The Orchestra Now to Play Bruch and Mahler at Bard’s Fisher Center

Violinist Tianpei Ai

Violinist Tianpei Ai

(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) – The Orchestra Now, conducted by music director Leon Botstein, will perform works by Bruch and Mahler in the Fisher Center at Bard College on Saturday, February 13, at 8pm, and again on Sunday, February 14, at 3pm. The program includes one of Bruch’s signature pieces, his 1880 Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra, a four-movement work on Scottish folk melodies. The performance will also present one of Mahler’s best-loved works, Das Lied von der Erde, “The Song of the Earth.”

Featured soloists include young Chinese violinist Tianpei Ai and vocalists Susan Platts and Charles Reid. The concerts are part of the Orchestra’s inaugural performance season in residence at Bard College, designed to offer adventurous programs of familiar and lesser-known works.

T?N’s next performances at Bard College will take place on April 9-10, and will feature Handel’s Messiah performed with soloists from the Graduate Vocal Arts Program, Bard Festival Chorus, and Bard Chamber Chorus.


Saturday, February 13, 2016 at 8pm; Sunday, February 14 at 3pm
Fisher Center at Bard College, Sosnoff Theater

The program begins with one of Bruch’s signature pieces, his 1880 Scottish Fantasy for violin and orchestra, a four-movement work on Scottish folk melodies. Originally dedicated to the virtuoso violinist Pablo de Sarasate, the young soloist on these concerts will be Tianpei Ai, former concertmaster of the Asian Youth Orchestra. As part of his tribute to Scottish tradition, listeners will likewise hear the prominence given to the harp in Bruch’s composition. The performance will also present one of Mahler’s best-loved works, Das Lied von der Erde with mezzo-soprano Susan Platts and tenor Charles Reid. Written during a dark time in the composer’s life, Mahler was moved to write the six songs in his work by a collection of Chinese verse about the end of life.  All but a symphony in name, Mahler also avoided calling Das Lied his ninth symphony, since many composers died after writing their ninth.


The Orchestra Now
Leon Botstein, Conductor

Tianpei Ai, Violin

Susan Platts, Mezzo-soprano

Charles Reid, Tenor

Bruch: Scottish Fantasy

Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde (“The Song of the Earth”)


Tickets: $25–$35. Tickets available by calling the box office at 845-758-7900, in person at the Sosnoff Theater box office, or by visiting the website at Fisher Center at Bard College.


Susan Platts

Susan Platts

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.


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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