The Orchestra Now Concert at Bard Casts a Spell

The Millbrook Independent

“The first Orchestra Now concert of the season opened with Modest Mussorgsky’s Gothic Night on Bald Mountain, a celebration of the mythical witches Sabbath. An amusing romp, it certainly gets one’s attention. Although an extreme sensationalist, Mussorgsky is a force to be reckoned with; he remains easier to take in small doses like this where the world of rationality is left behind in favor of superstition and eerie dramatic effect. The orchestra of many new faces brought out the deliciously desired shiver. Mussorgsky had tried to slip the composition into a number of failed operas; it was not performed until five years after his death.” —Kevin T. McEneaney

Photo by Matt Dine


Plus Two Programs at the Fisher Center at Bard College and
Another Free Concert at Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock

September 23 – October 22, 2017

Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, September 12, 2017 – The Orchestra Now (TŌN) will open its New York City fall season with the first concert of its TŌN at Rose Theater series at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall on October 15. The program of works by Rubinstein, Sibelius, and Daugherty will feature the distinguished maestro Neeme Järvi as guest conductor with pianist Anna Shelest and cellist Zuill Bailey.

TŌN will precede the Rose Theater engagement with another Manhattan performance: a FREE Around Town concert led by associate conductor James Bagwell at The Great Hall at Cooper Union on October 1. The complimentary program will be repeated at the Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock on October 3. The Orchestra also begins its six-concert season in residence at Bard College’s Fisher Center with two fall programs on September 23–24 and October 21–22.

All concerts are illuminated with brief remarks by TŌN’s enthusiastic musicians, many of whom will be on hand to speak with audience members during intermissions.

The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a visionary orchestra founded in 2015 by Bard College president and conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein. Now in its third year, the success of the TŌN program has led to a total of more than 80 outstanding graduate musicians from 12 different countries chosen from hundreds of applicants from leading conservatories around the globe. All undertake the three-year Master of Music Degree Program in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies, surrounded by the intellectual atmosphere of a liberal arts college that encompasses one of the most progressive classical music centers in America.

Details of the Orchestra’s full season are available here.

The first of six programs in The Orchestra Now’s 2017–18 residency at Bard College’s Fisher Center, the series opens with Leon Botstein leading an all-Russian program of music by Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev. Soloist Chaojun Yang—a winner of the Bard College Conservatory 2016 Concerto Competition—will be featured in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (September 23–24). The second program in the series spotlights baritone Nathaniel Sullivan, another Bard College Conservatory 2016 Concerto Competition winner, in Frank Martin’s Six Monologues from Jedermann. The eerie work is taken from Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s drama Everyman, and deals with man’s fear of death, and how faith and repentance will open the gates of heaven. The concert closes with Beethoven’s joyous Ninth Symphony (October 21–22).

Fisher Center Series at Bard College
Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony
Sat. Sep 23, 2017 at 8 pm
Sun. Sep 24, 2017 at 2 pm
Leon Botstein, conductor
Chaojun Yang, piano
Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 2
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 3

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony
Sat. Oct 21, 2017 at 8 pm
Sun. Oct 22, 2017 at 2 pm
Leon Botstein, conductor
Nathaniel Sullivan, baritone
Chloé Olivia Moore, soprano
Teresa Buchholz
, mezzo-soprano
John Pickle
, tenor
Alfred Walker
, bass-baritone
Bard College Chamber Singers & Bard Festival Chorale
Frank Martin: Six Monologues from Jedermann
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

The next Fisher Center concert is Bruckner’s Romantic Symphony, led by guest conductor Gerard Schwarz on November 18.

