Schumann & Strauss
SAT 11/19/23 at 4 PM
Performance #254 Season 9, Concert 10
Peter Norton Symphony Space
Zachary Schwartzman conductor
The concert will last approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
PLEASE KEEP PHONE SCREENS DIM Silence all electronic devices
PHOTOS AND VIDEOS ARE ENCOURAGED but only before and after the music
SAMUEL BARBER The School for Scandal Overture
RICHARD STRAUSS Death and Transfiguration
ROBERT SCHUMANN Symphony No. 4
Romanze: Ziemlich langsam
no pause between movements
Barber’s The School for Scandal Overture
Notes by TŌN trombonist Stephen Whimple
Serving as the initial spark in Samuel Barber’s long and illustrious career as his first large orchestral work, The School of Scandal Overture exists as an invigorating, exciting, and lush work that establishes a compositional consistency that would last a lifetime. While studying at the newly formed Curtis Institute of Music at a young age, Barber would win two separate Joseph H. Bearns Prizes in Music, administered by Columbia University. The first in 1929, for his Violin Sonata, and the second in 1933, for this overture.
Barber was known to be a life-long lover of literature, with this overture being a prime example. Rather than serving as the opening of a larger staged work, this overture serves as a musical encapsulation of the 1777 play The School of Scandal, written by Richard Sheridan. The play features several plot lines that begin separately but slowly converge on one another. An uncle deciding whom to give his fortune to (I loved Succession), two nephews competing for a woman’s love, and two women competing for one of the nephew’s attention. There is gossip, drama, disguises, and many other shenanigans—what more could an 18th century audience need?
As mentioned above, this play has drama and high stakes, but at its core, it is very playful and comedic. Most of the music from this overture reflects that. At the beginning, you’ll hear a fanfare and high-energy introduction that brings us to an equally exciting exposition and theme. What follows thematically establishes different characters and plot lines. There are slower themes that emphasize the romance between characters, but also many moments utilized by instrumentation and melody that represent the play’s antagonist, Lady Scandal (a very nuanced name). This overture oscillates between these different ideas and themes in a programmatic way, following the plot of the play to a joyous and celebratory ending that befits an operatic comedy.
R. Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration
Notes by TŌN violinist Enikő Samu
Richard Strauss was a German composer and conductor known for his contributions to late Romantic and early 20th-century music. Death and Transfiguration was composed in 1888, when Strauss was just 24 years old, and it was a significant work that garnered attention in the music world and contributed to Strauss’ rising reputation as a composer of great promise, establishing him as a leading figure in the music world of the late 19th century.
Strauss drew inspiration for the composition from a poem written by Alexander Ritter. The composer followed the structure of Ritter’s poem closely in the composition of the music. Each section of the tone poem corresponds to a specific moment or emotional state in the protagonist’s journey. The piece reflects philosophical ideas about life, death, and the human condition that were prevalent in the Romantic era. It explores the profound questions of existence, mortality, and the possibility of spiritual transcendence. The story is divided into several distinct sections in the piece, each corresponding to different phases of the protagonist’s journey from life to death and transfiguration:
Introduction: The opening section sets the stage for the narrative, representing the protagonist on his deathbed. The music is marked by a sense of gravity and reflection.
The Battle for Life: Following the introduction, the music transitions into a more agitated and tumultuous section. This represents the protagonist’s struggle with the challenges and conflicts of life. The orchestra becomes more dynamic and dissonant as it portrays the battles and trials faced by the dying man.
Memories and Reflections: After the intense battle section, the music shifts to a more lyrical and reflective character. This part represents the dying man’s memories, reflections on his past, and moments of introspection. The music becomes more melodic and expressive, with a sense of nostalgia and contemplation.
Transfiguration: The final section of the composition is the transfiguration itself. Here, the music undergoes a dramatic transformation, becoming serene and radiant. This section symbolizes the protagonist’s spiritual transfiguration, as he transcends earthly suffering and attains a state of peace and enlightenment. The music soars to its highest emotional point, and the orchestration is marked by lush harmonies and a sense of transcendence.
Strauss’ tone poems played a role in blurring the lines between symphonic and operatic music. His orchestration techniques and use of leitmotifs, borrowed from the world of opera, were instrumental in creating richly expressive symphonic compositions. The influence of this innovation can be heard in the works of composers like Gustav Mahler, Richard Wagner, and Dmitri Shostakovich, who also incorporated narrative and programmatic elements into their compositions.
