Musicians Playing

Faculty & Staff


Music Director

Leon Botstein is the president of Bard College, has been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra for 30 years, and is the conductor laureate and principal guest conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony. He has performed and recorded with major orchestras throughout the world, including the LA Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian National Orchestra, and Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, among others. He is also artistic codirector of Bard SummerScape, which each year presents a fully-staged opera and celebrates the music world of a selected composer in the Bard Music Festival.

Academic Director and Associate Conductor

James Bagwell is a noted conductor of both orchestras and choruses. He has been choral director of the Bard Festival Chorale since 2003, and is principal guest conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. He has been director of The Collegiate Chorale and The Dessoff Choirs. He regularly performs in the Cincinnati May Festival and guest conducts regularly throughout the country. Since 2002 he has been on the music faculty of Bard College and has taught at the Bard College Conservatory of Music.

Associate Conductor

Jindong Cai is the director of the US-China Music Institute and a professor of music at the Bard College Conservatory of Music. Prior to joining Bard he was a professor of performance at Stanford University. Over the 30 years of his career in the United States, Maestro Cai has established himself as an active and dynamic conductor, scholar of Western classical music in China, and leading advocate of music from across Asia. He is a three-time recipient of the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music.

Resident Conductor

Zachary Schwartzman has conducted throughout the United States and in such countries as Brazil, England, and Bosnia. He is the music director of Blue Hill Troupe, and has been assistant conductor at the American Symphony Orchestra and the Bard Music Festival since 2012. He was formerly house conductor of The Gilmmerglass Festival, and was assistant conductor at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Opera Atelier, among others.

Guest Conductors

Guest Conductors have included Fabio Luisi, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, JoAnn Falletta, Neeme Järvi, Hans Graf, Joseph Young, Carlos Miguel Prieto, Oleg Caetani, Federico Cortese, Jan Latham-Koenig, and Marcelo Lehninger.

Director of Orchestral Studies

Erica Kiesewetter is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where she studied with Ivan Galamian. She has been Concertmaster of the American Symphony Orchestra, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Opera Orchestra of New York, New York Pops, Stamford Symphony, Long Island Philharmonic, and Amici New York. She has toured internationally and recorded with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She has been Visiting Associate Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies at Bard College since 2010.

Artistic Coordinator of Chamber Music

Keisuke Ikuma is an oboe and english horn player in the New York metropolitan area. He is a member of Orchestra Lumos and has played with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, and New Japan Philharmonic, among others. He is a woodwind faculty member at Bard Conservatory, and received his B.M. from the Manhattan School of Music.

First Year Seminar

Sima Mitchell teaches the First Year Seminar in Orchestral Studies, which focuses on writing and thinking about repertoire.

Professional Studies

Leonardo Pineda, a 2015 graduate of the Bard College Conservatory and 2019 graduate of The Orchestra Now, teaches TŌN's Professional Development course, which is an opportunity for students to consistently shape their ideas into action, and to create range by learning skills that will be helpful after graduation..

Artistic Staff

Leon Botstein Music Director 845.758.7423

James Bagwell Academic Director and Associate Conductor 845.758.7356

Jindong Cai Associate Conductor 845.758.7026

Zachary Schwartzman Resident Conductor

Andrés Rivas GCP ’17 Assistant Conductor

Erica Kiesewetter Director of Orchestral Studies 845.758.7196

Keisuke Ikuma Artistic Coordinator of Chamber Music

Sima Mitchell First Year Seminar Faculty

Administrative Staff

Kristin Roca Executive Director 845.752.2403

Marielle Metivier Orchestra Manager

Viktor Tóth ’16 TŌN ’21 Eastern/Central European Music Curator and Assistant Orchestra Manager

Matt Walley TŌN ’19 Program Coordinator and Admissions

Sebastian Danila Music Preparer and Researcher

Benjamin Oatmen Librarian

Leonardo Pineda ’15 TŌN ’19 Director of Youth Music Education

Shawn Hutchison TŌN ’22 Recruitment and Alumni/ae Coordinator

Marketing & Development Staff

Brian J. Heck Director of Marketing [email protected]

Nicole M. de Jesús ’94 Director of Development 845.758.7988

Pascal Nadon Public Relations 

Photo by Matt Dine