Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

The Orchestra Now Announces 2021-22 Season

Four different series and three free concerts will offer 21 programs and 38 performances.

The Orchestra Now Announces 2021-22 Season

The Orchestra Now, the visionary orchestra and master's degree program founded by Bard College president, conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein, returns to the stage for its seventh season on September 11. Four different series and three free concerts will offer 21 programs and 38 performances presenting inventive combinations of both established and less familiar repertoire through May 22, 2022.

The Orchestra welcomes 16 new members this season, for a total of 65 musicians from 13 countries. Since it launched in 2015, TŌN has performed 489 works by 234 composers in 35 venues for more than 66,000 live and virtual concertgoers, with 237 soloists and 22 conductors.

"Nothing can replace the exhilaration of live performance," said Music Director Leon Botstein. "During the pandemic, our young musicians kept the music alive by developing the skills to produce and perform extraordinary digital programs. But the return to the stage and the excitement of a real audience in such wonderful venues is crucial to their experience. We are truly thrilled to resume a direct connection with our audiences."

Highlights of the 2021-22 season include the world premieres of Brahmsiana by conductor/composer Leonard Slatkin-who makes his debut with TŌN this season (Sept. 18-19 at the Fisher Center)-and award-winning composer Scott Wheeler's new work, written for violinist Gil Shaham, who performs it at both Carnegie Hall (Nov. 18) and the Fisher Center (Nov. 13-14). Also notable are seldom-heard performances of Dismal Swamp, William Grant Still's portrait of enslaved people taking refuge while seeking freedom; and Karl Amadeus Hartmann's Symphony No. 1, the composer's response to conditions under the Nazi regime (May 7 at the Fisher Center and May 12 at Carnegie Hall), as well as Slatkin's new arrangement of Ravel's orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition, which reinstates portions of Mussorgsky's original composition for piano. The program also features Circuits by award-winning composer Cindy McTee, who is also Slatkin's wife (Sept. 18-19 at the Fisher Center).

The eminent Carnegie Hall series includes rarely-heard works by Lutosławski, Perry, and Bristow in addition to Wheeler's world premiere. Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center hosts a concert with guest conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, Musical America's 2019 Conductor of the Year. The top-selling Sight & Sound series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art returns to explore the connections between music and art in three programs focusing on Beethoven and Cristofori's newly created piano, Stravinsky and Picasso, and Dvořák and Delacroix. The Fisher Center series at Bard College offers 18 concerts including special performances of Handel's Messiah, Brahms' German Requiem, and the TŌN debut of Leonard Slatkin conducting the world premiere of his Brahmsiana. Three FREE concerts will be offered, including two at Peter Norton Symphony Space in Manhattan led by TŌN's resident conductor Zachary Schwartzman in works by Berlioz, Liszt, and Kodály, among others; and one with guest conductor Andrés Rivas in a program of Mozart, Schumann, and Dohnányi at Hudson Hall in Hudson, NY. The audience-pleasing programming of these free performances is a great opportunity for families to experience their first orchestral performance and attract future generations to the enjoyment of classical music.

This year marks the fifth season of TŌN's successful broadcast series on WMHT-FM, the classical music radio station of New York's Capital Region, and the fourth season on WWFM, the Classical Network station serving New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, both featuring programs from the Orchestra's Fisher Center series. TŌN's performances are also heard regularly on American Public Media's Performance Today.

