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Bard SummerScape 2018 Celebrates Life and Times of Seminal Russian Romantic Rimsky-Korsakov – Plus Two Milestone Anniversaries – with Seven-Week Arts Festival in New York’s Hudson Valley

Announcing the 29th Bard Music Festival: “Rimsky-Korsakov and His World”; Rare New American Production of Rubinstein’s The Demon by Thaddeus Strassberger; World Premiere of Four Quartets by Pam Tanowitz, Kaija Saariaho, and Brice Marden on 75th Anniversary of T.S. Eliot’s Poems; and First Major Revival of Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan to Mark Composer’s Centennial

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – This summer’s 15th annual Bard SummerScape festival not only celebrates the seminal Russian Romantic Rimsky-Korsakov, but also two milestone anniversaries, with more than seven weeks of music, opera, theater, dance, film, and cabaret. Through an intensive examination of the life and times of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the 29th Bard Music Festival, “Rimsky-Korsakov and His World,” sets out to solve the Rimsky-Korsakov riddle: Why does the composer remain woefully underappreciated outside his homeland, despite the paramount role he played in defining the style we have come to recognize as Russian? The fully staged opera comes courtesy of the composer’s compatriot and contemporary Anton Rubinstein, whose grand opera The Demon receives a rare new American production from European Opera Prize-winner Thaddeus Strassberger, while the annual film series explores “Rimsky-Korsakov and the Poetry of Cinema.” To complement these offerings, Bard also pays tribute to two titans of 20th-century culture. The world premiere of Four Quartets, an interdisciplinary new dance commission from choreographer Pam Tanowitz, composer Kaija Saariaho, and visual artist Brice Marden marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of T.S. Eliot’s iconic cycle of poems, while a dark new take on Leonard Bernstein’s rarely-performed gem Peter Pan has been commissioned from Olivier Award-winning director Christopher Alden to honor the composer’s centennial. The lineup is completed by the return of Bard’s authentic and sensationally popular Spiegeltent, hosted by festival favorite Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, who returns for a fifth season. Taking place between June 28 and August 19 in the Frank Gehry-designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and other venues on Bard College’s idyllic Hudson River campus, SummerScape’s 2018 offerings provide new opportunities to discover that, as Time Out New York has said, “the experience of entering the Fisher Center and encountering something totally new is unforgettable and enriching.” Tickets go on sale on February 21; click here for more information.

London’s Times Literary Supplement lauds Bard SummerScape as “the most intellectually ambitious of America’s summer music festivals,” while Bloomberg News calls it “the smartest mix of events within driving distance of New York.” Travel and Leisure reports, “Gehry’s acclaimed concert hall provides a spectacular venue for innovative fare.” The New York Times calls SummerScape “a hotbed of intellectual and aesthetic adventure,” Newsday finds it “brave and brainy,” and Musical America judges it “awesomely intensive.” Time Out New York names it one of “New York’s 20 coolest out-of-town spots,” and the International Herald Tribune pronounces it “seven weeks of cultural delight.” Summarizing SummerScape’s appeal, the New York Post observes, “It’s hard not to find something to like, and it’s even harder to beat the setting: the gleaming, Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Performing Arts Center in bucolic Annandale-on-Hudson.”


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Bard SummerScape 2018 – highlights by genre


Music: Bard Music Festival, “Rimsky-Korsakov and His World”

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, 1898, by Valentin Serov (photo: Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)


Founded by co-artistic director Leon Botstein, it is the Bard Music Festival – “a highlight of the musical year” (Wall Street Journal) – that provides the creative inspiration for SummerScape. Since its inception nearly three decades ago, the Bard Music Festival has enriched the standard concert repertory with a wealth of important rediscoveries; as the New York Times points out, “wherever there is an overlooked potential masterpiece, Leon Botstein is not too far behind.” “One of the most remarkable figures in the worlds of arts and culture” (NYC Arts, THIRTEEN/WNET), Botstein serves as music director of both the American Symphony Orchestra, which will anchor two orchestral programs as well as the annual staged opera, and of The Orchestra Now (TŌN). Now in its third season, this unique graduate training orchestra – designed to help a new generation of musicians break down barriers between modern audiences and great orchestral music of past and present – takes part in the remaining orchestral programs.


