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Bard Music Festival presents “Stravinsky in Paris” at FIAF in NYC on April 17

The Bard Music Festival (BMF) and French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) present “Stravinsky in Paris,” an evening of music by Stravinsky and his contemporaries, on Wednesday, April 17 at 7pm at FIAF in New York City. Conceived by BMF to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the world premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in Paris, “Stravinsky in Paris” will be performed by some of today’s sought-after musicians, including award-winning pianists Anna Polonsky and Orion Weiss and mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ringle. The program will open with an introduction about Stravinsky’s life in Paris by celebrated conductor Leon Botstein, president of Bard College and artistic co-director of BMF. Full program and ticket details are provided below.
This concert is a preview of the 24th annual Bard Music Festival, “Stravinsky and His World,” an illuminating and extensive program of orchestral, choral, and chamber concerts enriched by pre-concert talks and panel discussions, all devoted to examining the life and times of Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971), arguably the most important composer of the 20th century. The two weekends of the Bard Music Festival will take place on August 9-11 and August 16-18 at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. For more information about the Bard Music Festival, please visit
About the artists
Leon Botstein celebrates his 20th anniversary this season as music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. He is artistic co-director of the celebrated Bard SummerScape and Bard Music festivals, which take place at Bard College’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by Frank Gehry. Botstein is also conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, where he served as music director from 2003–11. He has been president of Bard College in New York since 1975. Botstein has an active schedule as a guest conductor all over the world, and can be heard on numerous recordings, including operas by Strauss, Dukas, and Chausson, as well as works of Shostakovich, Dohnányi, Liszt, Bruckner, Bartók, Hartmann, Reger, Glière, Szymanowski, Brahms, Copland, Sessions, Perle, and Bernard Rands. Many of his live performances with the American Symphony Orchestra are now available for download on the Internet.
Leon Botstein is highly regarded as a music historian. He is the editor of the Musical Quarterly and the author of numerous articles and books. In 2011 he gave the prestigious Tanner Lectures in Berkeley, California. For his contributions to music he has received the award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Harvard University’s distinguished Centennial Medal, as well as the Cross of Honor, First Class, from the government of Austria. In 2009 he received Carnegie Foundation’s Academic Leadership Award, and in 2011 was inducted into the American Philosophical Society. He is also the 2012 recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award for the Elevation of Music in Society.
Laura Flax is principal clarinetist with New York City Opera and the American Symphony Orchestra. She performs regularly with the New York Philharmonic and has been a member of the San Diego and San Francisco Symphonies. A member of the Naumburg Award–winning Da Capo Chamber Players for 20 years, Flax was involved in more than 100 premieres, including works by Joan Tower, Shulamit Ran, Philip Glass, and Elliott Carter. Her recordings of Tower’s Wings and the music of Shulamit Ran are available on the CRI label and Bridge Records respectively. She serves on the faculty of the Bard College Conservatory of Music and in Juilliard’s Pre-College Division.
Pianist Anna Polonsky, recipient of the 2011 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award, has appeared with the Moscow Virtuosi, Buffalo Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and many other orchestras and ensembles. She has collaborated with the Guarneri and Shanghai Quartets, the Orion String Quartet, and with such musicians as Mitsuko Uchida, David Shifrin, Richard Goode, Ida and Ani Kavafian, Jaime Laredo, and Arnold Steinhardt. With violist Michael Tree and clarinetist Anthony McGill, she is a member of the Schumann Trio; she also collaborates in a two-piano duo with her husband, Orion Weiss. In addition to performing, she serves on the piano faculty of Vassar College.
