The Orchestra Now Tackles Sibelius, Ives, Tchaikovsky at Bard College

Leon Botstein conducts The Orchestra Now (photo Matt Dine)

Leon Botstein conducts The Orchestra Now (photo Matt Dine)

(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) — The Orchestra Now, under the direction of Leon Botstein, will perform works by Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Ives, and two world premieres by Bard students Tamzin Elliott and Daniel Zlatkin in the Fisher Center at Bard College on Saturday, April 23, at 8pm, and Sunday, April 24, at 3pm. The concerts conclude the Orchestra’s inaugural performance season in residence at Bard College, designed to offer adventurous programs of familiar and lesser-known works in the Sosnoff Theater.

One of Charles Ives’s most-performed orchestral works, Three Places in New England, begins the program. The piece portrays a unique New England location for each movement including St. Gaudens in Boston Common; Putnam’s Camp at Redding, Connecticut; and Housatonic at Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The distinctly American work inverts the standard three-movement form from fast-slow-fast to Ives’s favored slow-fast-slow.

Cellist Xi Yang is featured in the following set of variations for cello and orchestra: Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. The Rococo theme, composed by Tchaikovsky himself, is reminiscent of the Rococo musical period he so admired, which dates back to Mozart’s time around the mid-18th century.

Bard students Daniel Zlatkin and Tamzin Elliott will each have their works premiered next. Zlatkin’s composition, Climb, is an elegy that emanates darkness but also contains an underlying essence of glowing ascension through the journey. Elliott’s Daughters Concerto, a feminist work, projects thoughtfulness and sensuality.

The program closes with one of Sibelius’s most popular works, his 5th Symphony. The symphony is known for its “swan call,” which listeners will hear first in the horn section. The work was commissioned by the Finnish government for Sibelius’s 50th birthday, an event declared a national holiday in tribute to the composer’s abounding fame.


The Orchestra Now

Leon Botstein, conductor

Xi Yang, cello

Daniel Zlatkin, composer

Tamzin Elliott, composer

Ives: Three Places in New England

Tchaikovsky: Rococo Variations

Daniel Zlatkin ’16: Climb (World Premiere)

Tamzin Elliott ’16: Daughters Concerto (World Premiere)

Sibelius: Symphony No. 5


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 Orchestra Now.


About 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 TON’s Associate Conductor and Academic Director, James Bagwell, guest conductors in the inaugural season include JoAnn Falletta, Marcelo Lehninger, and Gerard Schwarz.


Leon Botstein

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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