THE ORCHESTRA NOW (TŌN) GIVES A FREE CONCERT IN BROOKLYN AT THE BROOKLYN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS AS PART OF ITS AROUND TOWN SERIES FRIDAY, MARCH 18 AT 8 PM

Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, February 26, 2016  —  The Orchestra Now, the innovative new master’s degree program and graduate training orchestra founded by Bard College in 2015, will give a FREE concert at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts’ Walt Whitman Theatre on Friday, March 18 at 8 PM. James Bagwell, associate conductor of The Orchestra Now (TŌN) and principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra, will lead the ensemble of 37 young graduate musicians from around the world in a program of works by Copland, Beethoven, and Ives.

The performance is the fourth of five in TŌN’s Around Town series of free concerts at venues big and small throughout New York City during the Orchestra’s inaugural 2015–16 season.  The next Around Town concert will take place at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center, Bayside on April 29, 2016.

Friday, March 18, 2016 at 8 PM
Around Town: Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
The program begins fittingly with a contemplative work by Brooklyn native Aaron Copland titled Quiet City. Copland originally wrote Quiet City as incidental music for a play of the same name by Irwin Shaw. However, since the play was unsuccessful, he adapted the work for the concert hall predominately using trumpet, occasionally interspersed with English horn, to express the pensive thoughts of the main character. The mood then shifts to nostalgia in Ives’ Pulitzer Prize-winning 3rd Symphony, which is largely based on early 19th–century hymns. Ives identified the three-movement work as “a kind of crossway between the older ways and the newer ways.” And finally, Beethoven’s “Haydnesque” 8th Symphony brings a light and humorous tone to the program. Although the composer lovingly referred to the work as his “little symphony in F,” it was not as well-received by critics as his larger and more progressive 7th Symphony, which premiered just two months previously. Beethoven led the premiere of the four-movement work in 1814 despite becoming increasingly deaf.

James Bagwell, conductor
Copland: Quiet City
Ives: Symphony No. 3, “The Camp Meeting”
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8

FREE Concert: General Admission, no tickets necessary. RSVP at www.theorchestranow.org. The Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts, Whitman Theatre is located at 2900 Avenue H between Bedford Ave and Nostrand Ave in Brooklyn. Doors open at 7:30 PM.

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, TŌN 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 TŌN 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 performances at venues across the boroughs of New York City. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art they join TŌN’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 TŌN’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 www.theorchestranow.org.

Press contact:
Pascal Nadon
Pascal Nadon Communications
Phone: 646-234-7088
Email: pascal@pascalnadon.com

Exploring The Orchestra Now For Free

Cool Hunting

The Orchestra Now, an assembling of multi-national musicians, warrants attention for two reasons. It’s a graduate training orchestra of 37 young musicians—a part of Bard College’s master’s degree program, founded in the fall of 2015 by conductor and music historian Leon Botstein. Further, this orchestra brings resonance to classical pieces we’ve all heard in some way or another, infused in pop culture, to the stage and lets a new audience (and a new generation) experience it first-hand. They also frequently perform free of charge, providing an entry point for anyone interested, but uncertain or without the budget to splash around on tickets for a performance.

The Orchestra Now alleviates many barriers. Each concert pairs well-known works with music drawn from the vast underperformed repertoire of classical music. There’s an educational element to it, but excitement and experience stand at the forefront. This isn’t a preservation unit, it’s a blending of the past and the future—and many of the musicians will go on to play for some of the best orchestras around the globe.” – David Graver

Photo by David DeNee

The Orchestra Now unfrozen at Bard

The Millbrook Independent

“Although this is only their first season, this Saturday evening was the twelfth concert performed by the newly formed The Orchestra Now under the baton of Leon Botstein at Bard College.

The first half of the program as the Sosnoff Theater featured violinist Tianpei Ai, a junior at Bard, performing in Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy in E-flat major, Op. 46, a work inspired by the historical novels of Sir Walter Scott. Ai managed to enter into the emotion of a Romantic undershirt in the finale. This excursion was a showcase for a young, emerging talent.

