Press Room

Bard SummerScape 2020 Season Announcement

Bard SummerScape Celebrates Life and Times of Pioneering Parisian Polymath Nadia Boulanger, with Seven-Week Arts Festival in New York’s Hudson Valley (June 26–August 16)

Includes 31st Bard Music Festival, “Nadia Boulanger and Her World”; first fully staged American production of Ernest Chausson’s opera King Arthur; Most Happy, Daniel Fish’s setting of songs from Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella; and New York City Ballet MOVES in Kyle Abraham’s The Runaway and Pam Tanowitz’s Bartók Ballet

The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College (Peter Aaron ’68/Esto)

Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. – Bard SummerScape’s 17th edition celebrates one of the most important female figures in classical music history, with seven weeks of music, opera, theater, dance, film and the SummerScape Spiegeltent, centered around the 31st Bard Music Festival, “Nadia Boulanger and Her World.” This rare and intensive examination of the life and times of Nadia Boulanger – the pioneering Parisian pedagogue, composer, conductor, pianist, organist and indomitable personality who shaped a generation of American musicians and more – features themed concerts and panel discussions, together with a film series exploring “Nadia Boulanger’s Cinematic Influence” and the first fully staged American production of King Arthur (Le roi Arthus), the only opera by her compatriot Ernest Chausson. For SummerScape’s theater and dance programs, Tony Award nominee Daniel Fish returns to the Fisher Center to direct Most Happy, a setting of songs from Frank Loesser’s exuberant and operatic 1956 musical, The Most Happy Fella, and New York City Ballet MOVES presents new choreography: from MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham, who makes his festival debut with the ballet/street-dance fusion of The Runaway, and Fisher Center Choreographer-in-Residence Pam Tanowitz, who follows the resounding success of Four Quartets at SummerScape 2018 with Bartók Ballet, featuring a live performance by FLUX Quartet. To complete the summer lineup, multi-genre live music highlights a generous program of events in Bard’s authentic and sensationally popular Belgian Spiegeltent. Taking place from June 26 to August 16 in the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and other venues on Bard College’s picturesque Hudson Valley campus, SummerScape 2020 once again makes for a full “seven weeks of cultural delight” (International Herald Tribune). Tickets are now on sale; click here for more information and here for video highlights of past SummerScape seasons.

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,” Musical America judges it “awesomely intensive,” and the New York Post observes, “It’s hard not to find something to like, and it’s even harder to beat the setting.” Time Out New York, naming the festival one of “New York’s 20 coolest out-of-town spots,” declares: “The experience of entering the Fisher Center and encountering something totally new is unforgettable and enriching.”

Bard SummerScape 2020 – highlights by genre

Music: 31st Bard Music Festival, “Nadia Boulanger and Her World”

Nadia Boulanger (photo: courtesy of Centre international Nadia et Lili Boulanger)

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 more than 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 (ASO) and The Orchestra Now (TŌN), a unique graduate training orchestra designed to help a new generation of musicians break down barriers between modern audiences and the orchestral literature. Under his leadership, both ensembles perform in the music festival, and the ASO anchors the annual staged opera.

The first woman to come into Bard’s festival spotlight, Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979) was, as a composer, her own least forgiving critic. Having initially dedicated herself to composition, winning numerous honors at the Paris Conservatory, she voluntarily gave up the practice in her mid-30s, telling her teacher Gabriel Fauré, “If there is one thing of which I am certain, it is that I wrote useless music.” Many critics have disputed her harsh judgement, however. Her cantata La sirène took second place at the 1908 Prix de Rome, and almost a century later the Musical Times spoke for many in observing: “There is much to regret in the self-imposed brevity of her composing career.”

