Press Releases

The Orchestra Now Performs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Peter Norton Symphony Space on December 5 & 19, 2021

Sight & Sound Series Features Pianist Shai Wosner in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5
Resident Conductor Zachary Schwartzman Leads a Free Concert

New York, New York, November 17, 2021The Orchestra Now (TŌN) performs two concerts in Manhattan in December, one with guest pianist Shai Wosner at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of the Orchestra’s popular Sight & Sound series (Dec. 5); and a free concert at Peter Norton Symphony Space offering works by Berlioz, Britten, Tan Dun, and Sibelius led by TŌN’s resident conductor Zachary Schwartzman (Dec. 19).

In addition, TŌN also presents two performances of Handel’s Messiah at the Fisher Center at Bard conducted by Leon Botstein with soloists from the Bard Conservatory Graduate Vocal Arts Program, along with the Bard Festival Chorale, and the Bard College Chamber Singers (Dec. 11-12).

Beethoven, Cristofori & the Piano’s First Century
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium
Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 2 PM
Leon Botstein, conductor
Shai Wosner, piano
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor, and Cristofori’s 1720 Grand Piano
As part of the Orchestra’s Sight & Sound series at the Met Museum, conductor and music historian Leon Botstein surveys the parallels between orchestral music and the visual arts. This installment focuses on Italian instrument maker Bartolomeo Cristofori, who deserves to be credited as the inventor of the piano. Beethoven’s “Emperor” Piano Concerto reveals the composer’s fascination with the musical possibilities emerging from the rapidly evolving technology of piano construction.

Cristofori’s Grand Piano is on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Musical Instruments collection.

Tickets priced at $30–$50; Three-concert series from $75; All tickets include same-day museum admission and may be purchased online here, by calling The Met at 212.570.3949, or at any desk in The Great Hall at The Met Fifth Avenue. Ticket holders will need to comply with the venue’s health and safety requirements, which can be found here. Children under the age of 12 may not attend performances at this time.

Britten, Sibelius & Tan Dun
Peter Norton Symphony Space
Sunday, Dec 19, 2021 at 4 PM
Zachary Schwartzman, conductor
Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture
Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
Tan Dun: Symphonic Poem of Three Notes
Sibelius: Symphony No. 5
The Orchestra returns to Symphony Space with a free concert that opens with Berlioz’ lively Roman Carnival Overture, music that came from his opera Benvenuto Cellini, a work widely panned at its 1838 Paris premiere.  Next on the program is Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes, the composer’s first successful opera, which tells the tale of a fisherman pursued to death by local villagers.  Tan Dun’s Symphonic Poem of Three Notes follows with a score that expands the traditional orchestra with the sounds of wind, stones, and car brake drums. The program closes with Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony, written to celebrate his 50th birthday.  The performance will be led by TŌN’s resident conductor Zachary Schwartzman. He is also assistant conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra, former music director of the Blue Hill Troupe, and has served as assistant conductor for Deutsche Opera Berlin and Glimmerglass Opera.

Tickets: This concert is 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 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

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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