Press Room

Bard SummerScape 2018 – “Rimsky-Korsakov and His World” (June 28–Aug 19) – Opens Next Thursday with Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan

Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. – The curtain rises on the 2018 Bard SummerScape festival next Thursday, June 28, ushering in seven weeks of music, opera, theater, dance, film, and cabaret. At the heart of these offerings is the 29th Bard Music Festival, which explores “Rimsky-Korsakov and His World” through twelve chamber, orchestral, choral, and operatic programs – two of which feature the American Symphony Orchestra under Leon Botstein – supplemented by panel discussions and special events (Aug 10–12; Aug 17–19). Other SummerScape highlights include a rare, new, fully staged American production of Anton Rubinstein’s grand opera Demon, from European Opera Prize-winning director Thaddeus Strassberger (July 27–Aug 5); the world premiere of Four Quartets, an interdisciplinary new dance commission from choreographer Pam Tanowitz, composer Kaija Saariaho, and visual artist Brice Marden, which marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of T.S. Eliot’s iconic cycle of poems (July 6–8); and a dark new take on Leonard Bernstein’s rarely performed gem Peter Pan, commissioned from Olivier Award-winning director Christopher Alden to honor the composer’s centennial (June 28–July 22). Rounding out the festival that the New York Times calls a “hotbed of intellectual and aesthetic adventure” is a film series exploring “Rimsky-Korsakov and the Poetry of Cinema” (July 26–Aug 19), and cutting-edge cabaret, live jazz, dancing, and more events in Bard’s authentic Belgian Spiegeltent, hosted by Mx. Justin Vivian Bond (June 29–Aug 18). All SummerScape offerings take place in the striking Frank Gehry-designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and other venues on Bard College’s idyllic Hudson River campus.

What critics are saying about Bard SummerScape…

“Seven weeks of cultural delight.” (International Herald Tribune)
“One of the major upstate festivals.” (New Yorker)
“A highbrow hotbed of culture.” (Huffington Post)
“The smartest mix of events within driving distance of New York.” (Bloomberg News)
“Leon Botstein’s Bard SummerScape and Bard Music Festival always unearth piles of buried treasure.” (New Yorker)
“One of the best lineups of the summer for fans of any arts discipline.” (New York Sun)
“One of the great artistic treasure chests of the tri-state area and the country.” (GALO magazine)
“One of the New York area’s great seasonal escapes.” (American Record Guide)
“A haven for important operas.” (New York Times)
“An indispensable part of the summer operatic landscape.” (Musical America)
“Botstein and Bard SummerScape show courage, foresight and great imagination, honoring operas that larger institutions are content to ignore.” (Time Out New York)
“A spectacular venue for innovative fare.” (Travel and Leisure magazine)
“It’s hard not to find something to like, and it’s even harder to beat the setting.” (New York Post)
“The experience of entering the Fisher Center and encountering something totally new is unforgettable and enriching.” (Time Out New York)

…and about the Bard Music Festival

“The summer’s most stimulating music festival.” (Los Angeles Times)
“It has long been one of the most intellectually stimulating of all American summer festivals and frequently is one of the most musically satisfying.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Part boot camp for the brain, part spa for the spirit.” (New York Times)
“A highlight of the musical year.” (Wall Street Journal)
“The most intellectually ambitious of America’s summer music festivals.” (Times Literary Supplement, London)
“One of the ‘Ten Can’t-Miss Classical Music Festivals.’” (NPR Music)
“A two-weekend musicological intensive doubling as a sumptuous smorgasbord of concerts.” (New York Times)
“An always intrepid New York event.” (Time Out New York)
“Nothing quite compares to the fascinating summer programs popping out of Leon Botstein’s brain.” (Bloomberg News)
“One of New York’s premier summer destinations for adventurous music lovers.” (New York Times)

Past seasons at Bard SummerScape

2017: Chopin and His World
2016: Puccini and His World
2015: Chávez and His World
2014: Schubert and His World
2013: Stravinsky and His World
2012: Saint-Saëns and His World
2011: Sibelius and His World
2010: Berg and His World
2009: Wagner and His World
2008: Prokofiev and His World
2007: Elgar and His World
2006: Liszt and His World
2005: Copland and His World
2004: Shostakovich and His World
2003: Janáček and His World
2002: Debussy and His World
2001: Mahler and His World
2000: Beethoven and His World
1999: Schoenberg and His World
1998: Tchaikovsky and His World
1997: Haydn and His World
1996: Ives and His World
1995: Bartók and  His World
1994: Schumann and His World
1993: Dvořák and His World
1992: Richard Strauss and His World
1991: Mendelssohn and His World
1990: Brahms and His World