As a true musical polymath, however, Boulanger remains of incalculable importance to 20th-century composition, scholarship and performance. Representing styles ranging from modernism to easy listening, tango, jazz and hip-hop, her numerous students include such key figures as George Antheil, Grażyna Bacewicz, Burt Bacharach, Daniel Barenboim, Lennox Berkeley, Marc Blitzstein, Donald Byrd, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, John Eliot Gardiner, Philip Glass, Roy Harris, Quincy Jones, Dinu Lipatti, Gian Carlo Menotti, Thea Musgrave, Per Nørgård, Astor Piazzolla, Walter Piston, Louise Talma and Virgil Thomson, who famously dubbed her “a one-woman graduate school so powerful and so permeating that legend credits every American town with two things – a five-and-dime and a Boulanger pupil.”

The first woman to conduct the Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, as well as England’s BBC Symphony, Hallé and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, Boulanger also spearheaded the Renaissance and Baroque performance revivals, promoting Monteverdi’s music in particular, and single-handedly ensured that the work of her sister, fellow composer Lili Boulanger, survived the latter’s untimely death in 1918, at just 24. It was Nadia who served as soloist in the first performance of Copland’s Organ Symphony and directed the world premiere of Stravinsky’s “Dumbarton Oaks” Concerto, in the creation of which she herself played a part. Considering her to be “arguably … the most important woman in the history of classical music,” BBC Music magazine concludes: “It is frankly unimaginable that a man with a similar degree of influence over 20th-century music would have been so ignored.” Click here to see the elderly Nadia Boulanger discuss teaching and talent.

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 Boulanger’s extraordinary legacy. Through the prism of her life and career, “Nadia Boulanger and Her World” comprises an illuminating series of chamber, vocal, choral, and orchestral concerts – as well as pre-concert talks, commentaries, and panel discussions – held over the final two weekends of SummerScape. On August 7–9, Weekend One explores Music in Paris in the first half of the 20th century, and on August 14–16, Weekend Two addresses The 20th-Century Legacy of Nadia Boulanger. Twelve concert programs spaced over the two weekends explore such themes as Paris as the epitome of chic, the crosscurrents of influence between France and America, and French Catholicism and spirituality.

The festival will present examples of Boulanger’s own, little-known oeuvre, including selected songs and piano pieces, and Lux aeterna, the work with which she commemorated her sister. Other featured composers will include her teachers and mentors, like Fauré, Raoul Pugno, Louis Vierne and Charles Marie Widor; her Parisian contemporaries, like Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen, Francis Poulenc, Maurice Ravel, Erik Satie, and expats George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Igor Stravinsky; her male students, like Jean Françaix, Piazzolla, and illustrious Americans Blitzstein, Carter, Copland, Glass, Piston and Thomson; her female students, like Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Marcelle de Manziarly, Thea Musgrave, Julia Perry and Louise Talma; other women composers, like Lili Boulanger, Jeanne Demessieux and Germaine Taillefaire; and some of the bygone composers whose music she vociferously championed, like Monteverdi, Bach and Brahms. 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 its founding, each Bard Music Festival has been accompanied by the publication of a companion volume of new scholarship and interpretation, with essays and translated documents relating to the featured composer and his world. Published by the University of Chicago Press, the forthcoming volume, Nadia Boulanger and Her World, will be edited by Bard’s 2020 Scholar-in-Residence, the University of Southampton’s Jeanice Brooks, whose previous publications include The Musical Work of Nadia Boulanger.

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.”

Opera: Ernest Chausson’s King Arthur (first fully staged American production)


Arthur with Excalibur by Edward Coley Burne-Jones

Of an earlier generation than the Boulanger sisters, Ernest Chausson (1855–99) died in a cycling accident at just 44, and while his Poème for violin and orchestra remains a staple of the repertoire, the rest of his slender output is seldom programmed. Yet in leavening the Gallic sounds of his teachers César Franck and Jules Massenet with the influence of Wagner, Chausson played a pivotal part in the development of French late-Romanticism.

