Press Releases

The Orchestra Now Presents New Voices From the 1930s, Led by Leon Botstein with Pianists Gilles Vonsattel and Frank Corliss, and Mezzo-Soprano Deborah Nansteel, at Carnegie Hall on May 12, 2022

Zachary Schwartzman Conducts TŌN in a Free Concert Featuring Works by Liszt, Bartók, Kálmán, and Kodály at Peter Norton Symphony Space on May 22

New York, April 8, 2022 — The Orchestra Now (TŌN) performs the final concert in its Carnegie Hall season on Thursday, May 12 at 7 pm, offering seldom-heard masterpieces from the late 1930s. These include pianist Frank Corliss, director of the Bard College Conservatory of Music, in Dismal Swamp, William Grant Still’s 1935 portrait of enslaved people’s flight to freedom; and Swiss soloist and Bard Conservatory faculty member Gilles Vonsattel, called an “immensely talented” and “quietly powerful pianist” (The New York Times) in Carlos Chávez’s dazzling Piano Concerto. The evening also presents Witold Lutosławski’s Symphonic Variations and Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s Symphony No. 1 featuring mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel, who appears courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera, and performs the role of Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor at the opera house this season.

This program will also be performed at the Fisher Center at Bard on May 7-8 and livestreamed for free on both dates. RSVP on the event pages to receive a direct link to the livestream on the day of the concert.

The next TŌN performance in NYC will be a FREE concert of works by Hungarian composers Franz Liszt, Béla Bartók, Emmerich Kálmán, and Zoltán Kodály at Peter Norton Symphony Space on May 22. The program will be led by TŌN resident conductor Zachary Schwartzman, also assistant conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra, previously music director of the Blue Hill Troupe and assistant conductor for Deutsche Oper Berlin and Glimmerglass Opera.

New Voices from the 1930s
Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 7 PM
Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage)
Leon Botstein, conductor
Gilles Vonsattel, piano
Deborah Nansteel, mezzo-soprano
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 performance will present William Grant Still’s moving portrayal of captive peoples seeking freedom, with pianist Frank Corliss; and Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s commentary on conditions under the Nazi regime, with Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Deborah Nansteel. The program also features pianist Gilles Vonsattel performing Mexican Symphonic Orchestra 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 1941 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, 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.

Liszt & Bartók
Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 4 PM
Peter Norton Symphony Space
Zachary Schwartzman, conductor
Emmerich Kálmán: Gräfin Mariza Overture
Franz Liszt: Les Préludes
Zoltán Kodály: Dances of Galánta
Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra
The Orchestra returns to Symphony Space with a free concert offering the works of four Hungarian composers. The performance opens with the overture to Emmerich Kálmán’s 1924 three-act operetta about the tangled love plot of two couples, Gräfin Mariza (Countess Mariza). Next on the program is the best known of Liszt’s 13 symphonic poems, Les Préludes, followed by Kodály’s Dances of Galánta, written to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra in 1933, and full of themes representing the folk songs and heritage of Hungary. The afternoon closes with Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, the composer’s last and most popular work for orchestra, commissioned by conductor Serge Koussevitzky in 1943.

Tickets for this concert are FREE, advance RSVP suggested at Concertgoers will need to comply with the venue’s health and safety requirements, which can be found here.

The Orchestra Now
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of 59 vibrant young musicians from 13 different countries across the globe: Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Mongolia, Peru, Taiwan, and the United States. All share a mission to make 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 Eastman School 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, Vadim Repin, Hans Graf, Peter Serkin, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, and JoAnn Falletta. Recordings featuring The Orchestra Now include two albums of piano concertos with Piers Lane on Hyperion Records, and a Sorel Classics concert recording of pianist Anna Shelest performing works by Anton Rubinstein with TŌN and conductor Neeme Järvi. Buried Alive with baritone Michael Nagy, released on Bridge Records in August 2020, includes the first recording in almost 60 years—and only the second recording ever—of Othmar Schoeck’s song-cycle Lebendig begraben. Recent releases include an album of piano concertos with Orion Weiss on Bridge Records, 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.

For upcoming activities and more detailed information about the musicians, visit

Leon Botstein
Leon Botstein brings a renowned career as both a conductor and educator to his role as music director of The Orchestra Now. He has been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992, artistic co-director of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival since their creation, and president of Bard College since 1975. He was the music director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra from 2003–11 and is now conductor laureate. In 2018, he assumed artistic directorship of Campus Grafenegg and Grafenegg Academy in Austria. Mr. Botstein is also a frequent guest conductor with orchestras around the globe, has made numerous recordings, and is a prolific author and music historian. He is editor of the prestigious The Musical Quarterly and has received many honors for his contributions to music. More info online at

Press Contacts
Pascal Nadon
Pascal Nadon Communications
Phone: 646.234.7088
Email: [email protected]

Mark Primoff
Associate Vice President of Communications
Bard College
Phone: 845.758.7412
Email: [email protected]

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