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: Demon
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, Music Director
Directed by Thaddeus Strassberger
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)
Music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein
After the play by J.M. Barrie
Directed by Christopher Alden
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

Hosted by Mx. Justin Vivian Bond
Live Music, Cabaret, Festival Dining, and After Hours salon
June 29-August 18
Dates, times, and prices vary

* The Bard SummerScape coach from Manhattan is available for these performances. See further details below.


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; with Andrey Gugnin and Anna Polonsky, piano; Önay Köse, bass-baritone; Dongfang Ouyang, violin; The Orchestra Now, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director; and others

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
Overture to May Night (1878–79)
Russian Easter Festival, Op. 36 (1888)
Dubinushka, Op. 62 (1905)
Le coq d’or Suite (c. 1908)
Mikhail Glinka (1804-57)
Kamarinskaya (1848)
Alexander Borodin (1833-87)
Three Songs (c. 1854)
César Cui (1835-1918)
From Kaleidoscope, Op. 50 (1893)
Mily Balakirev (1837-1910)
Islamey, Oriental Fantasy, Op. 18 (1869)
Modest Musorgsky (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

Amateurs and Professionals
Olin Hall
1 pm Preconcert Talk
1:30 pm Performance: Danny Driver, Yelena Kurdina and Piers Lane, piano; Monika Krajewska, mezzo-soprano; Parker Quartet and others

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
From Four Romances, Op. 2 (1866)
Fugue in G minor (1878)
Mikhail Glinka (1804-57)
Grand Sextet (1832)
Alexander Borodin (1833-87)
String Quartet No. 2 (1881)
Mily Balakirev (1837-1910)
Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor (1900)
Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-93)
String Quartet No. 1, Op. 11 (1871)
Alexander Dargomyzhsky (1813-69)

Tickets: $40

Music Under Tsarist Autocracy
Sosnoff Theater
7 pm Preconcert Talk
8 pm Performance: Orion Weiss, piano; American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
Sadko, Op. 5 (1867; rev. 1869, 1892)
Piano Concerto in C-sharp minor, Op. 30 (1883)
Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840–93)
Festival Coronation March (1883)
Alexander Serov (1820-71)
Overture and “March of Holofernes” from Judith (1863)
Mily Balakirev (1837-1910)
Tamara, symphonic poem (1867-82)
Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915)
Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 12 (1901)

Tickets: $25–$75

Sunday, August 12

The Legacy of Pushkin
Olin Hall
10 am Performance with commentary by Emily Frey; with Christina Taylor Price, soprano; Nadezhda Babintseva, mezzo-soprano; Gerard Schneider, tenor; Andrey Valentiy, bass-baritone; Michael Katz, cello; Anna Polonksy, Liza Stepanova, and Erika Switzer, piano

Works by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908); Alexander Dargomyzhsky (1813−69); Modest Musorgsky (1839−81); Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840−93); Anatoly Lyadov (1855-1914); Mikhail Gnesin (1883-1957); Dmitri Shostakovich (1906–75); and others

Tickets: $40

Moscow/St. Petersburg
Olin Hall
1 pm Preconcert Talk
1:30 pm Performance: Lysander Trio; Önay Köse, bass-baritone; Anna Polonsky, piano; St. Petersburg Quartet; Mikhail Veselov, cello

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
Piano Trio in C minor (1897)
Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-93)
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)
Reinhold Glière (1875–1956)
Ballade for Cello and Piano, Op. 4 (1902)

Tickets: $40

The Piano in Russia
Sosnoff Theater
4 pm Preconcert Talk
4:30 pm Performance*: with pianists Danny Driver, Fei-Fei, Andrey Gugnin, Piers Lane, and Orion Weiss