Praised by Opera News for her “richly focused voice” of “striking power and depth,” mezzo-soprano Rebecca Ringle has won acclaim in both opera and concert. Recent engagements included her return to the Metropolitan Opera for the full run of Der Ring des Nibelungen; Messiah performances with the National Chorale, Jacksonville Symphony, and Augustana College; Bach arias with Ars Antiqua Baroque Orchestra; and appearances with New York’s Metamorphoses Orchestra and at the Bard Music Festival. She performed at the Princeton Festival, the Macau International Music Festival in China, Baltimore’s Opera Vivente, and at Bard SummerScape as Queen Leda in Strauss’s Die Liebe der Danae. She has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Spazio Musica Orvieto Concorso per Cantanti Lirici, and Heida Hermanns International Opera Competition.
One of the most sought-after soloists of his generation, pianist Orion Weiss has appeared with America’s foremost orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic. Highlights of the present season include repeat engagements with the Baltimore and New World Symphonies, as well as performances with the Tucson and Richmond Symphonies, and at the Hong Kong Chamber Music and Ravinia Festivals. Weiss performs regularly with his wife, pianist Anna Polonsky, violinist James Ehnes, and cellist Zuill Bailey, as well as with ensembles including the Pacifica Quartet. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Weiss has appeared at venues and festivals including Lincoln Center, the Ravinia Festival, Sheldon Concert Hall, the Seattle Chamber Festival, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, Chamber Music Northwest, the Bard Music Festival, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, the Kennedy Center, and Spivey Hall.
About the Bard Music Festival
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 pre-concert talks, panel discussions by renowned musicians and scholars, and special events. In addition, each season Princeton University 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, Dvorák, Schumann, Bartók, Ives, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Schoenberg, Beethoven, Debussy, Mahler, Janácek, Shostakovich, Copland, Liszt, Elgar, Prokofiev, Wagner, Berg, Sibelius, and Saint-Saëns. The 2013 festival is devoted to Igor Stravinsky, and 2014 will explore the life and work of Franz Schubert.
About the 2013 Bard Music Festival, “Stravinsky and His World”
The groundbreaking nature of Igor Stravinsky’s music is in part due to the broad and eclectic range of influences on which he drew. Over the course of his long career, these included such unlikely bedfellows as Russia’s folk and classical traditions, African-American ragtime, the Baroque concerto grosso, and Second Viennese School twelve-tone technique. The Bard Music Festival offers an immersion in the worlds Stravinsky straddled, from their luminaries to their lesser-known figures, contextualizing him within the musically distinct milieus – all of them cultural melting pots – he inhabited: pre-revolutionary Russia, 1920s Paris, and post-war Hollywood. A wide range of Stravinsky’s music will be performed, from canonical masterworks like The Rite of Spring and Symphony of Psalms to such comparative rarities as Mavra and his melodrama Perséphone. With its recognized gift for thematic programming, Bard achieves a depth and breadth of musical and cultural discovery that is truly unique. The two weekends of the Bard Music Festival will take place on August 9-11 and August 16-18 at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. For more information about the Bard Music Festival, please visit
About the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)
FIAF’s mission is to create and offer New Yorkers innovative and unique programs in education and the arts that explore the evolving diversity and richness of French cultures. FIAF seeks to generate new ideas and promote cross-cultural dialogue through partnerships and new platforms of expression. Visit for more information.
Bard Music Festival presents
“Stravinsky in Paris”
Wednesday, April 17 at 7:30pm
Florence Gould Hall, French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF)
55 East 59th Street, New York City
Prokofiev: Quintet in G minor (“Trapeze”), Op. 39 (1924)
Stravinsky: Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo (1919)
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (1913, arr. piano duet)
Songs by Ravel, Poulenc, and Messiaen
Pre-concert talk by Leon Botstein at 7pm
Bence Botar, double bass; Laura Flax, clarinet; Ryan Klein, oboe; Wei Peng, viola; Anna Polonsky, piano; Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano; Sabrina Tabby, violin; Orion Weiss, piano; Amalie Wyrick-Flax, clarinet
Tickets: $40, $15 for students, and $30 for FIAF members; available online at, by phone at 1-800-982-2787, or from the FIAF box office.

© 21C Media Group, March 2013



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