TŌN Alumnus Update: Andrew Borkowski

Over the summer we caught up with one of The Orchestra Now’s first musicians, Andrew Borkowski TŌN ’18, who returned to perform in the 2019 Bard Music Festival (BMF).

Are you excited to be playing in the Bard Music Festival again? How does it compare to playing in other concerts?
I’m excited because the energy surrounding the concerts is always electric. The concerts are very well attended and the anticipation surrounding each one of the programs is palpable. Playing in the Fisher Center is always a joy, and this year’s Korngold program is particularly fun to play and not too challenging!

How did TŌN help prepare you for life as a working musician?
By teaching me that in order to be successful one must hone many skills in addition to playing well, including good communication skills and effective time management. The program schedule, in addition to audition preparation, requires you to plan your practice time as efficiently as possible, as well as planning for much needed rest and time away from the instrument. TŌN requires all musicians to speak publicly before many concerts, and this is a skill that is extremely important to a musician’s ability to connect with an audience. Effective programming is derived from context, and being able to clearly communicate context and meaning to an audience will significantly improve a musician’s ability to build trust in an audience.

Tell us about how your time playing with TŌN and in the Bard Music Festival gave you added experience that you couldn’t get through conservatory training.
Playing in TŌN and BMF builds on conventional conservatory training in a number of ways. First, the experience of playing in a section with largely the same players over the course of 2–3 years is indispensable, and is even more so given the consistent rotation of section/principal playing. The myriad guest conductors is a very valuable learning experience, and along with that comes an expectation of high-level playing at all times. The unorthodox repertoire provides for a diverse learning experience and challenges the musicians in unforeseen ways.

What does it mean to be a classical musician in the 21st century?
Classical musicians today need to be unbelievably well-rounded. Conservatories aren’t doing a good enough job of training musicians to perform well in every context, from orchestra playing to improvisation to recording session work, and its up to the musician to remain open to being flexible, versatile, and unwavering in their commitment to playing at a high level. Building a vast network of musicians for one to rely on for work is equally important, and this comes from taking all work seriously and with a commitment to quality.

Photo by David DeNee

Season Five Now On Sale!

Tickets are now on sale for The Orchestra Now’s 2019–20 concert season. Highlights include:

  • 7 concerts at the Fisher Center at Bard, including a U.S. premiere with guest conductor Hans Graf (Nov 2–3), a celebration of the genius of Beethoven (Feb 8–9), and a performance of Mahler’s massive Resurrection Symphony with the Bard Conservatory Orchestra (May 9–10)
  • 2 concerts at Carnegie Hall, including Stravinsky’s ballet score from The Fairy’s Kiss (Nov 14), and the NYC premiere of the first symphonic poem ever written (Apr 30)
  • The popular Sight & Sound series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, delving into Strauss’ chivalric Don Quixote (Oct 27), and Haydn’s syncopated Clock Symphony (Feb 23), plus the first NYC performance of Honegger’s Symphony No. 1 in 58 years (Dec 8)
  • 2 Sunday matinees at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, with Academy Award-winning composer and conductor Tan Dun (Dec 15), and the world-renowned Leonard Slatkin conducting his own elegy to his late parents (Mar 22)
  • 4 free concerts for the whole family: two at Hudson Hall in Hudson, NY, and two at Peter Norton Symphony Space on the Upper West Side of Manhattan

Subscription packages are also available for our concerts at the Fisher Center at Bard, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Get extra savings when you book at least three concerts!

>Browse the season

Photo by Patrick Arias

Season Five of “Sight & Sound” is now on sale!

Tickets are now available for the 2019–20 season of The Orchestra Now’s popular series Sight & Sound at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. At each event, conductor and music historian Leon Botstein explores the parallels between orchestral music and the visual arts. First, a discussion is accompanied by musical excerpts performed by The Orchestra Now, and on-screen artworks. Then, a full performance and audience Q&A.

In season five we’ll look at the connections between chivalry and StraussDon Quixote, 18th century technology and Haydn‘s The Clock, and the music of Arthur Honegger and the artwork of Félix Vallotton.

3-concert packages start at just $75. Single tickets from $30. All tickets include museum admission.


Photo by David DeNee

Subscriptions Now Available for Season Five at the Fisher Center

Subscription packages for the 2019–20 season of concerts at Bard’s Fisher Center for the Performing Arts are now available. Single concert tickets go on sale in July.

Our 5-Concert Series includes symphonies by Beethoven, Copland, Schubert, Shostakovich, and others.

With our Choose Your Own Series you can choose 3 or more of these concerts, or either of our special event concerts, which feature Stravinsky’s The Fairy’s Kiss, and a performance of Mahler’s massive Resurrection symphony.

For more information on subscription packages, visit our Subscriptions page.
Or visit the Fisher Center Series page to explore the concerts.

Photo by Matt Dine

Calling All Strings!

The Orchestra Now is still accepting applications for all string positions. If you are interested in joining this innovative graduate-level training orchestra and pursuing either a 3-year Master’s Degree or 2-year certificate in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies, we want to hear from you!

Don’t delay, apply today!

For more info on the program, click here.
To apply, click here.

Photo by David DeNee

TŌN’s Musicians Preview Upcoming Performances

Find out what the musicians of The Orchestra Now think about their upcoming performances in our video series This Season With TŌN.

Watch for these enlightening videos before each of our concerts at Bard’s Fisher Center, Carnegie Hall, and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.

Hear TŌN on “Performance Today”

The Orchestra Now will once again be featured on America’s most popular classical music radio program, Performance Today, this Wednesday, November 14, with our performance of Jennifer Higdon’s blue cathedral . Listen online starting at 9 AM Wednesday. Hudson Valley residents can also tune in to WMHT-FM 89.1 or WRHV-FM 88.7 at 8 PM Wednesday evening.

To keep up on all of TŌN’s radio appearances, visit the Watch & Listen page on this website and click on “Radio Schedule.”


TŌN Begins a New Season on WMHT Live!

The Orchestra Now is thrilled to once again have our concerts broadcast on WMHT Live! Tune in to WMHT-FM 89.1/88.7, serving Eastern New York and Western New England, to hear our concerts recorded live at the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.

For a full schedule of upcoming broadcasts, visit the Watch & Listen page on this website and click on “Radio Schedule.”


Meet the Musicians of TŌN

All season long we’ll be introducing you to our fabulous musicians in the video series Meet the Musicians of TŌN.

Get to know a little more about their journeys and what it’s like to pursue music as a career.

TŌN Debuts on WWFM

Starting September 28, 2018, TŌN debuts on WWFM – The Classical Network. Live stream online or listen in NJ and eastern PA on 89.1 FM or 91.1 FM.

To see the schedule of future TŌN appearances on WWFM, visit the Watch & Listen page on this website and click on “Radio Schedule.”