Bard College’s The Orchestra Now to Make Carnegie Hall Debut

pianist Piers Lane (photo Keith Saunders)

pianist Piers Lane (photo Keith Saunders)

(ANNANDALE-on-the-HUDSON, N.Y.) – The Orchestra Now, a year-old ensemble founded at Bard College by music director Leon Botstein, will make its highly anticipated Carnegie Hall debut on Friday, January 29 at 7:30 pm in “Beethoven’s ‘Likes’,” a program featuring works by Beethoven and Cherubini, the U.S. premiere Symphony No. 3 in F major by Anton Reicha, a friend and contemporary of Beethoven, and Piano Concerto No. 8 by Ferdinand Ries, a protégé of Beethoven.

After launching three new concert series and offering nine performances in Fall 2015 for its inaugural season,

The evening inaugurates the new ensemble’s two-concert series at the world-famous music hall; the second evening at Carnegie Hall will take place on May 13, 2016.

“Beethoven’s ‘Likes’” will present one of the most celebrated works in all of classical music, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, performed alongside pieces written by one of his friends, one of his students, and his favorite composer of the period. Beethoven’s Fifth was written over four years while Beethoven struggled with going deaf and Vienna was occupied by Napoleon’s army. The Symphony finally premiered in a freezing cold auditorium after only one rehearsal.

The compositions juxtaposing his work on the program include a piece by the man Beethoven considered the greatest living composer of the time, the overture from Les deux journées, Luigi Cherubini’s most popular opera.

Leon Botstein (photo Matt Dine)

Leon Botstein (photo Matt Dine)

Beethoven and Anton Reicha were friends and studied together as teens. This U.S. premiere of his Symphony No. 3 is one of four symphonies Reicha composed in 1808, the year that Beethoven’s 5th and 6th Symphonies premiered.

Ferdinand Ries was a piano student of Beethoven’s, and also worked as his secretary and copyist. Australian pianist Piers Lane, artistic director of the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition, will perform the N.Y. premiere of Ries’ Piano Concerto No. 8, which was written just a year before Beethoven’s death. A decade later, he co-wrote one of the first biographies of his teacher.
The Carnegie Hall series is one of four separate concert series that launched during the Orchestra’s 2015-16 season, including those at Bard College, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and a schedule of free concerts throughout New York City boroughs that features guest conductors including JoAnn Falletta, James Bagwell, Zachary Schwartzman and Gerard Schwarz.

The next concert in the Sight & Sound series, Strauss, Watteau & Nostalgia, will take place at the Metropolitan Museum on Sunday, February 7, 2016, at 2pm.


Friday, January 29 2016 at 7:30 pm, Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall

Beethoven’s “Likes”

Leon Botstein, conductor

Piers Lane, piano

Cherubini: Overture from Les deux journées

Reicha: Symphony No. 3 in F major (U.S. premiere)

Ries: Piano Concerto No. 8 (N.Y. premiere)

Beethoven: Symphony No. 5


Tickets, priced from $25–$75, are available at, at the Carnegie box office, or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800.



The Orchestra Now

The Orchestra Now

Founded in 2015, The Orchestra Now is an innovative training orchestra and master’s degree program at Bard College that is preparing a new generation of musicians to break down barriers between modern audiences and great orchestral music of the past and present. Under the leadership of conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein, T?N mines the wealth of underperformed repertoire, reimagines traditional concert formats, and strives to make the experience of the performers a part of the listeners’ experience. The musicians of T?N hail from across the U.S. and six other countries: Hungary, Korea, China, Japan, Canada and Venezuela. In addition to a concert series at their home base—the stunning Frank Gehry-designed Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College—they perform multiple concerts each season at Carnegie Hall and offer free concerts at venues across the boroughs of New York City. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art they join T?N’s Music Director Leon Botstein in the series Sight & Sound as he pairs orchestral works with masterpieces from the museum’s collection. In addition to Mr. Botstein and T?N’s Associate Conductor and Academic Director, James Bagwell, guest conductors in the inaugural season include JoAnn Falletta, Marcelo Lehninger, and Gerard Schwarz. For more information, visit The Orchestra Now.


Leon Botstein brings a renowned career as both an educator and a conductor to his role as founder of Bard College’s new master’s degree program and Music Director of The Orchestra Now. He has been the President of Bard College since 1975, co-Artistic Director of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival since their creation, and Music Director of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992. He also served as the Music Director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra from 2003 to 2011 and is now Conductor Laureate. Mr. Botstein has an active career as a guest conductor with orchestras around the globe and has made numerous recordings, as well as being a prolific author and music historian. He has received numerous honors for his contributions to the music industry.




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