Set to his own libretto, Chausson’s sole completed opera, King Arthur (Le roi Arthus, 1886–95), follows Tristan und Isolde in drawing on British chivalric mythology and depicting a king caught in a tragic love triangle. Unlike Wagner’s, however, the French composer’s sympathies lie not with the adulterous lovers but with the betrayed monarch, whose longstanding code of honor, like his marriage, is now in jeopardy. Posthumously premiered in Brussels in 1903, King Arthur has enjoyed recent revivals in Edinburgh and Paris but not to date on the American stage. As The Guardian observes, “few significant operas have suffered neglect on the scale that has for so long been endured by Ernest Chausson’s Le roi Arthus.” This disregard is far from justified, however. With its rich lyricism, ravishing harmonies and otherworldly final chorus, the opera has won many advocates. King Arthur, notes the UK’s Independent, is “no mere Wagner clone, but a score packed with French sensibilité and a Symbolist, world-weary wisdom.” As Gramophone affirms: “Passion is often white-hot; the orchestration is opulent; and there are … passages of sheer beauty.”

Marking the first fully staged American presentation of King Arthur, Bard’s new production will be directed by International Opera Award-nominee Mary Birnbaum, whose semi-staged treatments of Halka, Le Villi, and La Navarraise have been featured at recent Bard Music Festivals. Sets will be designed by Obie, Henry Hewes, and Princess Grace Award-winner Riccardo Hernandez and costumes by Barrymore Award-winner Oana Botez, who previously costumed SummerScape’s world-premiere production of Love in the Wars. Geoff Kanick, who hails from the worlds of magic and contemporary circus, will serve as director of illusion for Bard’s production of King Arthur.

The title role will be sung by Norman Garrett, who has won top prizes in more than a dozen international vocal competitions and is currently appearing at the Metropolitan Opera in Porgy and Bess. Raeann Bryce-Davis, a “striking mezzo soprano” (New York Times) known for her “electrifying sense of fearlessness” (San Francisco Chronicle), sings the role of Arthur’s wife, Guinevere, and tenor Matthew White, who took first place at both the Gerda Lissner and Deborah Voigt International Vocal Competitions, completes the doomed triangle as Arthur’s knight Lancelot. The presentation will be anchored by the Bard Festival Chorale and American Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Botstein, who has previously led the opera both on a Telarc recording with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and in a 2001 concert performance with the ASO at Lincoln Center; that performance was hailed as “one of the best Leon Botstein and the American Symphony have given together,” showing Chausson’s score to be “sumptuous, majestic, brilliant in its fanfare moments and often powerful” (Paul Griffiths, New York Times). King Arthur runs for five performances in the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater between July 24 and August 2, with an Opera Talk, free and open to the public, before the matinee on July 26.

Time Out New York observes, “Botstein and Bard SummerScape show courage, foresight and great imagination, honoring operas that larger institutions are content to ignore.” In the 2019 season, “thanks to Christian Räth’s clear-sighted, ravishing production, with opulent, yet coherent musical direction from Leon Botstein,” the American premiere of Korngold’s grand opera The Miracle of Heliane emerged as a work for the ages and little short of a masterpiece” (Musical America). As the journal has recognized: “Bard’s annual opera has become an indispensable part of the summer operatic landscape.

Theater: Most Happy


Florent (photo: Tina Paul, courtesy of Florent)

The legendary composer-songwriter behind Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Frank Loesser accrued a string of honors including an Oscar, multiple Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize. With his classic 1956 musical, The Most Happy Fella, he came “about as close to opera as the rules of Broadway permit” (New York Times). Featuring some of his most soaring lyricism, the show “is one of the greatest musicals ever. Or one of the greatest operas. Hell, it’s just great,” declares New York magazine.

Loesser’s songs take center stage in Most Happy, a setting of his ebullient songs for a cast of eight performers. Most Happy distills the underlying themes of The Most Happy Fella into a meditation on longing, an examination of the lengths we go to satisfy our desires, and a celebration of music and the human voice. Plot fades away, leaving behind music, voice, and raw emotion, giving audiences an entirely new way to experience the songs of an American musical treasure. Helming the production is director Daniel Fish, whose revelatory, Tony Award-winning revival of Oklahoma! debuted at SummerScape 2015 before opening at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, where it ranked among the New York Times’s “Best Theater of 2018” and was named No. 1 on Time magazine’s list of “Ten Best Plays and Musicals of 2018.” The production subsequently moved to Broadway, scoring the director his first Tony nomination.