Carnegie Hall SERIES, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage

Gil Shaham & Julia Perry

Thu, Nov 18, 2021 at 7 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor

Gil Shaham, violin

Scott Wheeler: New work (World Premiere)

Julia Perry: Stabat Mater

George Frederick Bristow: Symphony No. 4, Arcadian

Renowned violinist and Bard Conservatory of Music faculty member Gil Shaham joins the Orchestra for the world premiere of a new piece written for him by multi-award-winning composer, conductor, pianist, and teacher Scott Wheeler. Currently Senior Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Boston's Emerson College, Wheeler's works have been commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and performed by such artists as Renée Fleming and Kent Nagano. Black American composer Julia Perry's dramatic Stabat Mater, a setting of the 13th-century medieval poem "Stabat Mater Dolorosa," describes the crucifixion of Christ from the viewpoint of the Virgin Mother and is dedicated to Perry's mother. Also on the program is George Frederick Bristow's rarely-heard Arcadian Symphony. A Brooklyn native and noted choral composer, Bristow frequently wrote music with American themes-his Symphony No. 4 was originally titled The Pioneer. It will be the first Carnegie Hall performances of Perry's Stabat Mater and Bristow's complete Symphony No. 4.

New Voices from the 1930s

Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 7 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor

Gilles Vonsattel, piano

Frank Corliss, piano

William Grant Still: Dismal Swamp

Carlos Chávez: Piano Concerto

Witold Lutosławski: Symphonic Variations

Karl Amadeus Hartmann: Symphony No. 1, Essay for a Requiem

The rarely-heard masterpieces in this concert spotlight works from the late 1930s, including William Grant Still's evocative portrait of enslaved people taking refuge while seeking freedom, and Karl Amadeus Hartmann's commentary on conditions under the Nazi regime. The program also features Mexican Symphonic Music Director and composer Carlos Chávez's virtuosic Piano Concerto, called "imaginatively scored" and praised for its "elemental strength" and the "originality of its orchestral coloring" by The New York Times at its 1942 premiere. Leading progressive Polish music composer Witold Lutosławski's adventurous Symphonic Variations was written while he was still a student at Warsaw University. His first substantial orchestral work, the Variations contain many folk-like themes.

Tickets priced at $25-$60 are available online at carnegiehall.org, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th & Seventh Avenue. Ticket holders will need to comply with the venue's health and safety requirements, which can be found here.

ROSE THEATER

The Orchestra Now returns to Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall for the fifth season.

Prieto, Falla & Debussy

Sunday, October 31, 2021 at 3 PM

Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor

María Teresa Prieto: piece to be announced at a later date

Manuel De Falla: Sombrero de Tres Picos (The Three-Cornered Hat)

Olivier Messiaen: Tombeau Resplendissant (The Resplendant Tomb)

Claude Debussy: La Mer

Mexican conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, Musical America's 2019 Conductor of the Year and music director of the Orchestra of the Americas, leads TŌN in a diverse program that includes Manuel De Falla's vivid and eloquent ballet score Sombrero de Tres Picos, Debussy's powerful La Mer, and a work by Spanish composer María Teresa Prieto.

Tickets priced at $25-$50 are available online at jazz.org, by calling CenterCharge at 212.721.6500, or at the Jazz at Lincoln Center box office at Broadway & 60th, Ground Floor. Ticket holders will need to comply with the venue's health and safety requirements, which can be found here.

SIGHT & SOUND SERIES AT THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Conductor and music historian Leon Botstein surveys the parallels between orchestral music and the visual arts with three concerts in TŌN's popular Sight & Sound series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This season explores the connections between Beethoven's fascination with the emergence of the first piano; an interest in unconventional artistic and musical forms shared by Stravinsky and Picasso; and the European fascination with the peoples of the New World as expressed by MacDowell, Dvořák, and Delacroix. In each program, a discussion is accompanied by on-screen artworks and musical excerpts performed by the Orchestra, followed by a full performance and audience Q&A.

Beethoven, Cristofori & the Piano's First Century

Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 2 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor

Shai Wosner, piano

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor, and Cristofori's 1720 Grand Piano

At the dawn of the 18th century, Italian instrument maker Bartolomeo Cristofori created what would come to be known as the piano. A century later, it was clear that the instrument would become the defining instrument of Western musical culture. Beethoven's "Emperor" Piano Concerto reveals the composer's obsession with the musical possibilities emerging from the rapidly evolving technology of piano construction.

Cristofori's 1720 Grand Piano is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Musical Instruments collection.