The subject of this season’s Bard Music Festival is a composer whose vast contribution contrasts starkly with the slightness of his reputation in the West. “Rimsky-Korsakov and His World” comprises an illuminating series of chamber, vocal, choral, and orchestral concerts – as well as pre-concert talks, commentaries, and panel discussions – devoted to examining the life and times of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844–1908). A member of the Kuchka, or Mighty Five, Rimsky-Korsakov played a pivotal part in shaping the now-familiar Russian musical style, using folk and fairytale elements, innovative sonorities, and orientalism to create a carefully crafted sound. His radical tonal language and mastery of orchestral color exerted a profound influence at home and abroad, not only on subsequent generations of his compatriots, but also on French symbolists Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel. He was a prolific orchestrator, without whose vivid version of Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov the opera might never have won its exalted place in the repertoire. A leading pedagogue for whom the St. Petersburg Conservatory is now named, his students included such eminent figures as Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Prokofiev, subjects of the 2013 and 2008 festivals, respectively. His illuminating and endearing autobiography has been recognized as “one of the best source-books on the history of Russian 19th-century music” (New York Times).


Yet neither this autobiography, nor Rimsky-Korsakov’s books on harmony and orchestration, are currently in print in English. Furthermore, there is no scholarly biography of the composer available – even in translation – in any western European language. And although his extensive output includes some 16 operas and a wealth of choral, orchestral, vocal, piano, and chamber music, in the West he is known almost exclusively for just three beloved orchestral staples – the Capriccio Espagñole, the Russian Easter Festival Overture, and Scheherazade – as well as for such brief operatic excerpts as the “Flight of the Bumblebee” (from The Tale of Tsar Saltan) and “Song of India” (from Sadko). Indeed, as Russian music specialist Richard Taruskin notes, beyond his homeland Rimsky-Korsakov remains “perhaps the most underrated composer of all time.” Click here to see Botstein talk about Rimsky-Korsakov.


Drawing on recent scholarship, the Bard Music Festival’s signature thematic programming, multidisciplinary approach, and emphasis on context and reception history provide the perfect platform for a reexamination of the Rimsky-Korsakov riddle. The numerous offerings that make up the 2018 festival take place during SummerScape’s two final weekends. On August 10–12, Weekend One considers Inventing Russian Music: The Mighty Five, and on August 17–19, Weekend Two addresses Rimsky-Korsakov and His Followers. Through the prism of Rimsky-Korsakov’s life and career, the Bard Music Festival investigates a century of Russian music and culture from Mikhail Glinka to Stravinsky. Twelve concert programs spaced over the two weekends explore such themes as music under Tsarist autocracy; the legacy of Pushkin; nationalism and exoticism; and the folk traditions of the Russian Empire.


The festival will feature a broad sampling of Rimsky-Korsakov’s own music, including rare choral and chamber works, his one-act opera Mozart and Salieri, and a semi-staged production of his seldom-seen opera The Tsar’s Bride, with which the entire seven weeks of Bard SummerScape will draw to a riveting close. Music by many of his countrymen will also be heard, including his immediate predecessors Glinka and Alexander Dargomyzhsky; his mentor Mily Balakirev and their fellow members of the Mighty Five, Alexander Borodin, César Cui, and Mussorgsky; other contemporaries, from Anton Rubinstein, Alexander Serov, and Sergei Taneyev to the great Pyotr Tchaikovsky; Rimsky-Korsakov’s illustrious students Anton Arensky, Alexander Glazunov, Anatoly Lyadov, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and Nikolai Tcherepnin; and other members of the next generation, like Alexander Scriabin and Sergei Rachmaninoff. The world beyond Russia will be represented by composers including Debussy, Ravel, and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Italian student Ottorino Respighi. Finally, two thought-provoking panel discussions will be supplemented by informative pre-concert talks and commentaries, illuminating each concert’s themes; these are free to ticket holders.