For Most Happy’s new musical arrangements, orchestrations and musical direction, Fish reunites with his musical collaborators on Oklahoma!, Nathan Koci and Daniel Kluger, the latter of whom earned a Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for his work on the production. Bard’s production also features choreography by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, recently recognized with a Bessie Lifetime Achievement Award; costumes by Terese Wadden, the director’s SummerScape collaborator on both Oklahoma! and 2019’s Acquanetta; lighting design by Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Stacey Derosier; and scenic design by Andrew Lieberman and Amy Rubin, who draw inspiration from Florent, the iconic restaurant that was a hub for entertainment, activism and community in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District for more than 20 years. Most Happy plays in 24 performances between July 9 and August 2 in the Fisher Center’s LUMA Theater, with press invited to attend from July 16, and a press opening on July 17. Casting will be announced shortly.

SummerScape’s Tony Award-winning theatrical track record is a stellar one. Last season, Fish’s staging of Michael Gordon’s Acquanetta was named “a must-see” by the New York Times; as New York Arts declares: “Bard summer drama has been consistently of the highest order.”

Dance: New York City Ballet MOVES in Kyle Abraham’s The Runaway and Pam Tanowitz’s Bartók Ballet

New York City Ballet MOVES in Kyle Abraham’s The Runaway (photo: Paul Kolnik)

Bard SummerScape 2020 opens in the Sosnoff Theater on June 26–28, when New York City Ballet MOVES returns with a double-bill showcasing two of today’s foremost American choreographers. MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham makes his festival debut with The Runaway; set to an eclectic mix of music by artists ranging from Nico Muhly to James Blake, Jay-Z and Kanye West, and boasting original costumes by couturier-to-the-stars Giles Deacon, this was chosen among the New York Times’s “Best Dance of 2018” and heralded as “a paragon of outsider infiltration, stretching and revealing the givens of ballet” (Financial Times). Marking Abraham’s first ballet, The Runaway shares the program with Bartók Ballet by Pam Tanowitz, recently appointed as the Fisher Center’s inaugural Choreographer-in-Residence. A poetic meditation on Béla Bartók’s Fifth String Quartet, Tanowitz’s new ballet features a live musical performance from FLUX Quartet, which also took part in her 2015 festival debut, and is widely acknowledged as “one of the most fearless and important new-music ensembles around” (San Francisco Chronicle). Tanowitz returned to SummerScape three years later for the world premiere production of her ballet Four Quartets; this was named “Best Dance Production of 2018” by the New York Times, which pronounced it “the greatest creation of dance theater so far this century.”

SummerScape has long produced and premiered significant dance productions, including commissions from choreographers Trisha Brown, Lucinda Childs, Bill T. Jones, John Heginbotham and Mark Morris. Last year’s world premiere of Grace and Mercy, a new SummerScape commission from Evidence, A Dance Company and its founder and artistic director Ronald K. Brown, was named a “Critic’s Pick” by the New York Times, which declared: “Only a stone could have not felt the spirit. … This Grace topped its own rare heights.” As the New Yorker marveled: “What could be more heavenly?

Film series: “Nadia Boulanger’s Cinematic Influence”


Catherine Deneuve in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964 France/West Germany) (photo: Zeitgeist Films/Photofest)

Held from July 23 to August 16, the 2020 film series explores Nadia Boulanger’s far-reaching influence on film scoring throughout the 20th century, through the work of some of her most gifted students from around the world.