Stravinsky, Picasso & Cubism

Sunday, February 20, 2022 at 2 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor

Blair McMillen, piano

Stravinsky: Concerto for Piano and Winds and Picasso's Man with a Guitar

Upon settling in Paris in the 1920s, Igor Stravinsky formed close friendships with artists like Pablo Picasso, a founder of Cubism, which sought to deconstruct the familiar and reassemble reality through a disciplined, formal approach. The movement inspired Stravinsky to develop a new approach to the construction of musical forms. He loved to perform his Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, one of his earliest "neo-classic" masterpieces.

Picasso's Man with a Guitar is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Modern and Contemporary Art collection.

Dvořák, MacDowell & Delacroix: The New World

Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 2 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor

Edward MacDowell: Suite No. 2, Indian, Dvořák: New World Symphony, second movement, and Eugène Delacroix's The Natchez

From their earliest encounters in the New World, Europeans were mesmerized by the indigenous peoples of North America. French artist Eugène Delacroix painted a Natchez family as they fled the massacre of their tribe up the Mississippi River. Edward MacDowell's Indian Suite incorporated native melodies and rhythms, and the second movement of Antonín Dvořák's New World Symphony was inspired by Longfellow's poem on Hiawatha.

Eugène Delacroix's The Natchez is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 19th and Early 20th Century European Paintings and Sculpture collection.

Tickets priced at $30-$50; 3-concert series $75-$120; bring the kids for $1. All tickets include same-day museum admission. Tickets may be purchased online here, by calling The Met at 212.570.3949, or at The Great Hall box office at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ticket holders will need to comply with the venue's health and safety requirements, which can be found here.

THE FISHER CENTER SERIES AT BARD, Sosnoff Theater

The Orchestra Now's residency at Bard College's Fisher Center renews with 18 concerts and nine different programs including special performances of Handel's Messiah and the Brahms Requiem, and the debut of conductor Leonard Slatkin with TŌN.

Shostakovich & Dawson

Saturday September 11, 2021 at 8 PM

Sunday September 12, 2021 at 2 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor

William L. Dawson: Negro Folk Symphony

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7, Leningrad

William L. Dawson said of his emotionally charged Negro Folk Symphony that he wanted listeners to know it was "unmistakably not the work of a white man." The work is paired with Shostakovich's enormous and patriotic Seventh Symphony, Leningrad, written largely after he had fled the city following the German invasion during WWII.

Slatkin Conducts Brahmsiana

Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 8 PM

Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 2 PM

Leonard Slatkin, conductor

Cindy McTee: Circuits

Brahms: Brahmsiana arr. Leonard Slatkin (World Premiere)

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition, Leonard Slatkin's new arr. of Ravel's orchestration

Internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin makes his debut with TŌN, leading the world premiere of his own arrangement of Brahms melodies, Brahmsiana, and his new arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition, which takes Ravel's famous orchestration and reinstates portions of Mussorgsky's original. The concert opens with Circuits, written by award-winning composer Cindy McTee.

Strauss' Merry Pranks & Bruckner's Fifth

Friday, October 1, 2021 at 8 PM

Saturday, October 2, 2021 at 5 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor

R. Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks

Bruckner: Symphony No. 5

Richard Strauss' audience favorite Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, which chronicles the misadventures of the practical jokester and German peasant folk hero, is presented in contrast to Anton Bruckner's massive Fifth Symphony, which was performed only once during the composer's lifetime. He died having never heard it.

Gil Shaham & Julia Perry

Saturday, November 13, 2021 at 8 PM

Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 2 PM (see program description for Nov 18 Carnegie Hall performance)

Leon Botstein, conductor

Gil Shaham,violin

Scott Wheeler: New Work (World Premiere)

Julia Perry: Stabat Mater

George Frederick Bristow: Symphony No. 4, Arcadian

Handel's Messiah

Saturday December 11, 2021 at 8 PM

Sunday, December 12, 2021 at 2 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor

Vocal soloists from Bard's Graduate Vocal Arts Program to be announced

Bard Festival Chorale, Bard College Chamber Singers

Handel: Messiah

Leon Botstein leads The Orchestra Now, soloists from Bard's Graduate Vocal Arts Program, the Bard Festival Chorale, and the Bard College Chamber Singers in a performance of one of the most popular oratorios of all time.