Since the founding of the Bard Music Festival, Princeton University Press has published a companion volume of new scholarship and interpretation for each season, with essays and translated documents relating to the featured composer and his world. Scholar-in-Residence Marina Frolova-Walker, author of Russian Music and Nationalism: from Glinka to Stalin, is the editor of the forthcoming 2018 volume, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and His World.


Dubbed “part boot camp for the brain, part spa for the spirit” (New York Times), the music festival consistently impresses critics worldwide. NPR named it “one of the ‘10 Can’t-Miss Classical Music Festivals,” the Los Angeles Times considers it “the summer’s most stimulating music festival,” and on his blog, veteran journalist Steve Smith confessed:


“For an unrepentant music geek like me, the Bard Music Festival is simply irresistible: a fabulous wealth of music by a major composer from the classical tradition, surrounded and contextualized with works by forebears, peers, colleagues, friends, enemies, students, followers – you name it.”


In the New Yorker, Alex Ross commented: “At Bard, the talks and panels are nearly as well attended as the concerts: this audience wants to think about the music, not merely bathe in it.” As the Wall Street Journal’s Barrymore Laurence Scherer affirmed:


“The Bard Music Festival … no longer needs an introduction. Under the provocative guidance of the conductor-scholar Leon Botstein, it has long been one of the most intellectually stimulating of all American summer festivals and frequently is one of the most musically satisfying.”


This season of the 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, Bettina Baruch Foundation, and the Jane W. Nuhn Charitable Trust. Special support has also been provided by the Mrs. Mortimer Levitt Endowment Fund for the Performing Arts and the donors to the BMF Mellon Challenge.

Opera: The Demon (new production)


The Demon Seated (1890) by Mikhail Vrubel (Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)


It was Anton Rubinstein (1829–94), Rimsky-Korsakov’s senior by 15 years, who founded the St. Petersburg Conservatory, now named for the younger composer. Both men had an enormous influence on the next generation of Russian composition, and although in his lifetime Rubinstein was best known as a keyboard virtuoso and star pedagogue whose students included Tchaikovsky, he was also a prolific composer with no fewer than 20 operas to his name. The most popular of these was The Demon (1871), which was one of the two operas mounted most often in 19th-century Russia, and the country’s first to be produced in Britain. Yet despite its rich choruses and fiery libretto, today Rubinstein’s masterpiece has fallen into neglect and is seldom staged in the English-speaking world.


Composed in three acts to a libretto by Pavel Viskovatov, The Demon was based on a narrative poem by Mikhail Lermontov that had been banned until 1860 as sacrilegious. Like the poem, Rubinstein’s opera depicts a demon, or fallen angel. He meets Tamara, a mortal princess, and falls desperately in love, trying everything in his power to seduce her. Her struggle to resist him becomes a battle not only for her soul but for the fate of the earth itself. When at last she weakens, the price of her redemption is death, and the demon is condemned to eternal solitude.


On the few occasions it has been heard in the West, The Demon has received a warm welcome. After a concert performance at the 2003 Lincoln Center Festival, the New York Times admired the composer’s “sure lyrical gift and command of the orchestra,” while a 2009 London presentation prompted Gramophone to admire “Rubinstein’s colourful and lyrically expressive score.” As The Independent declared: “You can see why it did, and still does, carry the wow factor in Russia.”


Bard’s full staging represents an all-too-rare opportunity to see Rubinstein’s opera mounted outside the composer’s homeland. Conceived expressly for SummerScape 2018, the new production is by European Opera Prize-winner Thaddeus Strassberger, who oversaw previous successful productions such as Les Huguenots, Der ferne Klang, Le roi malgré lui, The Wreckers, and the first full American staging of Taneyev’s Oresteia. To realize his vision, Olga Tolkmit – the “bright sweetness” of whose soprano graced Dimitrij at Bard last summer (Wall Street Journal) will sing the female lead opposite award-winning baritone Efim Zavalny. They will head an all-Russian cast, with traditional Georgian dance from the Pesvebi troupe, and Botstein leading the Bard Festival Chorale and the American Symphony Orchestra. The Demon will run for five performances between July 27 and August 5, with an Opera Talk, free and open to the public, before the matinee on July 29.


