British composer. With an oeuvre that ranges from songs and hymns to opera, film music, and full-scale orchestral and choral works and includes popular works such as the Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and The Lark Ascending as well as scores of uncompromising modernity, Vaughan Williams’s voice defined an era. The festival will explore the full scope of his work and set it in the context of his politics and the culture of the time.
20th Anniversary Season
A celebration of innovative performance featuring SummerScape, the Bard Music Festival, the ground breaking of our new studio building designed by Maya Lin, and more.
“A hotbed of intellectual and aesthetic adventure.”—New York Times
This June, SummerScape returns for eight inspired weeks of performing arts! Highlights of the festival include the 33rd Bard Music Festival, Vaughan Williams and His World; a new production of Saint-Saëns’s Henri VIII, directed by Jean-Romain Vesperini; the World Premiere of the SummerScape-commissioned Illinois by Justin Peck, Sufjan Stevens, and Jackie Sibblies Drury; the beloved Spiegeltent; and more.
June 22 – August 13
Opening Night Package
Attend all of our opening night performances and summer soirees and save 25%. The Opening Night Package includes a premium opening night seat and these events:
- Illinois Opening Night Cast Party • June 23
- Henri VIII Opening Night Premiere Party • July 7
- Bard Music Festival Opening Night Social • August 4
Visit the Fisher Center
The Fisher Center at Bard is located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, situated on the east bank of the Hudson River in the beautiful Hudson Valley, about 90 miles north of New York City and 220 miles southwest of Boston.
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.
By providing an illuminating context, the festival encourages listeners and musicians alike to rediscover the powerful, expressive nature of familiar compositions and to become acquainted with less well-known works.
Since its inaugural season, the Bard Music Festival has entered the worlds of Brahms, Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss, Dvořák, Schumann, Bartók, Ives, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg, Beethoven, Debussy, Mahler, Janáček, Shostakovich, Copland, Liszt, Elgar, Prokofiev, Wagner, Berg, Sibelius, Saint-Saëns, Stravinsky, Schubert, Carlos Chávez, Puccini, Chopin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Korngold, and Nadia Boulanger.
The 2022 Bard Music Festival will be devoted to the life and work of Sergei Rachmaninoff.
The Bard Music Festival promotes new ways of understanding and presenting the history of music to a contemporary audience. Each year, a single composer is chosen as the main subject. The biography of the composer, the influences and consequences of that composer’s achievement, and all aspects of the musical culture surrounding the time and place of the composer’s life are explored. Perhaps the most important dimensions of the festival are the ways in which it links music to the worlds of literature, painting, theater, philosophy, and politics and brings two kinds of audience together: those with a long history of interest in concert life and first-time listeners, who find the festival an ideal place to learn about and enjoy the riches of our musical past.
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