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Bard Music Festival Focuses on ‘Chopin and His World’

Bard Music Festival

ZEALnyc, August 8, 2017

As many summer festivals are beginning to wind down, there’s one just to the north of New York City that is getting ready to commence. The 28th annual Bard Music Festival, taking place on the campus of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, prepares for the opening of this year’s festival entitled “Chopin and His World.” Spanning over the course of two weekends, each segment has its own subtitled focus, bringing a thematic through-line to the festivities.

Co-artistic director Leon Botstein, who serves as conductor for a number of the concerts, also provides additional insights and context to the programming by offering pre-concert lectures for many of the concerts as well. Artists for the opening weekend include Canadian mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej and several outstanding pianists, among them Gilmore Young Artist Award-winner Orion Weiss, Wigmore Hall International Song Competition “Best Pianist” Erika Switzer, and Benjamin Hochman.

Mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej

Mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej; photo: Shannon Brady.

The opening weekend’s focus is “Chopin, the Piano, and Musical Culture of the 19th Century” and presents a series of performances, pre-concert lectures, and panel discussions devoted to this highly prolific artist. The day-to-day lineup is listed below:

Friday, August 11: The Genius of Chopin

Saturday, August 12: Chopin Real and Imagined; Chopin and Warsaw; From the Opera House to the Concert Hall

Sunday, August 13: The Piano in the 19th Century; Jews in the Musical Culture of Europe; Virtuosity and Its Discontents

Pianist Orion Weiss

Pianist Orion Weiss; courtesy of the artist.

The second weekend holds the title of “Originality and Virtuosity” and offers a variety of performances from solo piano repertoire, to a wind symphony, all the way to the concert presentation of the full opera Halka by Stanislaw Moniuszko, a contemporary of Chopin. More information on the specific events is below:

Thursday, August 17: Movement, Miniatures and Mysticism

Friday, August 18: The Romantic Wind Symphony; Chopin and the Piano

Saturday, August 19: The Piano in Society, Culture, and Politics; Chopin and the Salon; The Polish National Opera: Halka

Sunday, August 20: From the Sacred to the Revolutionary: Choral Works from Poland and France; Chopin’s Influence; Shared Passions, Different Paths


Round-trip coach bus service is provided exclusively to ticket-holders for performances of the festival. A reservation is required, and may be made by calling the box office at 845-758-7900. The round-trip fare is $40, and the bus departs from Lincoln Center at the times indicated:

Program 1: Friday, August 11 at 8pm (dinner at 5:30pm) 3:30pm
Program 6: Sunday, August 13 at 4:30pm (preconcert talk at 3:30pm) 1pm
Program 9: Saturday, August 19 at 8pm (preconcert talk at 7pm) 3pm
Program 12: Sunday, August 20 at 4:30pm (preconcert talk at 3:30pm) 12:30pm

For more information on transportation click here; for more information on the festival click here.

Click here for ZEALnyc’s complete list of New York City classical music concerts.

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