Time Out New York observes, “Botstein and Bard SummerScape show courage, foresight and great imagination, honoring operas that larger institutions are content to ignore.” Of last season’s presentation of Dvořák’s Dimitrij, the New York Times admired Bard’s “simple and effective updated production.” After pronouncing the “vivid choral scenes … a triumph for the impressive Bard Festival Chorale,” the review concluded: “Mr. Botstein drew vibrant playing and a well-paced performance from the American Symphony Orchestra. … He, the festival and this hard-working cast deserve thanks.” As Musical America recognizes: “Bard’s annual opera has become an indispensable part of the summer operatic landscape.



Dance: world premiere of Four Quartets, a SummerScape commission

(photo: Cory Weaver)


It was 75 years ago that T.S. Eliot published Four Quartets, a poetic meditation on time and memory that is widely regarded as the poet’s crowning achievement. Now, to celebrate this anniversary, Bard is thrilled to present the world premiere of Four Quartets, the first authorized dance performance ever to be based on this modernist masterpiece. A SummerScape commission, the new work is an interdisciplinary collaboration that draws on the talents of three of today’s most potent artistic voices. Since making her acclaimed festival debut at SummerScape 2015, Pam Tanowitz has been recognized as “one of the most formally brilliant choreographers around” (New York Times), with honors including a Bessie Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the prestigious 2017 Cage Cunningham Fellowship. To create the music for Four Quartets, she turned to Grawemeyer and Grammy Award-winning Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, whose rich, polyphonic textures have “given her audiences – and given late 20th and early 21st century music as a whole – some of the most luminous, beguiling and sheerly sensual experiences they can hope to have” (The Guardian). The creative trio is completed by American modernist painter and Hudson Valley resident Brice Marden, “one of today’s leading artists” (New York Times), who was the subject of a major retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The performance will feature eight members of the Pam Tanowitz Dance company, with a complete narration of Eliot’s poems by Tony-nominated actress Kathleen Chalfant, and electronica combined with live music from The Knights, the celebrated orchestral collective that has “become one of Brooklyn’s sterling cultural products” (New Yorker).


SummerScape has long produced and premiered significant dance productions, including commissions from choreographers such as Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, Bill T. Jones, John Heginbotham, and Mark Morris.


Four Quartets is co-commissioned by the Fisher Center, the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, and the Barbican, London. Additional commissioning funds were provided by the O’Donnell-Green Music and Dance Foundation, the T.S. Eliot Foundation, and King’s Fountain. Creation and performance of the music is supported by the Thendara Foundation.

Theater: Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan (new production)

Leonard Bernstein with sister Shirley in the Green Room at Carnegie Hall, 1950 (photo: Ruth Orkin, 1977, with permission from the Ruth Orkin Photo Archive,


Originally an Edwardian play by Scottish dramatist J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan, or, The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up owes its status as an enduring children’s classic chiefly to two popular American adaptations, both of which date from the 1950s: the 1953 Disney animation and 1954 Broadway musical, a hit whose regular revivals include a star-studded 2014 telecast. Yet, as is far less well-known, the post-war years yielded an earlier American adaptation too: a Broadway show that opened in 1950 and ran for 321 performances, with music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein. To accommodate the vocal limitations of its cast, the original production featured only five of the composer’s nine songs; since then there has been just one fully staged revival at which they were performed complete. Restoring this long-lost score to the canon fills in what the Los Angeles Times has called “the only musical gap in the best documented career in classical music.” Moreover, far from being of historical interest alone, Bernstein’s music impressed the New York Times as “bewitching, … a black comic pearl” that “poses precocious existential questions in terms of pensive tenderness.”