The second half of the program traveled into the late Orientalist fad popularized by French writers and later Ezra Pound in London, yet Mahler actually brought out his work in 1909, several years before Pound’s Cathay (1915). Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth) offered a version of early Chinese poetry as German lieder. The Orchestra Now responded to the singers with lusty energy and the brass, in particular, excelled. Mahler’s music with its artful allusions to gongs and flowing water transcends the genre of tourist landscape. Despite the single degree temperature walk on the coldest day of the year to the seemingly distant parking lots, the contented audience chatted with abandon.” – Kevin T. McEneaney

Photo by Matt Dine

Music and masterpieces matched up at the Met

The Art Newspaper

“The Metropolitan Museum has paired music and masterpieces for its concert series Sight & Sound, organised in partnership with The Orchestra Now (TŌN, pronounced “tone”), a new music training and master’s degree programme at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson New York. On 7 February, the orchestra and its conductor Leon Botstein presented Strauss, Watteau and Nostalgia, which examined Richard Strauss’s 1912 suite for Moliere’s Le bourgeois gentilhomme (The Middle Class Gentleman) alongside Antoine Watteau’s The French Comedians (1721).

As the orchestra performed teasing snippets from the suite, Botstein discussed how Strauss looked back to the playfulness of the 18th century for inspiration, bypassing the “deadly seriousness” of Romanticism. He managed to throw in some good-natured digs, from a playful swipe at Prince Charles to a critique of gift shop culture (“In those days, department stores had concert halls—now concert halls have department stores,” he said about an early 20th-century Strauss performance at the New York shop Wanamaker’s).” – Victoria Stapley-Brown

Photo by David DeNee

THE ORCHESTRA NOW (TŌN) GIVES A FREE CONCERT IN MANHATTAN AT THE TOWN HALL AS PART OF ITS AROUND TOWN SERIES SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28 AT 3 PM

Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, February 10, 2016  The Orchestra Now, the innovative new master’s degree program and graduate training orchestra founded by Bard College in 2015, will give a FREE concert of music both known and unfamiliar in midtown Manhattan at The Town Hall on Sunday, February 28 at 3 PM. Gerard Schwarz, Music Director of The All-Star Orchestra and the Eastern Music Festival as well as Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony, will lead the ensemble of 37 young graduate musicians from around the world in a program of works by Stravinsky, Haydn, and David Diamond.

The performance is the third of five in TŌN’s Around Town series of free concerts at venues big and small throughout New York City during the Orchestra’s inaugural 2015 – 16 season.  The next Around Town concert will take place at Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on March 18, 2016.

Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 3 PM
Around Town: The Town Hall, in midtown Manhattan
The Orchestra Now will begin its program with one of Haydn’s London Symphonies, Symphony No. 96, often referred to as the “Miracle Symphony.” The four-movement work earned its nickname when a chandelier fell during the premiere, miraculously evading the audience. Following Haydn will be a modern rendition of Romeo and Juliet by David Diamond, which premiered in New York in 1947. Written as a concert suite rather than a work for theater, Diamond attempted to express the drama of Shakespeare’s famed tragedy without resorting to, as he said, “a large orchestral canvas and a definite musical form.” Stravinsky’s ballet, Pulcinella, will close the evening’s program. Based on a commedia dell’arte libretto written in the early eighteenth century, Pulcinella ushered in Stravinsky’s neoclassical phase.

Gerard Schwarz, conductor
Katherine Maysek, mezzo-soprano
Jason Weisinger, tenor
Leo Radosavljevic, bass-baritone
Haydn: Symphony No. 96
David Diamond: Romeo and Juliet
Stravinsky: Pulcinella

FREE Concert: General Admission tickets may be reserved in advance at www.theorchestranow.org, and will also be available at the venue box office on the day of the concert. The Town Hall is located at 123 West 43rd Street between 6th Avenue and Broadway in Midtown Manhattan. Doors open at 2:30 PM.

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, TŌN 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 TŌN 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 TŌN’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 TŌN’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 www.theorchestranow.org

Press contacts:
Pascal Nadon
Pascal Nadon Communications
Phone: <646.234.7088
Email: pascal@pascalnadon.com

Leon Botstein’s The Orchestra Now All Thumbs-Up, in ‘Beethoven’s Likes’ at Carnegie

Classicalite.com

The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is simple in its message and delivery: bringing orchestral music to new ears. These ears, though, are of a more youthful generation, or at least that was the demographic of Friday night’s performance at Carnegie Hall, January 29. Real classical—heavy in its presence, unyielding in its impact—is what provides the foundation for music with substance. Apropos, Leon Botstein led a pitch-perfect program of Cherubini curio and Beethoven warhorse, buttressed by premieres of Ferdinand Ries and one Anton Reicha.

Next, the moment anyone in a seat was waiting for: Herr Beethoven’s Fifth. Post those first four notes—Botstein sharp in their attack, TŌN lingering not on the fermatas—this is what the night was all about. The excitement that we feel, collectively, when hearing a motif we all know by heart.” – Ian Holubiak

Photo by David DeNee