Ticket prices begin at $25 and 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

Haydn & Frankenstein!!
Sun. Oct 1, 2017 at 3 pm at The Great Hall at Cooper Union in Manhattan
Tue. Oct 3, 2017 at 7:30 pm at Daniel Arts Center at Bard College at Simon’s Rock
James Bagwell, conductor
Nathaniel Sullivan, baritone
Sibelius: Valse triste
Heinz Karl Gruber: Frankenstein!!
Haydn: Symphony No. 104, ‘London’

The next Around Town concert is Bruckner’s Romantic Symphony with guest conductor Gerard Schwarz at Peter Norton Symphony Space in Manhattan on November 19.

Tickets: These concerts are FREE, no tickets necessary. RSVPs can be made one month before each concert at or by calling The Orchestra Now at 646.237.5034.

TŌN opens its Rose Theater series at Lincoln Center on October 15 under the baton of the eminent maestro Neeme Järvi, who frequently guest conducts the world’s leading orchestras. Järvi will lead the Orchestra in a program that includes the internationally acclaimed Ukrainian pianist Anna Shelest in two glittering pieces by Anton Rubinstein, and a performance of Michael Daugherty’s dramatic Tales of Hemingway with cellist Zuill Bailey, who won a Best Solo Performance Grammy Award in 2017 for his live recording of the work.

TŌN at Rose Theater continues on March 29, when Leon Botstein leads the Orchestra in Walter Braunfels’ sumptuous Fantastic Appearances of a Theme by Berlioz, as well as the imaginative Symphonie fantastique.

TŌN at Rose Theater Series
Sibelius & Rubinstein
Sun. Oct 15, 2017 at 3 pm
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall
Neeme Järvi, conductor
Anna Shelest, piano
Zuill Bailey, cello
Sibelius: Andante Festivo
Anton Rubinstein: Piano Concerto No. 4
Anton Rubinstein: Caprice russe
Michael Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway

The Orchestra Now
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of some 80 vibrant young musicians from more than 12 different countries around the globe, whose goal is to make orchestral music relevant to 21st-century audiences. They are lifting the curtain on the musicians’ experience by sharing their unique personal insights in a welcoming environment. Hand-picked from hundreds of applicants from the world’s leading conservatories—including The Juilliard School, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Royal Conservatory of Brussels, and the Curtis Institute of Music—the members of TŌN are not only rousing audiences with their critically acclaimed performances, but also enlightening curious minds by presenting on-stage introductions and demonstrations at concerts, offering program notes written from the musicians’ perspective, and connecting with patrons through one-on-one discussions during intermissions.

Conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein founded TŌN in 2015 as a master’s degree program at Bard College, where he also serves as president. The Orchestra is in residence at Bard’s Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, offering multiple concerts there each season as well as participating in the annual Bard Music Festival. The Orchestra also performs numerous concert series at major venues in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as a schedule of free performances across New York City boroughs. TŌN has collaborated with many distinguished conductors, including Fabio Luisi, Neeme Järvi, Gerard Schwarz, and JoAnn Falletta.

For upcoming activities and more detailed information about the musicians, visit

Leon Botstein
Leon Botstein brings a renowned career as both a conductor and educator to his role as music director of The Orchestra Now. He has been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992, artistic co-director 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

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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TŌN welcomes its newest musicians!

The Orchestra Now is pleased to welcome our newest class of musicians to the program! These 21 graduate students hail from 5 countries and 10 U.S. states, as close as White Plains, NY and as far away as Caracas, Venezuela and Sichuan, China. Collectively, they’ve studied at 30 schools, including The Julliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, Yale School of Music, the Peabody Institute, and Eastman School of Music.

Take a look at their profiles and get to know these talented young musicians:

Hyunjae Bae
Yurie Mitsuhashi
Lila Vivas Blanco
Weiqiao Wu
Yuqian Zhang

Yuan Qi

Kyle Anderson
Danny Poceta

Joshua DePoint
Casey Karr
Luke Stence

Matthew Ross
Denis Savelyev

Regina Brady
James Jihyun Kim

Carl Gardner

Ethan Brozka
Anna Lenhart

William Kaufman
Miles Salerni

Emily Melendes