On August 25 this year, the composer would have celebrated his 100th birthday. To mark this milestone, Bard presents his Peter Pan in its entirety, in a new arrangement for an intimate chamber production. The newly commissioned contemporary staging is by Christopher Alden, the director whose take on Bernstein’s sole full-length opera, A Quiet Place, conjured such “theatrical magic” at New York City Opera that the New York Times was moved to exclaim: “If only Bernstein could have been there.” Billed as “definitely not your grandparents’ Peter Pan,” Alden’s psychologically gripping new treatment reveals the darker side of Barrie’s fantasy, with new choreography from Jack Ferver, a specialist “in prickly, playful queer dance theater” (New York Times), and Bernstein’s joyous, shimmering score. By turns whimsical and sinister, the new production is suitable for audiences aged twelve and above. It will take place in 25 performances in Bard’s LUMA Theater between June 28 and July 22, with reviewing press invited to attend beginning July 5.


SummerScape’s theatrical track record is a stellar one, particularly in revelatory new productions from the American musical canon. SummerScape 2015’s staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! was hailed by the New York Times as a “vibrant, essential excavation.” As New York Arts declares: “Bard summer drama has been consistently of the highest order.”


Film series: “Rimsky-Korsakov and the Poetry of Cinema”


The Cranes are Flying, 1957 (photo: Warner Bros./Photofest)


Through their use of Russian nationalism, exoticism, and folk music, Rimsky-Korsakov, his fellow members of the Mighty Five, and their musical godfather Glinka have long represented a source of inspiration for filmmakers worldwide. Held between July 26 and August 19, the 2018 series highlights the influence of these composers on films of three continents, spanning seven decades. Both Russian Ark (2002), Aleksandr Sokurov’s single-shot exploration of St. Petersburg’s Hermitage museum, and Grigori Aleksandrov’s socialist-realist biopic, Man of Music (1952), use Glinka’s music to address the role of aesthetics in the tumultuous history of modern Russia. Nationalist concerns are also central to Mikhail Kalatozov’s The Cranes are Flying (1957), which, like Man of Music, demonstrates the dramatic stylistic transformation that took place after the death of Stalin. The quintessential film of the Soviet “thaw” period, its score is by Mieczysław Weinberg, a protégé of Dmitri Shostakovich, who studied in turn with Glazunov. Glazunov’s own teacher was Rimsky-Korsakov, whose Capriccio Espagñole is woven into the score of Josef von Sternberg’s Marlene Dietrich vehicle, The Devil is a Woman (1935), while Louis Malle’s romantic crime drama Atlantic City (1980) features the evocative “Song of India” from his opera Sadko. A pair of animated films – the French short A Night on Bald Mountain (1933) and Disney’s Fantasia (1940) – adapt Mussorgsky’s orchestral masterpiece in strikingly original ways. Likewise, the same Borodin string quartet that provides the inspiration for Vincente Minnelli’s Hollywood musical Kismet (1955) may be heard to heartrending effect in Terence Davies’s Edith Wharton adaptation, The House of Mirth (2000).



Toshi Reagon and band on stage in Bard’s Spiegeltent (photo: Maria Baranova)


Back for a 13th magnificent summer, Bard’s authentic Spiegeltent has enchanted guests since its introduction to the festival in 2006. A handmade Belgian pavilion, decorated with mirrors and stained glass and evoking an era of bygone glamour, the tent provides a sumptuous and magical environment to enjoy cutting-edge cabaret and world-class musical performances – almost all of which have sold out in recent years – capped by dining and late-night dancing throughout the festival. Back by popular demand, Tony Award-nominee Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, “the greatest cabaret artist of this generation” (New Yorker), hosts a fifth season of Bard’s signature cabaret on Friday and Saturday nights. On Thursdays, the Catskill Jazz Factory returns in partnership with the New York Hot Jazz Festival, and special events include swing, songs, and storytelling for the whole family. Dining is inspired by seasonal Hudson Valley ingredients and served with a full bar offering to complement the menu.


Major support for the Spiegeltent is provided by Carolyn Marks Blackwood & Gregory Quinn, and by Andrew E. Zobler & Manny Urquiza.