Tchaikovsky, William Tell & The Little Mermaid

Saturday, February 5, 2022 at 8 PM

Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 2 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor

Rossini: William Tell Overture

Alexander Zemlinsky: The Little Mermaid

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6, Pathétique

The spring 2022 season unfolds with a concert of such audience favorites as Rossini's iconic William Tell Overture and Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Little Mermaid, richly orchestrated by Austrian composer Alexander Zemlinsky. The program closes with Tchaikovsky's final completed symphony, the Pathétique, which the composer called his "Passionate Symphony."

Clara Schumann & Brahms' German Requiem

Saturday April 2, 2022 at 8 PM

Sunday, April 3, 2022 at 2 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor

Anna Polonsky, piano

Vocal soloists from Bard's Graduate Vocal Arts Program to be announced

Bard Festival Chorale, Bard College Chamber Singers

Clara Schumann: Piano Concerto

Brahms: A German Requiem

Clara Schumann began writing her memorable Piano Concerto when she was just 14 years old, already a prodigy on the instrument. This virtuoso work will be performed by acclaimed pianist Anna Polonsky. Later in life, Schumann was close friends with Johannes Brahms. She said his German Requiem "is an immense piece that takes hold of one's whole being like very little else."

Joseph Young & Rachmaninoff

Saturday, April 23, 2022 at 8 PM

Sunday, April 24, 2022 at 2 PM

Joseph Young, conductor

Julia Perry: A Short Piece for Orchestra

Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 3

Julia Perry's riotous Short Work for Orchestra was recorded by the New York Philharmonic in 1965. While much of her work has been neglected, she was a winner of the Boulanger Grand Prix for her Viola Sonata. Rachmaninoff's rhythmically expressive Symphony No. 3 concludes the program. Guest conductor Joseph Young, Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony and Resident Conductor of the National Youth Orchestra-USA at Carnegie Hall, leads the Orchestra.

New Voices from the 1930s

Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 8 PM

Sunday, May 8, 2022 at 2 PM (See program description for May 12 Carnegie Hall performance)

Leon Botstein, conductor

Gilles Vonsattel, piano

Frank Corliss, piano

William Grant Still: Dismal Swamp

Carlos Chávez: Piano Concerto

Witold Lutosławski: Symphonic Variations

Karl Amadeus Hartmann: Symphony No. 1

Tickets $25-$40; 5-Concert Series from $81.25 (35% off); Create Your Own Series from $56.25 (25% off). Tickets are available online at fishercenter.bard.edu, or by calling the Fisher Center at 845.758.7900. Ticket holders will need to comply with the venue's health and safety requirements, which can be found here.

FREE CONCERTS SERIES

TŌN continues its series of free concerts at venues in New York City and beyond, providing families with an opportunity to attend their first orchestral performance and introduce a new generation to classical music.

Britten, Sibelius & Tan Dun

Sunday, Dec 19, 2021 at 4 PM, at Peter Norton Symphony Space, New York City

Zachary Schwartzman, conductor

Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture

Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes

Tan Dun: Symphonic Poem of Three Notes

Sibelius: Symphony No. 5

Mozart & Schumann's Spring Symphony

Saturday, March 19, 2022 at 7 PM, at Hudson Hall, Hudson, NY

Andrés Rivas, conductor

Soloists to be announced

Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante for Four Winds

Ern?' Dohnányi: Concertino for Harp and Chamber Orchestra

Schumann: Symphony No. 1, Spring

Liszt & Bartók

Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 4 PM, at Peter Norton Symphony Space, New York City

Zachary Schwartzman, conductor

Emmerich Kálmán: Gräfin Mariza Overture

Liszt: Les Préludes

Zoltán Kodály: Dances of Galánta

Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra

Tickets: These concerts are FREE, no tickets necessary, advance RSVP suggested. For concerts at Symphony Space, RSVP at symphonyspace.org. For concerts at Hudson Hall, RSVP at hudsonhall.org. Concertgoers will need to comply with the venues health and safety requirements for Hudson Hall and Symphony Space.



