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Bard Music Festival 25th Anniversary Season “Schubert and His World” Weekend One opens Friday

The world-renowned Bard Music Festival, now celebrating its Silver Jubilee with an exploration of “Schubert and His World,” opens this Friday, August 8 with Weekend One: The Making of a Romantic Legend. Combining works from opposite ends of Franz Schubert’s all-too-brief career, the first of the weekend’s five themed concerts – Program 1, The Legacy of a Life Cut Short – exploits Bard’s unusual ability to vary the traditional concert format by integrating chamber, vocal, and orchestral works within a single event. Thus the posthumously published Third Symphony rubs shoulders with Gretchen am Spinnrade, selected dances and partsongs, and two of the consummate chamber masterpieces of Schubert’s maturity: the Fantasy in F minor for piano duet and the transcendent String Quintet in C. The New York Times has praised Bard’strack record of presenting fine young performers and some good veterans,” and this opening event is no exception, featuring an outstanding line-up that includes tenors Paul Appleby and Nicholas Phan, pianist Anna Polonsky, the Dover Quartet, and members of the festival’s resident American Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of music director and festival co-artistic director Leon Botstein. A distinguished scholar who was recently recognized by THIRTEEN’s NYC-Arts as “one of the most remarkable figures in the worlds of arts and culture,” the conductor presents an illuminating pre-concert talk before the performance.
Through the prism of Schubert’s life and career, this year’s Bard Music Festival explores the roots of Austro-German Romanticism. With its recognized excellence in thematic programming, Bard achieves a depth and breadth of musical and cultural discovery that is truly unique, offering an immersion in Schubert’s Vienna, and contextualizing the composer’s early life and career within the contradictions of his native city. Program 4, “Goethe and Music: The German Lied,” is accompanied by expert commentary from Susan Youens, whose numerous publications on the composer include Schubert’s Poets and the Making of Lieder, and the remaining five programs of Weekend One are augmented with pre-concert talks by eminent academics, including Scholars-in-Residence Christopher H. Gibbs, author of The Life of Schubert and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Schubert, and Morten Solvik, director of IES Abroad Vienna. Botstein leads the full American Symphony Orchestra in Program Three, “Mythic Transformations,” which juxtaposes incomplete symphonic works by Schubert – including the “Unfinished” Symphony’s two completed movements – with orchestrations of his music by Berlioz, Liszt, Joachim, Brahms, Offenbach, and Webern. Program 2, “From ‘Boy’ to Master: The Path to Erlkönig,” pairs some of Schubert’s early compositions with music by Rossini, Gluck, Salieri, Mozart, and other composers prevalent in the Vienna of his youth, while Program 5, “Before Unspeakable Illness,” an all-Schubert program, offers works from his early 20s, like the “Wanderer” Fantasy and Marche militaire, that preceded his diagnosis with syphilis. To conclude the first festival weekend, Program 6, “Schubert and Viennese Theater,” presents a double-bill of rarities: Schubert’s one-act Singspiel Die Verschworenen and the first American presentation of Franz von Suppé’s operetta Franz Schubert, featuring James Bagwell leading the Bard Festival Chorale. The weekend’s impressive roster of performers also includes mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ringle, baritone Tyler Duncan, violinist Jennifer Koh, and pianists Danny Driver, Benjamin Hochman and Orion Weiss.
One of the most revered and influential composers of the Western tradition, Schubert remains paradoxically elusive. Weekend One audiences have the chance to unravel this contradiction in Panel One, “Invention and Reinvention: Who Was Schubert?” A special consideration of “The Song Cycle as Drama: Winterreiserounds out the festival’s opening weekend.
NYC-Arts’ recent interview with Leon Botstein may be viewed here, and the conductor may also be seen in conversation with his fellow artistic director, Christopher Gibbs, here.
Weekend Two of “Schubert and His World” takes place at Bard on August 15–17.
Critical acclaim:
The Bard Music Festival has impressed critics worldwide. NPR Music named it one of the “Ten Can’t Miss Classical Music Festivals,” the Wall Street Journal calls it “A highlight of the musical year,” and the New York Times, which dubs it “part boot camp for the brain, part spa for the spirit,” reports that “performers engaged by Bard invariably seem energized by the prospect of extending beyond canonical routine, and by an audience that comes prepared with open ears and open minds.” As the Wall Street Journal’s Barrymore Laurence Scherer observes, the Bard Music Festival “has long been one of the most intellectually stimulating of all American summer festivals and frequently is one of the most musically satisfying.” Reviewing a previous season of the festival, the New York Times marveled, “As impressive as many of the festival performances were, they were matched by the audience’s engagement: strangers met and conversed, analyzing the music they’d heard with sophistication, and a Sunday-morning panel discussion of gender issues in 19th-century culture drew a nearly full house. All told, it was a model for an enlightened society.”
Getting to the Bard Music Festival: New York City Round-Trip Bus Transportation
A round-trip bus service is provided exclusively to ticket-holders for the performances listed below. Reservations are required, and may be made by calling the box office at 845-758-7900. The newly reduced round-trip fare is $20, and the bus departs from Lincoln Center at the times indicated:

