The Orchestra Now Performs Debussy, Barber, and Franck at Bard

Federico Cortese (photo Michael J. Lutch)

(ANNANDALE-on-HUDSON, N.Y.) – The Orchestra Now, under the baton of Federico Cortese, performs works by Debussy, Barber, and Franck at the Fisher Center at Bard College on Saturday, February 4, at 8pm, and Sunday, February 5, at 2pm, in the Sosnoff Theater.

The Orchestra Now will perform an orchestral elegy, three symphonic sketches on the sea, and a full symphony. Works include Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Debussy’s La mer, and Cesar Franck’s Symphony in D minor

Federico Cortese assumed the post of Music Director of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras in 1999. He has conducted throughout the United States, Australia, China, and Europe. He is also the Music Director of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and Senior Lecturer on Music at Harvard University. From 1998–2002, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa.

In addition to his annual scheduled concerts, Cortese led the Boston Symphony several times in Symphony Hall and at Tanglewood, most notably performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Cortese has conducted several prominent symphony orchestras, including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, BBC Scottish Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and Oslo Philharmonic. Opera engagements have included Maggio Musicale in Florence, Spoleto Festival in Italy and the United States, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Finnish National Opera, Opera Australia, and Washington National Opera.

Cortese has been Music Coordinator and Associate Conductor of the Spoleto Festival in Italy. He also served as Assistant Conductor to Robert Spano and to Daniele Gatti. Cortese studied composition and conducting at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome and subsequently studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna. He also studied literature and humanities and holds a law degree from La Sapienza University in Rome.

Founded in 2015, The Orchestra Now (TON) is an innovative pre-professional 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, TON 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. At a TON concert, musicians and audience inspire one another, each following their curiosity with a shared sense of adventure.

The musicians of TON hail from across the U.S. and eleven other countries: Australia, Canada, China, France, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Spain, Taiwan and Venezuela. In addition to a concert series at their home base — the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College — they perform multiple concerts each season at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and offer complimentary concerts at venues across the boroughs of New York City in the Around Town series.




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