Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, August 28, 2020 — The Orchestra Now (TŌN) has just released a new CD on Bridge Records titled Buried Alive, recorded at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in November 2019. The Orchestra is led by conductor Leon Botstein and features German baritone Michael Nagy in Othmar Schoeck’s song cycle Buried Alive—adapted from Gottfried Keller’s poem Lebendig begraben—about a man who wakes up to find he has been buried by mistake. This release marks only the second recording ever of Lebendig begraben, since a 1962 recording with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau almost 60 years ago. The album also includes Honegger’s wildly rhythmic Rugby, written to evoke the spirit of the game, and the only known recording of Mitropoulos’ 1929 Concerto Grosso, considered by the composer to be his best work.

All three works on this CD were written in the 1920s, a time of unprecedented experimentation and innovation in all the arts, including music. Composers from Schoenberg to Stravinsky and Bartók to Prokofiev became pioneers of musical modernism and Buried Alive brings together three composers of vastly different backgrounds during that turbulent decade.

Buried Alive, on Bridge Records
Leon Botstein, conductor
Michael Nagy, baritone
The Bard Festival Chorale

Schoeck: Buried Alive
Honegger: Rugby
Mitropoulos: Concerto Grosso

Digital files of the recording are available on request for press use.

To view the full list of TON’s CDs, click here.

The Orchestra Now
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of 72 vibrant young musicians from 14 different countries across the globe: Bulgaria, China, Costa Rica, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Peru, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.K., and the U.S. 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 Juilliard School, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Royal Conservatory of Brussels, and the Curtis Institute 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 they perform multiple concerts each season and take part in the annual Bard Music Festival. They also perform 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 Hans Graf, Neeme Järvi, Vadim Repin, Fabio Luisi, Peter Serkin, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, Zuill Bailey, 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. Upcoming releases include an album of piano concertos with Orion Weiss on Bridge Records. 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. In 2019, the orchestra’s performance with Vadim Repin was live-streamed on The Violin Channel.

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

Mark Primoff
Associate Vice President of Communications
Bard College
Phone: 845.758.7412

TŌN IN: Sunset Serenade on Clarinet

This week’s Thursday video release is from our “Sunset Serenade” series. TŌN clarinetist Viktor Tóth performed an arrangement of the classic Fly Me to the Moon for a physically distanced audience behind the Saugerties Public Library in Saugerties, NY on August 1, 2020.

AUDIO FLASHBACK: Lili Boulanger’s Psalm 130: Du fond de l’abîme (De Profundis)

Our second audio flashback today from our April 2019 concert De Profundis is Lili Boulanger‘s heart-wrenchingly beautiful setting of Psalm 130, Du fond de l’abîme. The composer, who was born 127 years ago this past Friday, wrote this piece while at the peak of a terrible pulmonary illness that would soon cut her life short at age 24. The Orchestra Now performed this work with conductor Leon Botstein, soprano Elizabeth de Trejo, tenor Sean Fallen, and the Bard Festival Chorale, who are under the direction of James Bagwell. You can read the concert notes, written by TŌN clarinetist Rodrigo Orviz Pevida, by clicking here.

AUDIO FLASHBACK: Virgil Thomson’s De Profundis

This Tuesday we offer two audio flashbacks from our April 2019 concert De Profundis. The first is Virgil Thomson‘s choral setting of Psalm 130, performed a cappella by the Bard Festival Chorale, conducted by James Bagwell. The text is below the video, and you can read the concert notes, written by TŌN trumpet player Guillermo García Cuesta, by clicking here.

Out of the deep have I called unto Thee, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice:
O, let Thine ear consider well
the voice of my complaint.

If Thou, Lord, wilt be extreme
to mark what is done amiss,
O, Lord who may abide it?
For there is mercy with Thee,
therefore, shalt Thou be feared.

I look for the Lord,
my soul doth wait for Him.
In His word is my trust.
My soul fleeth after the Lord
before the morning watch,
I say before the morning watch.

O, Israel, trust in the Lord,
for with Him there is mercy,
And with Him is plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel from all his sins.

TŌN IN: Sunset Serenade with viola & cello

On August 5, 2020, musicians from The Orchestra Now performed for a physically distanced audience outside of Old Dutch Church in Kingston, NY as part of TŌN’s “Sunset Serenade” series.

Leonardo Vásquez Chacón viola
Kelly Knox cello

“La Contamanina”
Peruvian folk song
arranged by Leonardo Vásquez Chacón

MUSIC FROM HOME: Woodkid’s “Brooklyn” performed on harp, flute & viola

Three musicians from The Orchestra Now—harpist Emily Melendes, flutist Leanna Ginsburg, and violist Larissa Mapua—got together from their respective homes to perform a cover of the song “Brooklyn” by Woodkid.

Ginsburg says: Emily, Larissa, and I were supposed to perform Debussy’s Trio Sonata this spring. We had just had our first rehearsal right before everything was shut down. I was so excited to be playing with these incredible female musicians, so it was quite a disappointment to have that taken away. ⁣Now we are in different locations, but I wanted to put together something that would commemorate our missed performance. The song is about being separated from loved ones and longing for the place where they are, which I felt was relevant to this time. ⁣I’ll leave you with my favorite line from the song: “Life is easier where we can join our hands.” ⁣

AUDIO FLASHBACK: Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini

Our Audio Flashback this Tuesday is Tchaikovsky’s symphonic fantasia on Dante’s Inferno. In Francesca da Rimini we hear the title character and her lover descend into the circles of Hell, tossed about violently in a whirling storm of souls. Tchaikovsky was initially interested in creating an opera around this story, but the orchestral work he composed instead was an instant success. This performance was recorded at the Fisher Center at Bard in February 2019 under the baton of Leon Botstein. You can read the concert notes, written by TŌN cellist Sarah Schoeffler, by clicking here.

TŌN IN: Sunset Serenade with Viola & Trumpet

As part of The Orchestra Now’s “Sunset Serenade” series, TŌN musicians performed for a physically distanced audience at Opus 40 Sculpture Park on July 26, 2020.

Bach Cello Suite No. 3
VII. Gigue
Sean Flynn viola

Theo Charlier Études transcendantes
No. 2: Du Style
Guillermo García Cuesta trumpet

AUDIO FLASHBACK: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9

Oh, the joy! Given everything that’s going on in the world right now, we hope you’ll find it soothing to take an hour to luxuriate in one of the greatest symphonies of all time, Beethoven‘s Ninth. This performance was recorded in October 2017 at the Fisher Center at Bard, and features conductor Leon Botstein, soprano Chloé Olivia Moore, mezzo-soprano Teresa Buchholz, tenor John Pickle, bass-baritone Alfred Walker, the Bard College Chamber Singers, and the Bard Festival Chorale.