Based on Henry James’s novel Washington Square, William Wyler’s ambitious film The Heiress (1936) features an original score by Aaron Copland. It will be screened alongside The Plow that Broke the Plains (1949), a Dust Bowl documentary with a score developed in close collaboration between director Pare Lorentz and Virgil Thomson. George Antheil wrote an aggressively modernist score for the iconic French avant-garde short Ballet mécanique (1924), before composing a more romantic one for Nicholas Ray’s poetic masterpiece In a Lonely Place (1950) more than a quarter of a century later. Director Marcel L’Herbier claimed that with El Dorado (1921) he had invented a new form of cinema that brought together all the technical resources of the period, including a score by Marius-François Gaillard that was fully synchronized with the finished film. Every element of sound, including dialogue and background noise, is worked into Michel Legrand’s continuous score for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), a key work of the French New Wave, and one of the best-known and beloved French musicals. Adapted from an evocative story by Danish writer Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen), Babette’s Feast (1984) has a score by Boulanger student Per Nørgård, who strove to fuse the late Romanticism of Carl Nielsen and Jean Sibelius with a more modernist approach. Starring Marcello Mastroianni, Marco Bellocchio’s adaptation of Henry IV (1984) draws on Luigi Pirandello’s 1922 play of the same name and features a score by preeminent tango composer and former Boulanger student Astor Piazzolla. In Elena (2011), Andrey Zvyaginstev makes extensive use of the music of Philip Glass, particularly the Third Symphony, to enrich his exploration of spatial and social isolation in contemporary Moscow. Finally, The Deep Blue Sea (2011), one of the most underrated films by British director Terence Davies, is set in 1950s London, and prominently features Samuel Barber’s 1939 Violin Concerto throughout.


 Bard’s Spiegeltent (photo: Maria Baranova)

Back for a 15th 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 in which 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. Each weekend, a lineup of Spiegeltent favorites and irresistible newcomers take the reins for an eclectic array of multi-genre live music, performance and special events. Dining is inspired by seasonal Hudson Valley ingredients and served with a full bar offering to complement the menu. Programming begins June 26 and runs from Thursday to Sunday each week through August 15. Tickets, as well as full programming and schedule, will be available in March.

See below for chronological list of SummerScape 2020 highlights; key performance dates by genre; full program details for the Bard Music Festival; and ticket information. Click here for high-resolution photos.

SummerScape 2020: chronological list of highlights

June 26–Aug 15 Live music and After Hours dancing in the Spiegeltent

June 26–28 New York City Ballet MOVES performs Kyle Abraham’s The Runaway and Pam Tanowitz’s Bartók Ballet, with music from FLUX Quartet

July 18–Aug 2 Daniel Fish directs Most Happy, songs from Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella (performances begin July 9; press preview July 16; press opening July 17)

July 23–Aug 16 Film Series: “Nadia Boulanger’s Cinematic Influence”

July 24–Aug 2 First fully staged American production of Chausson’s opera King Arthur

August 7–9 Bard Music Festival, Weekend One: Music in Paris

August 14–16 Bard Music Festival, Weekend Two: The 20th-Century Legacy of Nadia Boulanger

SummerScape 2020: key performance dates by genre


Bard Music Festival, Weekend One: Music in Paris (August 7–9)

Bard Music Festival, Weekend Two: The 20th-Century Legacy of Nadia Boulanger (August 14–16)

Complete program details follow.


New York City Ballet MOVES

Pam Tanowitz: Bartók Ballet (featuring FLUX Quartet)

Kyle Abraham: The Runaway

Sosnoff Theater

June 26* & 27 at 8pm

June 27 & 28* at 2pm

Tickets: from $25

Opening Night Reception for Members: Friday, June 26

Post-Performance Conversation: Saturday, June 27, after the matinee performance

Pre-Performance Conversation: Sunday, June 28 at 1pm


Most Happy

Songs from Frank Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella

Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser

Directed by Daniel Fish

LUMA Theater

July 9, 10, 11, 16, 17*, 19, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, 31; August 1 & 2 at 8pm

July 12, 19* & 26; August 2 at 1pm

July 15, 22 & 29 at 3pm

July 18, 25*; August 1 at 2pm

Press preview: July 16 at 8pm

Press opening: July 17* at 8pm

LUMA Theater

Tickets: from $25

Opening Night Reception for Members: Friday, July 17

Pre-Performance Conversation: Sunday, July 12 at noon

Post-Performance Conversation: Wednesday, July 22


“Nadia Boulanger’s Cinematic Influence”