Schumann’s Symphony No. 4
Notes by TŌN cellist Jihyun Hwang
Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 is one of the most significant works in the Romantic symphonic repertoire. Composed in 1841 and revised in 1851, this symphony reflects an intense emotional and creative period in the composer’s life. He was trying to find his own symphonic voice while struggling with his ongoing battles with depression and mental health issues. Three years later, he attempted suicide and admitted himself to a mental hospital in Bonn, Germany.
All four movements are played without a break, creating a sense of musical storytelling that transcends individual movements. The first movement starts with a melancholic and mysterious introduction that leads into a lively allegro. Schumann masterfully blends contrasting themes and moods throughout this movement.
The second movement is a lyrical, introspective interlude. A solo cello and oboe play a sweet melody that vaguely resembles material heard in the introduction of the first movement. This duet returns with the opening theme of the movement, which ends with a quiet segue to the third movement.
The third movement is playful and spirited, changing the mood immediately. It is characterized by its lively rhythmic energy and charming melodies. After the scherzo, the trio contains music for the violins that is similar to the middle section of the second movement. The music slows down into a mysterious segue to the last movement that contains a reference to the primary theme of the first movement.
Finally, the fourth movement is a triumphant and exhilarating conclusion to the symphony, with a lively tempo and intricate orchestration. This movement features memorable melodies, driving rhythms, and a robust orchestration that showcases the full power of the orchestra, perfectly encapsulating the symphony’s emotional journey.
Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 is a powerful and emotionally charged work that reflects the composer’s personal struggles and creative genius. Its innovative orchestration and structural elements make it a significant contribution to the Romantic symphonic tradition, and it remains a beloved and frequently performed piece in the classical music repertoire.
ZACHARY SCHWARTZMAN conductor
Zachary Schwartzman has conducted around the United States, in Brazil, England, Bosnia, and Mexico. His orchestral performances have been featured on NPR, including a national broadcast on “Performance Today.” A recipient of the career development grant from the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation, he has served as assistant conductor for the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opera Atelier (Toronto), Berkshire Opera Festival, Opéra Français de New York, L’Ensemble orchestral de Paris, Gotham Chamber Opera, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Connecticut Grand Opera, and Opera Omaha, among others. He was associate conductor for two seasons with New York City Opera, as well as conductor in their VOX series, and has been associate/assistant conductor for fifteen productions at Glimmerglass Opera, where he conducted performances of Carmen and the world premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck.
Mr. Schwartzman’s credits as assistant conductor include recordings for Albany Records, Bridge Records, Naxos Records, Hyperion Records, and a Grammy-nominated world-premiere recording for Chandos Records. He had a twelve-year tenure as music director of the Blue Hill Troupe and has been assistant conductor for the American Symphony Orchestra since 2012. He has appeared as both assistant conductor and conductor at Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival at The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. He is currently resident conductor of The Orchestra Now (TŌN) and music director of the Bard College Community Orchestra. In addition to degrees in Piano Performance and Orchestral Conducting, he earned a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Oberlin College.
THE ORCHESTRA NOW
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of vibrant young musicians from across the globe who are making orchestral music relevant to 21st-century audiences by sharing their unique personal insights in a welcoming environment. Hand-picked from the world’s leading conservatories—including the Yale School of Music, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Royal Academy of Music, and the New England Conservatory of Music—the members of TŌN are enlightening curious minds by giving on-stage introductions and demonstrations, writing concert notes from the musicians’ perspective, and having one-on-one discussions with patrons during intermissions.
Conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein, whom The New York Times said “draws rich, expressive playing from the orchestra,” founded TŌN in 2015 as a graduate program at Bard College, where he is also president. TŌN offers both a three-year master’s degree in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies and a two-year advanced certificate in Orchestra Studies. The orchestra’s home base is the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center at Bard, where it performs multiple concerts each season and takes part in the annual Bard Music Festival. It also performs regularly at the finest venues in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others across NYC and beyond. HuffPost, who has called TŌN’s performances “dramatic and intense,” praises these concerts as “an opportunity to see talented musicians early in their careers.”
The orchestra has performed with many distinguished guest conductors and soloists, including Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Järvi, Gil Shaham, Fabio Luisi, Joan Tower, Vadim Repin, Hans Graf, Peter Serkin, Naomi Woo, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, and JoAnn Falletta. Among TŌN’s many recordings are albums featuring pianists Piers Lane, Anna Shelest, and Orion Weiss; Buried Alive with baritone Michael Nagy, which includes the first recording in almost 60 years—and only the second recording ever—of Othmar Schoeck’s song-cycle Lebendig begraben; Classics of American Romanticism, featuring the first-ever complete recording of Bristow’s Arcadian Symphony; and the soundtrack to the motion picture Forte. Recordings of TŌN’s live concerts from the Fisher Center can be heard on Classical WMHT-FM and WWFM The Classical Network, and are featured regularly on Performance Today, broadcast nationwide.
