TŌN’s Second Season Launches a New Series at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall In Addition to Series at Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Fisher Center at Bard College, and Free Concerts Throughout New York City and Beyond

Guest Conductors to Include Fabio Luisi, Oleg Caetani, Jindong Cai, Harold Farberman, and JoAnn Falletta

Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, May 11, 2016 The Orchestra Now (TŌN), the visionary master’s degree program and pre-professional training orchestra founded in 2015 by Bard College and conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein, will open its impressive second season, comprising five series, at Bard College on September 24.

The 2016-17 TŌN season has added 36 new participants to the program for a total of 68 exceptional graduate musicians from ten different countries including the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, and Venezuela.  All undertake the three-year Master of Music Degree Program in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies. As Bard is uniquely suited to offer TŌN musicians an outstanding opportunity for orchestral training, hundreds of applicants competed for the chance to rehearse, perform, and study with Bard College faculty, guest scholars, and performing artists, surrounded by the intellectual atmosphere of a liberal arts college that encompasses one of the most progressive classical music centers in America.

“The resounding success of TŌN’s first season has been demonstrated not only by the positive response of its new and growing audiences, but also by the enthusiastic feedback our faculty has received from its pre-professional musicians,” said music director Leon Botstein. “The overarching goal of TŌN is to prepare these young artists for the challenges facing today’s symphony orchestra. In our expanded 2016-17 concert season, it is my hope that musicians and audiences will continue to inspire each other through meaningful communication, non-traditional program formats that engage the community, and a shared sense of adventure.”

Highlights of the 2016 – 17 season include a new series at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall featuring an all-American composers concert, a special performance of Bernstein’s Candide at Bard, and an expanded Bard College series that has increased from five to seven performances since last season. Concerts will continue at Carnegie Hall and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as throughout New York City’s boroughs as part of TŌN’s popular free performance events. The Orchestra will be led by music director Leon Botstein, associate conductor and academic director James Bagwell, and guest conductors including Fabio Luisi, Oleg Caetani, Jindong Cai, Harold Farberman, JoAnn Falletta, and Zachary Schwartzman. TŌN’s programs offer unconventional combinations of familiar and lesser-known repertoire, and in select concerts, Leon Botstein will discuss the works and answer questions from the audience in addition to conducting the performance.


The TŌN season opens in residence at Bard College’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on September 24, and continues with an expanded subscription series of five performances at the Sosnoff Theater through April 23, 2017. The Orchestra will be led by music director Leon Bostein with guest conductors Jindong Cai, the award-winning holder of Stanford’s Gretchen B. Kimball Director of Orchestral Studies Chair; and Harold Farberman, American conductor, composer and founder of the Conductors Guild.  Among the featured soloists are Bard College Conservatory of Music concerto competition winners John Belk, cello, Viktor Toth, clarinet, and Matthew Woodard, violin. The details of the fifth performance will be announced soon. There will also be two special off-series events at Bard College; a semi-staged production of Leonard Bernstein’s much-loved opera Candide led by TŌN associate conductor and academic director James Bagwell with soloists from Bard’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, and a season finale concert conducted by Fabio Luisi, general music director of the Zurich Opera and principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera.

Copland & Bruckner
Sat. Sep 24, 2016 at 8 pm
Sun. Sep 25, 2016 at 2 pm
Leon Botstein, conductor
Viktor Toth, clarinet
Copland: Clarinet Concerto
Bruckner: Symphony No. 5

Elgar’s Enigma Variations
Sat. Oct 29, 2016 at 8 pm
Sun. Oct 30, 2016 at 2 pm
Leon Botstein, conductor
John Belk
, cello
Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
Mahler: Adagio from Symphony No. 10 (Harold Farberman, conductor)
William Walton: Cello Concerto
Elgar: Enigma Variations

Cai Conducts Rachmaninoff
Sat. Nov 19, 2016 at 8 pm
Sun. Nov 20, 2016 at 2 pm
Jindong Cai
, conductor
Jie Yuan, piano
Adams: The Chairman Dances
Xiaogang Ye: Scent of the Green Mango
Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances

Bartók’s The Miraculous Mandarin
Sat. Apr 22, 2017 at 8 pm
Sun. Apr 23, 2017 at 2 pm
Leon Botstein, conductor
Matthew Woodard, violin
Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin Suite
Ligeti: Violin Concerto
Ernő Dohnányi: Symphony No. 2

Special Concerts at the Fisher Center

Sat. Feb 25, 2017 at 8 pm
Sun. Feb 26, 2017 at 2 pm
James Bagwell, conductor
Bard’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program soloists
Leonard Bernstein: Candide (semi-staged production)