UK Premieres of LEAST LIKE THE OTHER, INNOCENCE & More Announced for Royal Opera House Photo
Royal Opera House has announced its must see productions for Spring 2023. Contemporary and much-loved productions to bring in the new year. A thrilling range of opera and ballet will be live in cinemas around the world.

OPERA America Selects Four Teams For The 2022 Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize Photo
OPERA America has announced the eighth cycle of the Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize to four teams of creative artists. The biennial prize recognizes promising stage directors and designers for their ingenuity in bringing operatic work to life for contemporary audiences and connects these rising artists with producers who can advance their careers.

Sarasota Opera Guild To Host 38th Annual Poinsettia Luncheon Photo
The Sarasota Opera Guild will host its 38th Annual Poinsettia Luncheon to be held Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at Michael's on East, 1212 S. East Avenue, Sarasota, starting at 11:30am.

Review: ISABEL LEONARD and PABLO SÁINZ-VILLEGAS Together at The Conrad in La Jolla Photo
Mezzo Isabel Leonard and classical-guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas are stars in their fields. Leonard has sung on two Grammy-winning opera recordings and won a Beverly Sills Artist Award at the Metropolitan Opera--and even guested on Sesame Street. He's garnered 30 international awards, including the Segovia, which he won at age 15, and critics have compared him to that legendary guitarist. Understandably, their recital at the La Jolla Music Society's Conrad sold out more than a month before the performance. Chairs were added on stage for late ticket buyers.


More Hot Stories For You


OPERA America Selects Four Teams For The 2022 Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer PrizeOPERA America Selects Four Teams For The 2022 Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize
December 7, 2022

OPERA America has announced the eighth cycle of the Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize to four teams of creative artists. The biennial prize recognizes promising stage directors and designers for their ingenuity in bringing operatic work to life for contemporary audiences and connects these rising artists with producers who can advance their careers.

Ambur Braid Is Not To Be Missed In Canadian Opera Company's Gripping SALOMEAmbur Braid Is Not To Be Missed In Canadian Opera Company's Gripping SALOME
December 6, 2022

A dance–perhaps the most famous one in history–precedes a macabre kiss and untimely demise in Richard Strauss' Salome, on stage this winter at the Canadian Opera Company.

Pacific Opera Project Presents US Premiere Production Of ERCOLE SU'L TERMODONTEPacific Opera Project Presents US Premiere Production Of ERCOLE SU'L TERMODONTE
December 6, 2022

Pacific Opera Project (POP) presents the US premiere production of the rare Vivaldi opera, Ercole su'l Termodonte, almost 300 years to the day from its original premiere with eight performances at The Highland Park Ebell Club from Friday, January 6, 2023 to Saturday, January 21, 2023.

SAMSON AND DELILAH to be Presented at Seattle Opera for the First Time Since 1965SAMSON AND DELILAH to be Presented at Seattle Opera for the First Time Since 1965
December 6, 2022

For the first time since 1965, Seattle Opera will present Camille Saint-Saëns’ monumental Samson and Delilah (1877), an evocative retelling of the biblical tale of obsession, lust, and revenge.

Rachel Duckett and Thando Mjandana Win The Voice of Black Opera AwardsRachel Duckett and Thando Mjandana Win The Voice of Black Opera Awards
December 6, 2022

Rachel Duckett and Thando Mjandana win the Voice of Black Opera Awards. The soprano and tenor were chosen as winners at the Grand Final concert of the competition, chosen by a panel of judges chaired by internationally renowned tenor and composer Tom Randle.