Explore upcoming concerts, see what our musicians have to say, and more at ton.bard.edu.
Leon Botstein Music Director
Samuel Frois Concertmaster
Haley Maurer Gillia
Shengjia (Sherry) Zhang
Leonardo Pineda ’15 TŌN ’19
Yaewon Choi Principal
Julián Andrés Rey Peñaranda
Angeles Hoyos not performing in this concert
Emmanuel Koh TŌN ’19 Principal
Andrea Natalia Torres-Álvarez
Tania Ladino Ramirez
Yuri Ahn Principal
Elvira Hoyos not performing in this concert
Jihyun Hwang not performing in this concert
Rowan Puig Davis Principal
Holdan Silva Acosta
Milad Daniari TŌN ’18
Luke Stence TŌN ’22
Olivia Chaikin Principal (Barber, Strauss)
Jordan Arbus Principal (Schumann)
Chase McClung Piccolo (Barber)
David Zoschnick Principal (Barber, Strauss)
Quinton Bodnár-Smith Principal (Schumann), English Horn (Barber, Strauss)
Colby Bond Principal (Barber, Strauss)
Zachary Gassenheimer Principal (Schumann), Bass Clarinet (Barber, Strauss)
Miranda Macias Principal (Barber), Contrabassoon (Strauss)
Kylie Bartlett Principal (Strauss)
Han-Yi Huang Principal (Schumann)
Stefan Williams Principal (Barber), Assistant (Strauss)
Tori Boell Principal (Strauss)
Daniel Itzkowitz Principal (Schumann)
Forrest Albano Principal (Barber)
Giulia Rath Principal (Strauss)
Jid-anan Netthai Principal (Schumann)
Stephen Whimple Principal (Barber, Schumann)
Zachary Johnson Principal (Strauss)
Samuel Boeger Bass Trombone
Petra Elek Principal (Barber)
Nick Goodson Principal (Strauss)
Cheng Wei (Ashley) Lim Principal
Violetta Maria Norrie
Neilson Chen not performing in this concert
JUDITH KIM violin
Judith will talk briefly about the Barber and Strauss pieces on stage before the performances.
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Alma maters: University of Washington, Cleveland Institute of Music
Appearances: Pierre Monteux Festival, 2017, 2021; Aspen Music Festival and School, 2018; Kent Blossom Music Festival, 2019; National Repertory Orchestra, 2022
Who is your biggest inspiration? Every singer/songwriter
Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most? Kpop
Favorite non-classical musician or band: (G)I-DLE
If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Electric bass
EVA ROEBUCK cello
Eva will talk briefly about Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 on stage before the performance.
Hometown: Merriam, KS
Alma mater: Cleveland Institute of Music, M.M.; Kansas State University, B.M.
Appearances: Sarasota Orchestra, 2020; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, 2019; Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, 2019; National Repertory Orchestra, 2018, Heartland Chamber Music Festival, 2017
What is your earliest memory of classical music? I remember watching the 1940 movie Fantasia as a child and being absolutely enchanted with the Beethoven Pastoral Symphony scenes with the cherubs, centaurs, fauns, Pegasus, and Bacchus, etc. It’s one of my favorite pieces to this day. Also, I loved the infamous YoYo-Ma episode of Arthur on PBS Kids.
What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it? My answer is constantly changing, but Mahler’s Symphonies 5 and 9 will always hit me hard. It never fails to give me goosebumps when I am surrounded by that immense depth of sound and emotion.
Favorite non-classical musician or band: Alt-J, Anderson .Paak, Esperanza Spalding, Freddie Hubbard, Queen
Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: In 2014 I worked as an English-Mandarin translator for YangMingShan National Park in Taipei.
Piece of advice for a young classical musician: Develop an excellent work ethic sooner in life. Don’t hold your failures up next to someone else’s successes. Be kind to your colleagues, but also remember to be kind to yourself.
The New Way to Celebrate The Orchestra Now
Due to the generosity of some private donors, we have the opportunity to raise an additional $20,000 in matching funds between now and November 21—the 2nd annual TŌNate Tuesday.
TŌNate Tuesday is inspired by Giving Tuesday, the global giving movement designed to counteract the spending holidays of Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a day dedicated to charitable donations.
Inspire Greatness This Holiday Season
–Make your gift in memory of or honor your loved ones with the gift of music.