Program 1: Friday, August 8 at 8 pm (preconcert talk at 7:30 pm)                                3:30 pm
Program 6: Sunday, August 10 at 5:30 pm (preconcert talk at 5 pm)                            1:30 pm
Further details are available at
Bard’s sensationally popular European Spiegeltent will be open for lunch and dinner throughout “Schubert and His World,” besides playing host to the Bard Music Festival Opening Night Dinner on Friday, August 8.
Program details of 2014 Bard Music Festival, “Schubert and His World”
WEEKEND ONE: The Making of a Romantic Legend
Friday, August 8
Program One
The Legacy of a Life Cut Short
Sosnoff Theater
7:30 pm                 Pre-concert Talk by Leon Botstein
8 pm                         Performance: Deanna Breiwick, soprano; Dover Quartet; Peter Myers, cello; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Anna Polonsky, piano; Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano; Sarah Rothenberg, piano; Orion Weiss, piano; members of the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director; and others
Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
   Gretchen am Spinnrade, D118 (1814)
   Overture to Der vierjährige Posten, D190 (1815)
   Symphony No. 3 in D, D200 (1815)
   Fantasy in F minor for piano duet, D940 (1828)
   String Quintet in C, D956 (1828)
   Dances, songs, and partsongs
Tickets: $25–$60
Saturday, August 9
Panel One
Invention and Reinvention: Who Was Schubert?
Christopher H. Gibbs, moderator; Malcolm Bilson; Leon Botstein; John M. Gingerich
Olin Hall
10 am–noon
Free and open to the public
Program Two
From “Boy” to Master: The Path to Erlkönig
Olin Hall
1 pm                         Pre-concert Talk: Elaine Sisman
1:30 pm                 Performance: Dover Quartet; Andrew Garland, baritone; Sari Gruber, soprano; Julia Pilant, horn; Anna Polonsky, piano; Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano; Sarah Rothenberg, piano; Orion Weiss, piano; and others
Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
   String Quartet in B-flat, D112 (1814)
   Zur Namensfeier meines Vaters, D80 (1813)
   Erlkönig, D328 (1815)
   Songs, dances, and partsongs
Arias, songs, and other works by Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714–87), Antonio Salieri (1750–1825), Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1752–1814), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91), Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg (1760–1802), Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758–1832), Carl Czerny (1791–1857), and Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868)
Tickets: $35
The Song Cycle as Drama: Winterreise
Olin Hall
5 pm                         Performance: Tyler Duncan, baritone; Erika Switzer, piano
Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
   Winterreise, D911 (1827)
Tickets: $35
Program Three
Mythic Transformations
Sosnoff Theater
7 pm                         Pre-concert Talk: Christopher H. Gibbs
8 pm                         Performance: Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano; Andrew Schroeder, baritone; American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director
Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
   Symphony No. 8 in B minor, “Unfinished,” D759 (1822)
   Sonata in C, “Grand Duo,” D812 (1824; orch. Joseph Joachim, 1855)
   Selections from Symphony in E Major, D729 (1821; orch. Felix Weingartner, 1934)
   Songs, orch. Hector Berlioz (1803–69); Franz Liszt (1811–86); Jacques Offenbach (1819–80); Johannes Brahms (1833–97); and Anton Webern (1883–1945)
Tickets: $25–$75
Sunday, August 10
Program Four
Goethe and Music: The German Lied
Olin Hall
10 am                      Performance with commentary by Susan Youens; with Teresa Buchholz, mezzo-soprano; Andrew Garland, baritone; Judith Gordon, piano; Sari Gruber, soprano; Sarah Rothenberg, piano; Scott Williamson, tenor
Songs by Franz Schubert (1797–1828); Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809); Johann Friedrich Reichardt (1752–1814); Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91); Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg (1760–1802); Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827); Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758–1832); Carl Loewe (1796–1869); Felix Mendelssohn (1809–47); Robert Schumann (1810–56); and Hugo Wolf (1860–1903)
Tickets: $30
Program Five
Before Unspeakable Illness
Olin Hall
1 pm                         Pre-concert Talk: Byron Adams
1:30 pm                 Performance: Danny Driver, piano; Dover Quartet; Andrew Garland, baritone; Benjamin Hochman, piano; Jennifer Koh, violin; Anna Polonsky, piano; Orion Weiss, piano; and others
Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
   Quartettsatz, D703 (1820)
   Marche militaire, D733 (?1818)
   Fantasy in C, “Wanderer,” D760 (1822)                                                                                                       
   Selections from 36 Originaltänze (Erste Walzer), D365 (1818–21)
Tickets: $35
Program SIX
Schubert and Viennese Theater
Sosnoff Theater
5 pm                         Pre-concert Talk: Morten Solvik
5:30 pm                 Performance: Paul Appleby, tenor; Deanna Breiwick, soprano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Camille Zamora; soprano; Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; members of the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director; and others; directed and designed by Eric Einhorn; lighting design by Jeanette Yew
Franz Schubert (1797–1828)
   Die Verschworenen, Singspiel in one act, D787 (1823)
Franz von Suppé (1819–95)
   Franz Schubert, operetta in one act (1864)
Tickets: $25–$60
All programs subject to change.
Weekend Two of “Schubert and His World” takes place at Bard on August 15–17.
Bard SummerScape ticket information
For tickets and further information on all SummerScape events, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or visit Fisher Center members receive priority access to the best seats in advance, and those who join the Center’s email list receive advance booking opportunities as well as regular news and updates.
Bard SummerScape:
Bard Music Festival:
Tickets: [email protected]; or by phone at 845-758-7900.
Updates: Bard’s “e-members” get all the news in regular updates.  Click here to sign up, or send an e-mail to [email protected].
All program information is subject to change.
The 25th annual Bard Music Festival is made possible in part through the generous support of the Board of the Bard Music Festival and the Friends of the Fisher Center, as well as grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional underwriting has been provided by Jeanne Donovan Fisher, James H. Ottaway, Jr., Felicitas S. Thorne, Helen and Roger Alcaly, the Bettina Baruch Foundation, Mrs. Mortimer Levitt, Michelle R. Clayman, Margo and Anthony Viscusi, and the Furthermore Foundation. Special support has also been provided by the Mrs. Mortimer Levitt Endowment Fund for the Performing Arts.
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©21C Media Group, July 2014


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