See below for chronological list of SummerScape 2018 highlights; key performance dates by genre; full program details for the Bard Music Festival; and ticket information. Click here for high-resolution photos.



SummerScape 2018: chronological list of highlights


June 28–July 22         Bard launches with 25 performances of Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan (new production, open to review beginning July 5)

June 29–Aug 18         Cabaret, live music, and After Hours dancing in the Bard Spiegeltent

July 6–8                          Pam Tanowitz Dance, Kathleen Chalfant, and The Knights give the world premiere of Four Quartets, a SummerScape co-commission based on T.S. Eliot’s poems by Pam Tanowitz, Kaija Saariaho, and Brice Marden

July 26–Aug 19          Film Series: “Rimsky-Korsakov and the Poetry of Cinema”

July 27–Aug 5             Five performances of Anton Rubinstein’s opera The Demon (new production)

Aug 10–12                    Bard Music Festival, Weekend One: Inventing Russian Music: The Mighty Five

Aug 17–19                    Bard Music Festival, Weekend Two: Rimsky-Korsakov and His Followers


SummerScape 2018: key performance dates by genre



Bard Music Festival, Weekend One: Inventing Russian Music: The Mighty Five (Aug 10–12)

Bard Music Festival, Weekend Two: Rimsky-Korsakov and His Followers (Aug 17–19)


Complete program details follow.



Anton Rubinstein: The Demon

Sosnoff Theater

July 27* at 8pm

July 29*; August 1*, 3* & 5* at 2 pm

Tickets start at $25


Opening Night Reception for Members Friday, July 27

Opera Talk with Leon Botstein Sunday, July 29 at noon



Pam Tanowitz, Kaija Saariaho, Brice Marden: T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets (world premiere of SummerScape commission, featuring Pam Tanowitz Dance, Kathleen Chalfant, and The Knights)

Sosnoff Theater

July 6* & 7 at 8 pm

July 8* at 3 pm

Tickets start at $25


Opening Night Reception for Members Friday, July 6

Post-Performance Conversation Saturday, July 7

Pre-Performance Conversation Sunday, July 8 at 2pm



Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan (new production)

LUMA Theater

June 28; July 5, 6*, 8, 12, 15, 19 & 22 at 7 pm

June 29 & 30; July 7, 13, 14, 20 & 21 at 7:30 pm

July 1, 4, 7, 8*, 11, 14, 15, 18, 21 & 22 at 2 pm

Tickets start at $25

Open to reviewing press beginning July 5

Suitable for audiences aged 12 and up.


Opening Night Reception for Members Friday, July 6

Pre-Performance Conversation Sunday, July 1 at 1pm

Post-Performance Conversation Wednesday, July 11



“Rimsky-Korsakov and the Poetry of Cinema”

Ottaway Film Center

July 26 – Russian Ark (Aleksandr Sokurov, 2002, Russia/Germany/Canada/Finland, 96 minutes)

July 29 – A Night on Bald Mountain (Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker, 1933, France, 8 minutes) and Fantasia (Walt Disney, 1940, USA, 126 minutes)

August 2 – The Devil is a Woman (Josef von Sternberg, 1935, USA, 79 minutes)

August 5 – Kismet (Vincente Minnelli, 1955, USA, 113 minutes)

August 9 – Man of Music (Composer Glinka), (Grigori Aleksandrov, 1952, USSR, 100 minutes)

August 12 – The Cranes are Flying (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1957, USSR, 97 minutes)

August 16 – Atlantic City (Louis Malle, 1980, Canada/France, 104 minutes)

August 19 – The House of Mirth (Terence Davies, 2000, UK/Germany/USA, 140 minutes)

Tickets: $10



Live Music, Cabaret, Festival Dining, and After Hours salon

Dates, times, and prices vary



Program details of Bard Music Festival, “Rimsky-Korsakov and His World”


WEEKEND ONE: Inventing Russian Music: The Mighty Five



Friday, August 10





5 pm

Tickets include a pre-performance dinner in the Spiegeltent and a premium seat for the evening’s concert. (NB: The Spiegeltent will be closed for regular dining on the evening of the dinner.)



