The Orchestra Now Opens Its New York City Season at Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Sunday, October 31
Guest Conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto Leads the Orchestra and Mezzo-Soprano Solange Merdinian in Works by Debussy, Falla, Messiaen, and Moncayo
Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, October 13, 2021 — The Orchestra Now (TŌN)—the visionary orchestra and master’s degree program founded by Bard College president, conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein—begins its 2021–22 season in New York City on Oct. 31 at Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall. The concert features acclaimed guest conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, Musical America’s 2019Conductorof the Year and music director of both the Orchestra of the Americas and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, the country’s most important orchestra. He leads TŌN and mezzo-soprano Solange Merdinian in Falla’s ballet score El Sombrero de Tres Picos, along with Debussy’s La Mer, Messiaen’s Le tombeau resplendissant, and Mexican composer José Pablo Moncayo’s Huapango.
TŌN launched its 2021–22 season with three programs at the Fisher Center at Bard in September and early October, which included the premiere of Brahmsiana by conductor/composer Leonard Slatkin, who made his debut with TŌN performing works by Cindy McTee and Mussorgsky; and music director Leon Bostein conducting Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7, Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, and Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5.
The following concert in New York City is at Carnegie Hall on Nov. 18 and features violinist Gil Shaham performing the world premiere of Scott Wheeler’s Birds of America, mezzo-soprano Briana Hunter in Julia Perry’s Stabat Mater, and Bristow’s Symphony No. 4.
Prieto, Falla & Debussy
Sunday, October 31, 2021 at 3 PM
Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center
Carlos Miguel Prieto, conductor
Solange Merdinian, mezzo-soprano
Messiaen: Le tombeau resplendissant (The Resplendent Tomb)
Debussy: La Mer (The Sea)
Falla: El Sombrero de Tres Picos (The Three-Cornered Hat)
José Pablo Moncayo: Huapango
The diverse program features French, Mexican, and Spanish composers, including Messiaen’s Le tombeau resplendissant, which he described as a type of epitaph in four main sections and was written when he was only 24. The next work is Debussy’s milestone, impressionistic interpretation of La Mer (The Sea) with its three movements that he preferred to call “symphonic sketches.” Manuel de Falla’s music to the ballet El Sombrero de Tres Picos was commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev and premiered in 1919. The soloist in this work, Armenian-American mezzo-soprano Solange Merdinian, is a 2009 graduate of Bard Conservatory’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program, and co-founder and co-artistic director of the non-profit organization New Docta and the New Docta International Festival in Argentina. She won the 2019 Pro Musicis Competition, completed a four-year world tour of Einstein on the Beach with the Philip Glass Ensemble, and has performed at Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall. Closing the program is Mexican composer/conductor José Pablo Moncayo’s Huapango. Moncayo was commissioned by Carlos Chávez to write a piece based on the folkloric music of the Veracruz area. Closely associated with Mexican nationalism, the resulting piece remains one of his most popular works.
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 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 65 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 ton.bard.edu.
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 LeonBotstein.com.
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