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Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Felicitas S. Thorne
The Yvonne Nadaud Mai Concertmaster Chair
Made possible by The Mai Family Foundation
Joseph Baxer and Barbara Bacewicz
Michael Dorf Presents
Michael L. Privitera
Charles Doran and Carissa Escober Doran
Helen V. Atlas
Marc and Margaret Cohen, in honor of Colby Bond TŌN ’25
Steven Holl and Dimitra Tsachrelia
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The Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation
Kurt Moschner and Hannelore Wilfert
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Alice Stroup, in memory of Timothy Stroup
Anne-Katrin Spiess Philanthropic Fund at the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies
Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Atkins
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Vincent M. Dicks
Jan M. Guifarro
Kassell Family Foundation of the Jewish Communal Fund
Laurie and Michael Pollock Fund of Fidelity Charitable
Tyler J. Lory and Michael Rauschenberg*
Barry Nalebuff and Helen Kauder
Christine T. Munson
Maury Newburger Foundation
Northwestern Mutual Foundation
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Dan Schwartzman and Julie Nives, in memory of Irwin W. Schwartzman
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The Stanley & Ethel Glen Family Foundation
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Mark Churchill, in honor of Emma Churchill TŌN ’24
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William J. Harper
Stephen J. Hoffman
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Deborah Hoffman Lanser
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Fulvia Masi, in memory of William R. Tanksley
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Arthur S. Leonard
Willa Lewis and Edward Moulin
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Shirley G. Perle
Denise T. Pitcher
George Wachtel/Audience Research & Analysis
Ian Zimmerman ’92
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Brigitte R. Roepke
Diane J. Scrima
Michael and Leslie Weinstock
This list represents gifts made to The Orchestra Now from July 1, 2022 to November 15, 2023.
Thank you for your partnership!
THE ORCHESTRA NOW
Leon Botstein Music Director
James Bagwell Associate Conductor and Academic Director
Jindong Cai Associate Conductor
Zachary Schwartzman Resident Conductor
Andrés Rivas GCP ’17 Assistant ConductorErica Kiesewetter Director of Orchestral Studies
Keisuke Ikuma Artistic Coordinator of Chamber Music
Sima Mitchell First Year Seminar Faculty
Kristin Roca Executive Director
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 Recruitment and Alumni/ae Coordinator
Marketing & Development Staff
Brian J. Heck Director of Marketing
Nicole M. de Jesús ’94 Director of Development
Grace Anne Stage Manager
Board of Trustees
James C. Chambers ’81 Chair
Emily H. Fisher Vice Chair
Brandon Weber ’97 Vice Chair
Elizabeth Ely ’65 Secretary; Life Trustee
Stanley A. Reichel ’65 Treasurer; Life Trustee
Roland J. Augustine
Leon Botstein President of the College, ex officio
Mark E. Brossman
Marcelle Clements ’69 Life Trustee
The Rt. Rev. Andrew M. L. Dietsche Honorary Trustee
Asher B. Edelman ’61 Life Trustee
Kimberly Marteau Emerson
Barbara S. Grossman ’73 Alumni/ae Trustee
Andrew S. Gundlach
Matina S. Horner ex officio
Charles S. Johnson III ’70
Mark N. Kaplan Life Trustee
George A. Kellner
Fredric S. Maxik ’86
Jo Frances Meyer ex officio
Juliet Morrison ’03
James H. Ottaway Jr. Life Trustee
Martin Peretz Life Trustee
Stewart Resnick Life Trustee
David E. Schwab II ’52 Life Trustee
Roger N. Scotland ’93 Alumni/ae Trustee
Mostafiz ShahMohammed ’97
Jonathan Slone ’84
Geoffrey W. Smith
James von Klemperer
Patricia Ross Weis ’52
Leon Botstein President
Coleen Murphy Alexander ’00 Vice President for Administration
Myra Young Armstead Vice President for Academic Inclusive Excellence
Jonathan Becker Executive Vice President; Vice President for Academic Affairs; Director, Center for Civic Engagement
Erin Cannan Vice President for Civic Engagement
Deirdre d’Albertis Vice President; Dean of the College
Malia K. Du Mont ’95 Vice President for Strategy and Policy; Chief of Staff
Peter Gadsby Vice President for Enrollment Management; Registrar
Mark D. Halsey Vice President for Institutional Research and Assessment
Max Kenner ’01 Vice President for Institutional Initiatives; Executive Director, Bard Prison Initiative
Debra Pemstein Vice President for Development and Alumni/ae Affairs
Taun Toay ’05 Senior Vice President; Chief Financial Officer
Stephen Tremaine ’07 Executive Director, Bard Early College; Vice President for Early Colleges
Dumaine Williams ’03 Vice President for Student Affairs; Dean of Early Colleges
THE ORCHESTRA NOW ton.bard.edu / @theorchnow
BARD COLLEGE bard.edu
© 2023 The Orchestra Now
Program and artists subject to change.