Ottaway Film Center

July 23: The Plow that Broke the Plains (Pare Lorentz, 1936, USA, 25 minutes) /

   The Heiress (William Wyler, 1949, USA, 116 minutes)

July 26: Ballet mécanique (Fernand Léger and Dudley Murphy, 1924, France, 19 minutes) /

   In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950, USA, 94 minutes)

July 30: El Dorado (Marcel L’Herbier, 1921, France, 98 minutes)

August 2: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964, France, 95 minutes)

August 6: Babette’s Feast (Gabriel Axel, 1987, Denmark, 103 minutes)

August 9: Henry IV (Marco Bellocchio, 1984, Italy, 85 minutes)

August 13: Elena (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2011, Russia, 109 minutes)

August 16: The Deep Blue Sea (Terence Davies, 2011, UK, 98 minutes)

Tickets: $10


Ernest Chausson: King Arthur

American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein

Directed by Mary Birnbaum

Sosnoff Theater

July 24* at 7:30pm

July 26* & 29; August 2* at 2pm

July 31* at 4pm

Tickets: from $25

Opening Night Reception for Members: Friday, July 24

Pre-Performance Opera Talk: Sunday, July 26 at noon, free and open to the public


Live Music, Festival Dining, and After Hours dancing

Dates, times, and ticket prices vary

Program details of Bard Music Festival, “Nadia Boulanger and Her World”

WEEKEND ONE: Music in Paris

Friday, August 7


Nadia Boulanger: Teacher and Exemplar

Sosnoff Theater

7:30pm Preconcert Talk

8pm Performance

Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979)

   Three Pieces for Cello and Piano (1911–13)

   Vers la vie nouvelle (1915)

Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)

   Faust et Hélène (1913)

Louise Talma (1906–96)

   Alleluia in Form of a Toccata (1944)

Grażyna Bacewicz (1909–69)

   String Quartet No. 1 (1938)

Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1912–90)

   Etruscan Concerto (1956)

Julia Perry (1924–79)

   Stabat mater (1951)

Tickets: $25–$60

Saturday, August 8


Women in French Musical Life: Composers, Performers and Patrons 

Olin Hall


A panel discussion with noted scholars, which includes a short Q&A. Participants to be announced.

Free and open to the public


The Years of Apprenticeship

Olin Hall

1pm Preconcert Talk

1:30pm Performance

Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979)


Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)

   Piano Trio in A minor (1914 )

George Enescu (1881–1955)

   Octet for Strings in C, Op. 7 (1900)

Works by Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924); Henri Duparc (1848–1933); Raoul Pugno (1852–1914); Claude Debussy (1862–1918); Paul Vidal (1863–1931); Florent Schmitt (1870–1958); and Pierre Menu (1896–1919)

Tickets: $25–$55


Mentors and Protégés

Sosnoff Theater 

7pm Preconcert Talk

8pm Orchestral Performance

Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)

   D’un matin de printemps (1917–18)

   D’un soir triste (1917–18)

Charles-Marie Widor (1844–1937)

   Symphony No. 3, Op. 69 (1894)

Paul Dukas (1865–1935)

   Symphony in C (1895–96)

Tickets: $25–$75

Sunday, August 9


L’Esprit de Paris

Olin Hall

10am Performance with Commentary

Works by Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979); Ernest Boulanger (1815–1900); Charles Lecocq (1832–1918); Raoul Pugno (1852–1914); André Messager (1853–1929); Claude Debussy (1862–1918); Erik Satie (1866–1925); Albert Roussel (1869–1937); Reynaldo Hahn (1874–1947); Maurice Ravel (1875–1937); Jacques Ibert (1890–1962); Cole Porter (1891–1964); Virgil Thomson (1896–1989); Francis Poulenc (1899–1963); and George Gershwin (1898–1937)

Tickets: $25–$55


The Epitome of Chic: Paris between the Wars

Olin Hall

1pm Preconcert Talk

1:30pm Performance

Works by Edmond de Polignac (1834–1901); Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971); Arthur Honegger (1892–1955); Germaine Taillefaire (1892–1983); Georges Auric (1899–1983); Marcelle de Manziarly (1899–1989); Francis Poulenc (1899–1963); and Jean Françaix (1912–97)

