Entries by Brian Heck

AUDIO FLASHBACK: Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain

Just in time for Halloween, we offer Mussorgsky’s frantic and fantastical Night on Bald Mountain, which premiered on this day in 1886. Known for its use in movies like Fantasia and The Wizard of Oz, and more recently in Halloween commercials for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, this musical poem represents a witches’ sabbath that boils […]


STAY TŌNED, The Orchestra’s New Digital Platform, Has Featured More Than 60 Audio and Video Streams Since April 2020 Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, October 23, 2020 — The Orchestra Now (TŌN) has announced the addition of two more symphonic concerts to be livestreamed for free as part of its fall season. On November 1, Music Director and […]

TŌN IN: Concertos for Strings

Last Saturday TŌN’s resident conductor, Zachary Schwartzman, led the orchestra in a streaming concert featuring 20th-Century concertos and other works for string orchestra by Polish composers Grażyna Bacewicz and Witold Lutosławski, Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů, and Brazilian composer M. Camargo Guarnieri. Scroll down below the video for basic program info and timings, or click here to […]

AUDIO FLASHBACK: Egon Wellesz’s Prospero’s Incantations

Today we’re offering two Audio Flashbacks of works that were inspired by the plays of Shakespeare. Austrian composer Egon Wellesz was born 135 years ago this Wednesday. His 1936 Prospero’s Incantations sets five important characters and moments from Shakespeare’s The Tempest into individual movements. Though it was written 84 years ago, we performed the U.S. premiere of […]

AUDIO FLASHBACK: Joseph Joachim’s Hamlet Overture

Today we’re offering two Audio Flashbacks of works that were inspired by the plays of Shakespeare. Joseph Joachim—who was one of the leading violinists of his day, a favorite of Brahms—composed his Hamlet Overture at age 21, and it premiered 167 years ago this month. Listen for Hamlet’s inner turmoil, indecisive and mysterious, reflected in […]

M. Camargo Guarnieri’s Concerto for String Orchestra and Percussion

Notes by TŌN percussionist Charles Gillette An Unusual Pairing Scored for strings, timpani, and two snare drums, M. Camargo Guarnieri’s Concerto for Strings and Percussion is an unusual pairing of two sections in the orchestra that rarely play together. The piece is less of a concerto in the traditional sense as it doesn’t feature any one particular instrument or […]

Grażnya Bacewicz’s Concerto for String Orchestra

Notes by TŌN violist Sean Flynn The Concerto for String Orchestra by Grażyna Bacewicz is considered to be the composer’s finest work. In what is known as the “neoclassical” style, Bacewicz utilizes forms and melodic elements from the Baroque and Classical eras in tandem with modern rhythms and harmonies. This combination allows the piece to be accessible to even a […]

Witold Lutosławski’s Overture for Strings

Notes by TŌN cellist Cameron Collins Witold Lutosławski’s Overture for Strings was written in 1949 and premiered in November of the same year in Czechoslovakia by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra. This lesser known work by Lutosławski was written between two of his more famous works for orchestra, his Symphony No. 1, completed in 1947, and his Concerto for […]

TŌN IN: Out of the Silence—Program Two

This Throwback Thursday, revisit the second program from our recent series Out of the Silence, presented with the Bard Music Festival, the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and the Fisher Center at Bard. In this video, TŌN’s assistant conductor, Andrés Rivas, leads Jessie Montgomery’s Strum; associate conductor James Bagwell conducts Alvin Singleton’s After Choice; resident conductor […]