Fashioning the Russian Sound

Sosnoff Theater

7:30 pm Performance with commentary by Leon Botstein


Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)

Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36 (1888)

Overture to The Maid of Pskov (1868-72; rev. 1898)

Dubinushka, Op. 62 (n.d.)

Le coq d’or Suite (c. 1908)

Mikhail Glinka (1804-57)

Kamarinskaya (1848)

Alexander Borodin (1833-87)


César Cui (1835-1918)

From Kaleidoscope, Op. 50 (1893)

Mily Balakirev (1837-1910)

Islamey, Oriental Fantasy, Op. 18 (1869)

Modest Mussorgsky (1839-81)

Songs and Dances of Death (1875-77)


Tickets: $25–$60



Saturday, August 11




From the Romanovs to the Revolution: Art and Politics in Russia

Olin Hall

10 am–noon


A panel discussion with renowned scholars, which will include a short question and answer period. Participants to be announced.


Free and open to the public



Naval Officer, Professor, Composer

Olin Hall

1 pm Preconcert Talk

1:30 pm Performance


Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)

Four Romances, Op. 2 (1866)

Mikhail Glinka (1804-57)

Grand Sextet (1832)

Alexander Borodin (1833-87)

String Quartet No. 2 (1881)

Mily Balakirev (1837-1910)

Mazurkas Nos. 2, 3 & 7 (1860-1906)

Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-93)

String Quartet No. 1, Op. 11 (1871)

Romances and arias by Alexander Dargomyzhsky (1813-69)


Tickets: $40



Music Under Tsarist Autocracy

Sosnoff Theater

7 pm Preconcert Talk

8 pm Performance


Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)

Sadko, Op. 5 (1867; rev. 1869, 1892)

Piano Concerto in C-sharp minor, Op. 30 (1883)

Alexander Serov (1820-71)

Overture to Judith (1863)

Mily Balakirev (1837-1910)

Tamara, symphonic poem (1867-82)

Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915)

Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 12 (1901)

Alexander Scriabin (1871-1915)

Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor, Op. 20 (1896)


Tickets: $25–$75



Sunday, August 12




The Legacy of Pushkin

Olin Hall

10 am Performance with commentary


Works by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908); Alexander Dargomyzhsky (1813-69); Modest Mussorgsky (1839-81); Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-93); and others


Tickets: $40



Moscow/St. Petersburg

Olin Hall

1 pm Preconcert Talk

1:30 pm Performance


Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)

Piano Trio in C minor (1897)


César Cui (1835-1918)

Five Pieces for Flute, Violin, and Piano, Op. 56 (1897)

Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-93)

Selection of Songs

Anton Arensky (1861-1906)

String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 35 (1894)

Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)

String Quartet No. 1 in D (1882)


Tickets: $40



The Piano in Russia

Sosnoff Theater

4 pm Preconcert Talk

4:30 pm Performance*


Alexander Borodin (1833-87)

Petite Suite (1870-85)

Modest Mussorgsky (1839-81)

Pictures from an Exhibition, for piano (1874)

Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)

Suite No. 2, Op. 17 (1901)

Alexander Scriabin (1871-1915)

Piano Sonata No. 2 in G-sharp minor, Op. 19 (1897)

Works by Anton Rubinstein (1829-94); Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951); and others

Tickets: $25–$60



WEEKEND TWO: Rimsky-Korsakov and His Followers


Friday, August 17


The Folk Traditions of the Russian Empire

Sosnoff Theater

8 pm Performance with commentary by Marina Frolova-Walker


An exploration of the use of folk materials in classical music, from the Lvov/Pratsch Collection (1790/1806) on Beethoven’s “Razumovsky” Quartets through Balakirev/Rimsky-Korsakov to Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

Tickets: $25–$60



Saturday, August 18


Russia Under Western Eyes

Olin Hall

10 am–noon


A panel discussion with renowned scholars, which will include a short question and answer period. Participants to be announced.


