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Bard Music Festival “Stravinsky and His World” Weekend One opens Friday, Aug 9

The 24th annual Bard Music Festival – an exploration of “Stravinsky and His World” – opens Friday, August 9 with Weekend One: “Becoming Stravinsky: From St. Petersburg to Paris.” The first of the weekend’s five themed concerts – Program 1: “The 20th Century’s Most Celebrated Composer offers a concise survey of the great Russian innovator’s career, from the raw power of his early, folk-inflected cantata Les Noces to his late serial orchestral ballad, Abraham and Isaac, by way of such canonical favorites as the Symphonies of Wind Instruments and his neoclassical choral masterpiece, the Symphony of Psalms. The New York Times has praised Bard’s “track record of presenting fine young performers and some good veterans,” and this opening event is no exception, featuring an outstanding line-up that includes baritone John Hancock, pianist Anna Polonsky, and members of the festival’s resident American Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of music director Leon Botstein. The conductor, a distinguished scholar who also serves as festival co-artistic director, presents an illuminating pre-concert talk before the performance.
Through the prism of Stravinsky’s life and career, this year’s Bard Music Festival explores Russia’s profound and far-reaching impact on 20th-century culture. Certainly no 20th-century composer’s legacy is greater; as his friend and fellow composer Erik Satie put it, Stravinsky was “a liberator,” who, “more than anyone else, … freed the musical thought of today.” With its recognized gift for thematic programming, Bard achieves a depth and breadth of musical and cultural discovery that is truly unique, offering an immersion in the worlds Stravinsky straddled, contextualizing him within the musically distinct milieus – all cultural melting pots – that he inhabited. All of Weekend One’s programs are augmented by pre-concert talks by eminent academics, including Richard Taruskin, whose numerous publications include the influential Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions, and Cambridge University’s Marina Frolova-Walker, author of Russian Music and Nationalism from Glinka to Stalin. Botstein leads the full American Symphony Orchestra in Program Three, which juxtaposes works by Stravinsky’s teacher Rimsky-Korsakov and fellow students Liadov and Steinberg with Stravinsky’s own Fireworks and seminal, century-old Rite of Spring. The weekend’s impressive roster of performers also includes tenor Nicholas Phan; pianists Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung; and the Dover Quartet.
During this first weekend (a second follows on August 16–18), additional events shed further light on “Becoming Stravinsky: From St. Petersburg to Paris,” tracing the composer’s path from pre-revolutionary Russia to 1920s Paris, scene of the Rite’s scandalous premiere. Program Two presents music by many of his Russian influences, such as Glinka, Tchaikovsky, and Glazunov, while Program Four offers an evocative snapshot of his close Parisian circle, from Satie and Debussy to Schoenberg. To conclude the first festival weekend, Program Six features chamber and ensemble selections of a surrealist bent alongside a rare concert revival of Stravinsky’s one-act opera buffa Mavra in concert.
While remaining a lifelong monarchist who opposed the Bolshevik Revolution, in music Stravinsky could hardly have been a more radical revolutionary, his stylistic development reflecting a protean capacity for change. Weekend One audiences have the chance to unravel these contradictions in Panel One, “Who Was Stravinsky?”, while Panel Two investigates “The Ballets Russes and Beyond: Stravinsky and Dance.” Finally, a special screening of R.O. Blechman’s film The Soldier’s Tale, with live musical accompaniment, will round out the festival’s opening weekend.
Critical acclaim:
The Bard Music Festival has impressed critics worldwide. The New York Times 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 reported, “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. Reservation is required, and may be made by calling the box office at 845-758-7900. The round-trip fare is $40, and the bus departs from Lincoln Center at the times indicated:

Program 1: Friday, August 9 at 8 pm (preconcert talk at 7:30 pm)                                2:30 pm
Program 5: Sunday, August 11 at 5:30 pm (preconcert talk at 5 pm)                            1:00 pm
Bard’s delightful Spiegeltent will be open for lunch and dinner throughout “Stravinsky and His World.”
Complete programs for Weekend One of the 2013 Bard Music Festival follow.
Program details of Bard Music Festival, “Stravinsky and His World”
WEEKEND ONE: Becoming Stravinsky: From St. Petersburg to Paris
Friday, August 9
Program One
The 20th Century’s Most Celebrated Composer
Sosnoff Theater
7:30 pm                  Pre-concert Talk: Leon Botstein
8 pm                      Performance:  Alessio Bax, piano; Andrey Borisenko, bass; Lucille Chung, piano; Kiera Duffy, soprano; Gustav Djupsjöbacka, piano; John Hancock, baritone; Melis Jaatinen, mezzo-soprano; Anna Polonsky, piano; Mikhail Vekua, tenor; Orion Weiss, piano; Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; members of the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director
Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)
   Les Noces (1914–17)
   Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1920, rev. 1947)
   Symphony of Psalms (1930)
   Concerto for Two Pianos (1935)
   Abraham and Isaac (1962–63)
Tickets: $25, $35, $50, $60
Saturday, August 10
Panel One
Who Was Stravinsky?
Olin Hall
10 am–noon
Christopher H. Gibbs, moderator; Leon Botstein; Marina Frolova-Walker; Olga Manulkina; Stephen Walsh
Free and open to the public
Program Two
The Russian Context
Olin Hall
1 pm                     Pre-concert Talk: Marina Frolova-Walker
1:30 pm                 Performance: Matthew Burns, bass-baritone; Dover Quartet; Gustav Djupsjöbacka, piano; Laura Flax, clarinet; Marc Goldberg, bassoon; Melis Jaatinen, mezzo-soprano; Piers Lane, piano; Orion Weiss, piano
Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)
   Faun and Shepherdess, Op. 2 (1906–07)
   From Four Studies, for piano, Op. 7 (1908)
   Three Movements from Petrushka, for piano solo (1921)
Mikhail Glinka (1804–57)
   Trio Pathétique in D minor (1832)
Alexander Glazunov (1865–1936)
   Five Novelettes, for string quartet, Op. 15 (1886)
Alexander Scriabin (1872–1915)
   Vers la flamme, Op. 72 (1914)
Sergey Rachmaninoff (1873–1943)
   Preludes, Op. 23, Nos. 8 & 9 (1901–03)
Songs and piano works by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–81), Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840–93), Nikolai Medtner (1880–1951), and Mikhail Gnesin (1883–1957)
Tickets: $35
Film: The Soldier’s Tale
Lászlo Z. Bitó ’60 Conservatory Building
A film by R. O. Blechman, with live musical accompaniment
Tickets: $12
Program Three
1913: Breakthrough to Fame and Notoriety
Sosnoff Theater
7 pm                         Pre-concert Talk: Richard Taruskin
8 pm                         Performance: American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director
Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)
   Fireworks (1908)
   The Rite of Spring (1913)
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908)
   Suite from The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh (c. 1907)
Anatoly Liadov (1855–1914)
   From the Apocalypse, Op. 66 (1910–12)
Maximilian Steinberg (1883–1946)
   Les Métamorphoses, Op. 10 (1913)
Tickets: $30, $50, $60, $75
Sunday, August 11
Panel Two
The Ballets Russes and Beyond: Stravinsky and Dance
Olin Hall
10 am–noon
Kenneth Archer; Lynn Garafola; Millicent Hodson
Free and open to the public
Program Four
Modernist Conversations
Olin Hall
1 pm                     Pre-concert Talk: Byron Adams
1:30 pm                 Performance: Alessio Bax, piano; Lucille Chung, piano; Gustav Djupsjöbacka, piano; Kiera Duffy, soprano; Benjamin Fingland, clarinet; Judith Gordon, piano; John Hancock, baritone; Melis Jaatinen, mezzo-soprano; Sharon Roffman, violin; Raman Ramakrishnan, cello; Lance Suzuki, flute; Benjamin Verdery, guitar; Lei Xu, soprano; Bard Festival Chamber Players
Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)
   Three Japanese Lyrics (1912)
   Pribaoutki (1914)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
    En blanc et noir (1915)
Arnold Schoenberg (1874–1951)
   Pierrot lunaire (1912)
Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)
   Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé (1913)
Maurice Delage (1879–1961)
   Quatre poèmes hindous (1912–13)
Works by Erik Satie (1866–1925); Manuel de Falla (1876–1946); and Béla Bartók (1881–1945)
Tickets: $35
Program Five
Sight and Sound: From Abstraction to Surrealism
Sosnoff Theater 
5 pm                     Pre-concert Talk: Mary E. Davis
5:30 pm                 Performance: Anne-Carolyn Bird, soprano; John Hancock, baritone; Melis Jaatinen, mezzo-soprano; Nicholas Phan, tenor; Ann McMahon Quintero, mezzo-soprano; Anna Polonsky, piano; Orion Weiss, piano; members of the American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director; designed and directed by Anne Patterson; projection design by Adam Larson; choreography by Janice Lancaster
Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)
   Ragtime (1918)
   Mavra (1921–22)
Erik Satie (1866–1925)
   Parade (1916–17; arr. piano four-hands)
Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)
   Le travail du peintre, song cycle for voice and piano (1956)
Georges Auric (1899–1983), Arthur Honegger (1892–1955), Darius Milhaud (1892–1974), Francis Poulenc, and Germaine Tailleferre (1892–1983)
   Les mariés de la tour Eiffel (1921)
André Souris (1899–1970)
    Choral, marche, et galop (1925)
Tickets: $25, $35, $50, $60
All programs subject to change.
Weekend Two of “Stravinsky and His World” takes place at Bard on August 16–18.
Bard SummerScape Ticket Information
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©21C Media Group, July 2013

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