Fabio Luisi Conducts Brahms
Sun. May 28, 2017 at 1 pm
Fabio Luisi
, conductor
Program to include Brahms’ Symphony No. 4
Tickets from $25 (series from $56.25). Packages available now; single tickets beginning August 8. Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 845-758-7900, in person at the Fisher Center box office, or by visiting the website at

TŌN returns to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where conductor and music historian Leon Botstein and the Orchestra explore the places where musical and visual expression meet, pairing orchestral works with masterpieces from The Met’s collection. Each event in this three-concert series includes a discussion illustrated with on-screen artworks and orchestral excerpts, a full performance of the selected music, and an audience Q&A.

Hindemith & Beckmann: Expressionism and Exile
Sun. Oct 16, 2016 at 2 pm
Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler Symphony
and the Artwork of Max Beckmann
Hindemith composed this symphony in 1934 during the early stages of work on an opera by the same name.  It centers on the Medieval artist Matthias Grünewald, whose famous altarpiece Max Beckmann greatly admired. Both Hindemith and Beckmann ran afoul of the Nazi regime as artists and emigrated to the U.S. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Max Beckmann in New York, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Oct. 18, 2016 – Feb 20, 2017.

Brahms, Menzel & Klinger: The Canvas of Sound
Sun. Jan 29, 2017 at 2 pm
Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 and the Artwork of Adolph Menzel and Max Klinger
Critic Eduard Hanslick called this symphony “artistically the most nearly perfect” of Brahms’ works. The composer was profoundly interested in painting and held two particular contemporaries in high regard:  Adolf Menzel and Max Klinger. The 3rd symphony invites an exploration of the connection between the visual and the musical in Brahms’s world.

Ives & Hartley: Landscapes of Modernism
Sun. May 21, 2017 at 2 pm
Ives’ Three Places in New England and the Artwork of Marsden Hartley
In this orchestral set―one of the first American pieces played outside of the country―Connecticut-born composer Charles Ives set out to evoke the atmosphere and history of three locations in New England through music. His contemporary, Maine-born painter Marsden Hartley, was himself deeply stirred by music.  The artist returned to Maine in his final years and applied his modernist aesthetic to its landscapes.  Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Marsden Hartley’s Maine, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art Mar. 14 – June 18, 2017.

Tickets from $30, series from $75, available now. Tickets may be purchased online at; call 212-535-7710 for more information.

CARNEGIE HALL SERIES, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
In TŌN’s second season at Carnegie Hall, Leon Botstein and the Orchestra will present two concerts that focus on music by composers from specific countries. On December 9, a program titled Denounced! illuminates three great Russian composers whose works were deemed politically incorrect, displaying tendencies alien to the Soviet people. Because Shostakovich’s song cycle From Jewish Folk Poetry used texts from Jewish folksongs, the 1948 work was not publicly premiered until after the anti-Semitism of the time had abated. That same year, the Central Committee of the Communist Party issued a declaration condemning recent works by Prokofiev and Shostakovich, as well as several other composers. The musical focus moves to Italy on March 17 with an evening offering two works by Respighi and Wolf-Ferrari’s delightful one-act comic intermezzo, Il segreto di Susanna (Susanna’s Secret).

Fri, Dec 9, 2016 at 7:30 pm
Shostakovich: From Jewish Folk Poetry
Nikolai Myaskovsky: Symphony No. 25
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 6

Susanna’s Secret
Fri, March 17, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Respighi: Church Windows
Respighi: Rossiniana
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari: Il segreto di Susanna

Tickets prices start at $25, available beginning September 6.  Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling CarnegieCharge 212-247-7800, or in person at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th and Seventh.

This new series at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall will kick off in November with an all-American program of works by Blitzstein, Bernstein, and Copland, followed in the spring by an evening of coincidental alliteration: Schoenberg, Schubert, and Shostakovich.

Bernstein & Copland
Sun, Nov 6, 2016 at 3 pm
Leon Botstein, conductor
Marc Blitzstein: Orchestra Variations
Bernstein: Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah”
Copland: Statements for Orchestra
Copland: Appalachian Spring

Schubert & Shostakovich
Fri, May 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Oleg Caetani, conductor
Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1
Schubert: Symphony No. 3
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 15

Tickets from $25, available beginning Sept. 6.  Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling 212-721-6500 or at the Frederick P. Rose Hall box office at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

TŌN’s popular Around Town series attracted dynamically diverse new audiences of all ages during the Orchestra’s first season. These free community outreach events have become crowd-pleasing neighborhood activities and are a great opportunity to introduce families and new explorers to the joys of classical music.  In the coming season, TŌN will present four free performances in New York City’s boroughs, beginning on December 16, 2016 in Harlem and continuing in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and at an additional venue to be announced, through April 2, 2017.

