Fisher Center at Bard to Host Groundbreaking Concert for New Building Designed by Maya Lin

The concert will feature a rare performance of Béla Bartók’s The Wooden Prince conducted by Leon Botstein. 

By: Sep. 26, 2023
Fisher Center at Bard to Host Groundbreaking Concert for New Building Designed by Maya Lin

The Fisher Center at Bard will conclude its immensely successful 20th Anniversary Season: Breaking Ground with a public groundbreaking celebration for its new 25,000-square-foot performing arts studio building designed by Maya Lin. The event will feature a special concert, at 5pm, in the Sosnoff Theater, with longtime Fisher Center collaborator Ms. Lisa Fischer and her band Grand Baton, alongside Bard’s own The Orchestra Now conducted by James Bagwell, and a rare performance of Béla Bartók’s The Wooden Prince conducted by Leon Botstein

Tickets to the concert start at $25, with $5 tickets available for Bard students through the Passloff Pass. Premium tickets—including reserved seating for the groundbreaking ceremony, an intimate cocktail reception with Maya Lin at 4 pm, and prime orchestra seat tickets for the concert—can be purchased for $500. Admission to the groundbreaking ceremony, at 3pm, is free. Proceeds from the event will support the Fisher Center’s work. Tickets can be purchased here

Over the course of its first 20 years, the Fisher Center has become a leading incubator of major performing arts productions, such as Daniel Fish’s Tony Award-winning production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!; Pam Tanowitz’s Four Quartets; and, most recently, as part of Bard Summerscape 2023, Justin Peck’s Illinoise. The institution gives precedence to artistic research and education, and the new building will offer artists at all stages of their careers vastly expanded room to explore as they build works from the ground up. It will function as a laboratory for the performing arts, where students and professional artists work side by side, informing each other’s practices and sharing their discoveries and works-in-progress with audiences from the Bard community and the public. The building will contain four state-of-the-art studios for artist residencies, rehearsals, informal performances, and dance and theater classes, connected by gathering hubs. These spaces will provide a home for Fisher Center LAB, the center’s acclaimed residency and commissioning program for professional artists. 

Covered by a sloping, grass-covered roof and responding to the Hudson Valley landscape, the spiral-shaped construction—designed by Lin in collaboration with architects Bialosky and Partners and theater and acoustic consultants Charcoalblue—will appear to emerge from the meadow, encircling a grassy courtyard for outdoor convenings. Once completed, the new building will expand the Fisher Center’s footprint beyond the walls of Frank Gehry’s stunning landmark to become a cultural campus that comprises both the Gehry and Lin buildings. 

Maya Lin’s practice, encompassing art, architecture, and landscape, has made her one of the world’s most sought-after artists. Her recent commissions include the Neilson Library at Smith College, the Museum of Chinese in America in Manhattan, and the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama. She was recently chosen to design a public art installation for the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. In 1981, Lin, then a 21-year-old architecture student, won the design competition for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, which remains one of the most visited public memorials in the world. She is also well known to Hudson Valley residents for Wavefield, her spectacular earthwork at Storm King Art Center.

Funding Credits

The Fisher Center’s 20th anniversary season is generously supported by Jeanne Donovan Fisher, the Martin and Toni Sosnoff Foundation, Felicitas S. Thorne, the Advisory Boards of the Fisher Center at Bard and Bard Music Festival, and Fisher Center and Bard Music Festival members, as well as by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Fisher Center LAB has received funding from members of the Live Arts Bard Creative Council, The Educational Foundation of America, the Lucille Lortel Foundation, and the Fisher Center's Artistic Innovation Fund, with lead support from Rebecca Gold and S. Asher Gelman '06 through the March Forth Foundation.

About the Fisher Center at Bard

The Fisher Center develops, produces, and presents performing arts across disciplines through new productions and context-rich programs that challenge and inspire. As a premier professional performing arts center and a hub for research and education, the Fisher Center supports artists, students, and audiences in the development and examination of artistic ideas, offering perspectives from the past and present as well as visions of the future. The Fisher Center demonstrates Bard’s commitment to the performing arts as a cultural and educational necessity. Home is the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by Frank Gehry and located on the campus of Bard College in New York’s Hudson Valley. The Fisher Center offers outstanding programs to many communities, including the students and faculty of Bard College, and audiences in the Hudson Valley, New York City, across the country, and around the world. Building on a 163-year history as a competitive and innovative undergraduate institution, Bard is committed to enriching culture, public life, and democratic discourse by training tomorrow’s thought leaders.

The Center presents more than 200 world-class events and welcomes 50,000 visitors each year. The Fisher Center supports artists at all stages of their careers and employs more than 300 professional artists annually. The Fisher Center is a powerful catalyst for art-making regionally, nationally, and worldwide. Every year it produces 8 to 10 major new works in various disciplines. Over the past five years, its commissioned productions have been seen in more than 100 communities around the world. During the 2018–2019 season, six Fisher Center productions toured nationally and internationally. In 2019, the Fisher Center won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical for Daniel Fish’s production of Oklahoma!, which began its life in 2007 as an undergraduate production at Bard and was produced professionally in the Fisher Center’s SummerScape Festival in 2015 before transferring to New York City.

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