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
Novelette and Scherzino from Four Pieces, Op. 11 (1876-77)
Anton Rubinstein (1829–94)
Moderato from Kamennoi-Ostrow, Op. 10 (1853-54)
Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953)
Toccata, Op. 11 (1912)
Modest Musorgsky (1839-81)
Pictures from an Exhibition (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)
Nikolai Medtner (1880–1951)
Sonata tragica, Op. 39, No. 5 (1919-20)
Vladimir Rebikov (1866–1920)
From Les Feuilles d’automne, Op. 29 (c.1909)
Alexei Stanchinsky (1888–1914)
From Sketches, Op. 1 (1911-13)

Tickets: $25–$60


WEEKEND TWO: Rimsky-Korsakov and His Followers

Friday, August 17

Russian Folk in the Mirror of Art Music
Sosnoff Theater
8 pm Performance with commentary by Marina Frolova-Walker, with the Virtual Village ensemble; Monika Krajewska, mezzo-soprano; Yelena Kurdina and Orion Weiss, piano; members of the Daedalus Quartet, with Karen Kim, violin; and others

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

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: Members of the Daedalus Quartet, with Karen Kim, violin; Danny Driver, piano; Christina Taylor Price, soprano; Gerard Schneider, tenor; Mikhail Svetlov, bass; members of the Bard Festival Chorale and The Orchestra Now, conducted by Zachary Schwartzman

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
Mozart and Salieri (1897)
Selections from Les Vendredis by Felix Blumenfeld (1863-1931); Anatoly Lyadov (1855–1914); Nicolay Sokolov (1859–1922); and Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)
Arias and songs by Alexander Borodin (1833-87); Modest Musorgsky (1839-81); and Mily Balakirev (1837-1910)
César Cui (1835–1918)
From Preludes for piano, Op. 64 (1903)
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
Scherzo from Piano Sonata in F-sharp minor (1903-4)

Tickets: $40

The Classical, the National, and the Exotic
Sosnoff Theater
7 pm Preconcert Talk
8 pm Performance: Serena Benedetti, soprano; Katherine Pracht, mezzo-soprano; Rebecca Ringle, mezzo-soprano; members of the Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director

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 for Orchestra, 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

Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
From the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, Op. 41 (1878)
Alexander Gretchaninoff (1862-1956)
From the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, Op. 13, No. 1 (1897)
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
From Vespers (All-Night Vigil), Op. 37 (1915)
Maximilian Steinberg (1883-1946)
From Passion Week, Op. 13 (1923-27)
Works by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908); Dimitri Bortniansky (1751-1825); Alexei Lvov (1799-1870); Mily Balakriev (1837-1910); Stepan Smolensky (1848-1909); and Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov (1859-1935)

Tickets: $40

The Spectacular Legacy of Rimsky-Korsakov
Olin Hall
1 pm Preconcert Talk
1:30 pm Performance: Nicholas Canellakis, cello; members of the Daedalus Quartet, with Karen Kim, violin; Fei-Fei, Alexey Gugnin, and Piers Lane, piano

Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)
Firebird Suite (1910; arr. Guido Agosti)
Ottorino Respighi (1879–1936)
From Cinque pezzi (1906)
Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Symphony in B minor, for piano four hands (c. 1880)
Lazare Saminsky (1882-1959)
Hebrew Rhapsody for violin and piano, Op. 3, No. 2 (c.1924)
Mikhail Gnesin (1883–1957)
Requiem, Op. 11, for piano quintet (c.1914)
Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953)
From Ten Pieces, Op. 12 (1906-13)
Alexander Tcherepnin (1899-1977)
From Bagatelles for piano, Op. 5 (1912-18)
Nikolai Myaskovsky (1881-1950)
Cello Sonata No. 2 in A minor (1948)

Tickets: $40

The Tsar’s Bride
Sosnoff Theater
3:30 pm Preconcert Talk
4:30 pm Performance: Lyubov Petrova, soprano; Nadezhda Babintseva, mezzo-soprano; Yefim Zavalniy, baritone; Andrey Valentiy, bass; Yakov Strizhak, bass; Joel Sorensen, tenor; Gerard Schneider, tenor; Teresa Buchholz, mezzo-soprano, and others; Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; The Orchestra Now, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director; designed and directed by Doug Fitch; lighting design by Anshuman Bhatia

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
The Tsar’s Bride (1898)

Tickets: $25–$75


* The Bard SummerScape coach from Manhattan is available for these performances. See further details below.

All programs are subject to change.


Bard SummerScape ticket information

Tickets for all Bard SummerScape events are on sale. 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.

#          #          #

© 21C Media Group, June 2018

Return to Press Room