Lost at Sea at Bard

The Millbrook Independent

“Leon Botstein opened The Orchestra Now with “Four Sea Interludes” from Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes. These evocative mood pieces produced radiant, seascape vistas. The audience rode the swells, being transported to another magical world that defied explanation. Music caressed and bewitched our ears. We were transported to the Land of Lotus Eaters and had no desire to return home.

. . . Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations is a peculiar masterpiece. Listening to recordings remains interesting, but a live performance (as music goers know) is something entirely else. Here Leon Botstein delivered the shimmering intensity that the piece invites with its adroit orchestration. I particularly enjoyed the modest and melodic horns that Botstein tamed and molded into the texture of the whole cloth. There was a nice small clarinet moment. Elgar’s marvel invites repeated listening for its enigmatic portraits of people depicted in mischievous epyllion format. Here is rarefied insular genius evoking wit, character, and genial pleasure. What a pleasant way to conclude a concert!” – Kevin T. McEneaney

Photo by Matt Dine


Leon Botstein to Conduct All-American Composers Concert

Annandale-on Hudson, New York, NY October 18, 2016 – The Orchestra Now (TŌN) will kick off TŌN at Rose Theater, its new two-concert series at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, on Sunday, November 6 at 3 PM. The performance features music director Leon Botstein leading the Orchestra of young pre-professional musicians in an all-American composers program of works by Marc Blitzstein, Leonard Bernstein, and Aaron Copland. The guest vocalist will be mezzo-soprano Jill Grove, whose “superior technique” (Opera Today) has earned her recordings with the London and American Symphony Orchestras, as well as with the Metropolitan Opera, an ARIA award, and a Richard Tucker Foundation Career Grant.

TŌN will return to Rose Theater on May 5 with an evening of music by Schoenberg, Schubert, and Shostakovich.

Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center
Sun, Nov 6, 2016 at 3 PM
Leon Botstein, conductor
Jill Grove
, mezzo-soprano
Marc Blitzstein: Orchestra Variations
Bernstein: Symphony No. 1, Jeremiah
Copland: Statements for Orchestra
Copland: Appalachian Spring Suite

Tickets, beginning at $25, may be purchased online at www.jazz.org, by calling 212.721.6500, or at the Frederick P. Rose Hall box office at Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The Orchestra Now
Founded in 2015, The Orchestra Now (TŌN) 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, 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. At a TŌN concert, musicians and audience inspire one another, each following their curiosity with a shared sense of adventure.

The musicians of TŌN 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. At The Metropolitan Museum of Art they join Leon Botstein in the series Sight & Sound as he explores the places where musical and visual expression meet, pairing 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 first two seasons include Fabio Luisi, Gerard Schwarz, and JoAnn Falletta.

For more information, visit www.theorchestranow.org.

Leon Botstein
Leon Botstein brings a renowned career as both a conductor and educator to his role as music director of The Orchestra Now, the pre-professional orchestra and master’s degree program founded by Bard College. He has been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992, artistic codirector of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival since their creation, and president of Bard College since 1975. He was the music director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra from 2003–2011, and is now conductor laureate. In 2018 he will assume artistic directorship of the institute of Grafenegg, Austria. Mr. Botstein is also a frequent guest conductor with orchestras around the globe, has made numerous recordings, and is a prolific author and music historian. He is the editor of the prestigious The Musical Quarterly, and has received many honors for his contributions to music.

More info online at LeonBotsteinMusicRoom.com.

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

Germany’s Neglected Mid-Century Masters

The New Yorker

“The composer Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) and the painter Max Beckmann (1884-1950) had many things in common. Both were formidable, German, and bald. Both fled Nazi Germany in the nineteen-thirties, eventually reaching the United States. Each maintained a prolific output yet never compromised on craftsmanship—a zeal that made them natural (and distinguished) teachers. After the First World War, each moved from Expressionism to the New Objectivity, and then on to a more personal kind of mastery. Most important, each did so without abandoning what might be called the human figure: Hindemith, by subtly reinventing the traditional language of melody and tonal harmony; Beckmann, by remaining a representational artist at a time when abstraction was all the rage. The two will meet at the Metropolitan Museum on Oct. 16, where Leon Botstein will lead the Orchestra Now (TŌN), a symphonic ensemble based at Bard College, in “Hindemith & Beckmann: Expressionism and Exile,” a program that illuminates their mutual genius through discussion and performance.” – Russell Platt

Illustration by Andrea Ventura for The New Yorker

Milad Daniari: It started with “Jaws”

We are excited to debut our new video series TŌN Close-Ups, giving you behind-the-scenes access to some of our musicians.

This month we feature bass player Milad Daniari, who talks about the camaraderie among orchestra players, the connection with the audience, and how the movie Jaws helped him choose his instrument.