Tickets: $25–$55


88 x 2: Music for Two Pianos

Sosnoff Theater

5pm Preconcert Talk

5:30pm Performance

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) / Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979)

   Widerstehe doch der Sünde (arr. 1933)

Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)

   Soleils de septembre (1912)

Johannes Brahms (1833–97)

  From Liebeslieder Waltzes, Op. 52 (1868)

Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)

   Sonata for Two Pianos (1944)

Marcelle de Manziarly (1899–1989)

   Sonata for Two Pianos (1946)

Louise Talma (1906–96)

   Four-Handed Fun (1939)

Olivier Messiaen (1908–92)

   From Visions de l’Amen (1943)

Igor Markevitch (1912–83)

   L’envol d’Icare (1932; arr.)

Tickets: $25–$60

WEEKEND TWO: The 20th-Century Legacy of Nadia Boulanger

Friday, August 14


Crosscurrents: France and America

Sosnoff Theater

7:30pm Preconcert Talk

8pm Performance

Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979)

   Lux aeterna (c. 1920)

Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)

   Pie Jesu (1918)

Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)

   Concerto in E-flat, “Dumbarton Oaks” (1937–38)

Francis Poulenc (1899–1963)

   Concerto for Organ, Timpani, and Strings (1934–38)

Aaron Copland (1900–90)

   Sextet, for clarinet, two violins, viola, cello, and piano (1937)

Works by Thea Musgrave (b. 1928); and others

Tickets: $25–$60

Saturday, August 15


Confronting History

Olin Hall


A panel discussion with noted scholars, which includes a short Q&A. Participants to be announced.

Free and open to the public


The Ancient Meets the Modern

Olin Hall

1pm Preconcert Talk

1:30pm Performance

Works by Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643); Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750); Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971); Paul Hindemith (1895–1963); and others

Tickets: $25–$55


Boulanger’s Pupils at Home and Abroad

Sosnoff Theater

7pm Preconcert Talk

8pm Orchestral Performance

Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)

   Pour les funérailles d’un soldat (1912; orch. 1913)

   Psalm 130 (1917)

Works by Walter Piston (1894–1976); Aaron Copland (1900–90); Grażyna Bacewicz (1909–69);

and George Walker (1922–2018)

Tickets: $25–$75

Sunday, August 16


French Catholicism and Spirituality

Sosnoff Theater

10am Performance

Works by Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979); Charles Marie Widor (1844–1937); Louis Vierne (1870–1937); Charles Tournemire (1870–1939); André Caplet (1878–1925); Jacques Ibert (1890–1962); Olivier Messiaen (1908–92); Maurice Duruflé (1902–86); Jehan Alain (1911–40);

Jeanne Demessieux (1921–68)

Tickets: $25–$60


Boulanger and International Modernism

Olin Hall

1pm Preconcert Talk

1:30pm Performance

Works by Roger Sessions (1896–1985); Marc Blitzstein (1905–64); Elliott Carter (1908–2012); Paul Bowles (1910–99); Astor Piazzolla (1921–92); Michel Legrand (1932–2019); Philip Glass (b. 1937); and others

Tickets: $25–$55


Confronting Antiquity and Christianity

Sosnoff Theater

4pm Preconcert Talk

5pm Orchestral Performance

Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)

   Vieille prière bouddhique (1917)

Gabriel Fauré (1845–1924)

   Requiem, Op. 48 (1887–1900)

Arthur Honegger (1892–1955)

   Antigone (1924–27)

Virgil Thomson (1896–1989)

   A Solemn Music (1949)

Tickets: $25–$75

Bard SummerScape ticket information

Tickets for most Bard SummerScape events are now 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 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 Auditorium, 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 $45 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.

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.

SummerScape is made possible in part through the generous support of Jeanne Donovan Fisher, the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation, the Board of the Fisher Center at Bard College, the Board of the Bard Music Festival, and donors to the Fisher Center and Bard Music Festival, 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 M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

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© 21C Media Group, March 2020

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