Fri. Dec. 16, 2016 at 7 pm
Aaron Davis Hall
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
Ravel: Shéhérazade
Carl Nielsen: Aladdin Suite

The Bronx
Sun. Dec 18 at 3 pm
Lehman Center for the Performing Arts
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
Ravel: Shéhérazade
Carl Nielsen: Aladdin Suite

Sun. Mar. 5, 2017 at 3 pm
Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts
Zachary Schwartzman, conductor
Mikhail Glinka: Overture from Ruslan and Lyudmila
Messiaen: L’Ascension
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4

Sun. Apr 2, 2017 (borough and venue to be announced)
James Bagwell, conductor
Herrmann:  Prelude from North by Northwest
Roy Harris:  Symphony No. 3
Glass: Symphony No. 1, Low

Tickets: All Around Town concerts are FREE.  Ticketing requirements vary by venue.


Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, MA
Daniel Arts Center, McConnell Theater
Fri.  Mar. 3, 2017, at 7:30 pm
Zachary Schwartzman, conductor
Mikhail Glinka: Overture from Ruslan and Lyudmila
Messiaen: L’Ascension
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4
Tickets: FREE reserved seat tickets available beginning Feb. 3, 2017.

The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College
Sat. April 1, 2017 at 8 pm
James Bagwell, conductor
Herrmann:  Prelude from North by Northwest
Roy Harris:  Symphony No. 3
Glass:  Symphony No. 1, Low
Tickets from $25, available mid-August.

For more information, visit

The Orchestra Now and its Programs
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 pre-professional musicians to collapse the barriers between modern audiences and great orchestral music of yesterday and today. Under the leadership of conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein, TŌN mines the wealth of underperformed repertoire, puts a new spin on 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 around the world, including Australia, Canada, China, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, 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 Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater or Frederick P. Rose Hall, and offer free Around Town concerts at venues throughout New York City boroughs. At The Metropolitan Museum of Art, they join TŌN’s music director Leon Botstein in the Sight & Sound series 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, past and present guest conductors include Jindong Cai, Oleg Caetani, JoAnn Falletta, Marcelo Lehninger, Fabio Luisi, Gerard Schwarz, and Zachary Schwartzman.

The programs of TŌN provide a critical understanding of the orchestra’s past and present roles in society and its responsibilities in a changing musical landscape. The curriculum aims to develop a graduating class of forward-thinking individuals through an intensive schedule of rehearsal, performance, and graduate-level study with Bard College faculty, guest scholars, and performing artists. Chamber & Audition Prep addresses the practical aspects of auditions with anxiety workshops and mock auditions in addition to coaching by members of such major orchestras as the ASO and New York Philharmonic. The Language & Thinking Program is an introduction to liberal arts that focuses on writing, clear articulation and productive collaboration, and the Teaching Artist Program offers the members of TŌN opportunities to engage in community outreach with mid-Hudson schools and regional concert series. Independent study projects in the program’s third year represent the culmination of the young graduates’ study of the challenges facing orchestras and their musicians.  Each student designs and implements a project intended to address an aspect of that challenge, such as creating an innovative music education program, establishing a unique ensemble or festival, or using technology to invent a new way to engage audiences. Musicians joining TŌN receive a full-tuition fellowship along with an annual stipend of $24,000 and health benefits.

For more information, visit

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. More info online at

Press Contacts:
Pascal Nadon
Pascal Nadon Communications
Phone: 646.234.7088

Mark Primoff
Associate Vice President of Communications
Bard College
Phone: 845.758.7412

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Announcing our 2nd season of concerts

The Orchestra Now will kick off our 2016–17 season on September 24. We have added 36 new faces in our second season for a total of 68 musicians from 10 countries: the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Spain, and Venezuela.

Highlights include:

  • A new series at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, including an all-American composers concert
  • An expanded series at Bard College, including two special events: a performance of Bernstein’s Candide, and a Memorial-Day-weekend concert led by Fabio Luisi
  • Three events in our Sight & Sound series linking music with the visual arts at The Met Fifth Avenue
  • Two more evenings at Carnegie Hall, including a concert performance of a rarely-heard one-act Italian opera
  • More free concerts in venues around the boroughs of New York City
  • and more!

Click here to see the full season.

Tickets are available for some performances now, and many more will be available in August and September. Check back for more info!

Photo by Matt Dine