Free and open to the public



Domestic Music Making in Russia

Olin Hall

1 pm Preconcert Talk

1:30 pm Performance


Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)

Mozart and Salieri (1897)

Modest Mussorgsky (1839-81)

The Nursery (1868-72)

Piano works, romances, and arias by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and family; Anton Rubinstein (1829-94); Alexander Borodin (1833-87); César Cui (1835-1918); Yuliya Veysberg (1878-1942), and others


Tickets: $40



Nationalism and Exoticism

Sosnoff Theater

7 pm Preconcert Talk

8 pm Performance


Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)

Scheherazade, Op. 35 (1888)

The Snow Maiden Suite (1895)

From Homer, Op. 60 (1901)

Alexander Dargomyzhsky (1813-69)

Bolero (1839)

Alexander Borodin (1833-87)

In the Steppes of Central Asia (1880)

Anatoly Lyadov (1855-1914)

Eight Russian Folksongs, Op. 58 (1905)


Tickets: $25–$75



Sunday, August 19


The Russian Choral Traditions

Olin Hall

10 am Performance with commentary; with the Bard Festival Chorale, conducted by James Bagwell


Works by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908); Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-93); Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915); Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov (1859-1935); Alexander Gretchaninoff (1864-1956); Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943); Lazare Saminsky (1882-1959); and Maximilian Steinberg (1883-1946)


Tickets: $40



The Spectacular Legacy of Rimsky-Korsakov

Olin Hall

1 pm Preconcert Talk

1:30 pm Performance


Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936)

Violin Sonata in B minor (1916-17)

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

The Faun and the Shepherdess, Op. 2 (1907)

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)

Piano Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Op. 28 (1917)

Works by Claude Debussy (1862-1918); Maurice Ravel (1875-1937); Nikolai Tcherepnin (1873-1945), Reinhold Glière (1875-1956); Maximilian Steinberg (1883-1946); and Arnold Bax (1883-1953)


Tickets: $40



The Tsar’s Bride

Sosnoff Theater

3:30 pm Preconcert Talk

4:30 pm Performance


Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)

The Tsar’s Bride (1898)

Tickets: $25–$75


Bard SummerScape ticket information

Tickets for all Bard SummerScape events go on sale on February 21. For tickets and further information on all SummerScape events, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or visit



SummerScape opera, theater, and dance performances and most Bard Music Festival programs are held in the Sosnoff Theater or LUMA Theater in Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by Frank Gehry and celebrated since its opening as a major architectural landmark in the region. Some chamber programs and other BMF events are in Olin Hall, and the Spiegeltent has its own schedule of events, in addition to serving as a restaurant, café, and bar before and after performances. Film Series screenings are at the Jim Ottaway Jr. Film Center in the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center.


New York City Round-Trip Coach Transportation:

To make a reservation on the round-trip SummerScape coach provided exclusively to ticket holders for specific performances indicated by * in the listings above, call the box office at 845-758-7900 or select this option when purchasing tickets. The round-trip fare is $40 and reservations are required. The coach departs from behind Lincoln Center, on Amsterdam Avenue between 64th and 65th Streets. Find additional details at:


Full Schedule:

For a complete schedule of SummerScape and Bard Music Festival events (subject to change), follow the links given below. Updates are posted at the festival web site

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 and Subscriptions:; or by phone at 845-758-7900. Tickets to all mainstage events start at $25.


Special offers:

Create Your Own Series: save 25% and enjoy maximum flexibility, by choosing four or more events.

SummerScape Mainstage Package: save 30% and guarantee seats for dance, theater, and opera events.

Out-of-Town Package: save up to 23% on mainstage ticket, roundtrip bus from New York City, and three-course meal.

Night Out Package: save up to 15% on mainstage ticket (selected performances only) and three-course meal.


Updates: Bard’s “e-subscribers” get all the news in regular updates. Click here to sign up, or send an e-mail to [email protected].


All programs are subject to change.


The 2018 SummerScape season is made possible in part through the generous support of Jeanne Donovan Fisher, the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation, the Board of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, the Board of the Bard Music Festival, and Fisher Center members, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


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© 21C Media Group, February 2018

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