WHAT’S NEW

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.

>EXPLORE THE SEASON

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.”

>MORE INFO ON PERFORMANCE TODAY

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.”

>MORE INFO ON WMHT LIVE

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.”

>MORE INFO ON WWFM

New Video Series: 60-Second Thumbnails

We are proud to debut our newest video series, 60-Second Thumbnails.

In each video, TŌN oboist Kelly Mozeik gives you a quick rundown of all the essential information you might want to know before hearing a piece performed in concert. Watch for new videos in this series before each TŌN concert at Bard’s Fisher Center, Carnegie Hall, and Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater.

TŌN’s Elias Rodriguez on Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1

Elias Rodriguez, winner of The Orchestra Now’s 2017 Concerto Competition, performed Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 with the orchestra on February 17 and 18, 2018. Below are his thoughts on this piece. 

There is no doubt that the clarinet was Carl Maria von Weber’s favorite wind instrument. Weber’s contributions to clarinet literature are significant and of comparable importance to that of Mozart and Brahms. It was only during the second half of the 18th century that the clarinet was sufficiently developed to become generally accepted as an orchestral and solo instrument. And between the years 1811 and 1816, Weber wrote no fewer than seven compositions featuring the clarinet. These include the Quintet Op. 34, a concertino, two concerti, and the Grand Duo Concertant, Op. 48, all of which (except the Duo) were written for the renowned clarinetist of the period, Heinrich Baermann (1784–1847). The First Concerto, composed in 1811, came about from a commission by Maximilian Joseph, King of Bavaria, after the success that the composer had with his Concertino Op. 26, written just before. The musicians of the orchestra begged Weber to write a concerto for their respective instrument, but to their dismay, he responded by writing a trio of pieces for solo clarinet.

I initially chose this concerto for the first movement theme introduced by the orchestra. From the onset, the music is full of drama. I fell in love with the decorative melodies contrasted by dramatic statements from the orchestra, and there is something captivating to me about the key of F minor, which though somber in sound, allows for a lot of expression—and it is no wonder. Non-clarinetists know Weber prominently for his opera overtures, most notably Der Freischütz, Oberon, and Euryanthe. And this concerto is essentially an opera in one act without words.

In my lessons of this piece, my teacher emphasized the importance of singing through my instrument, and I was encouraged to attend or listen to more opera, in order to better emulate the early German romantic style.

The second movement Adagio resembles largely and demonstrates the influence of the second movement Adagio from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A major, K. 622, written just 20 years before. The melody is melancholic, and the long phrases test the soloist’s air control.

Characteristic of ending most concerti from the Classical and early Romantic period, the third and finale movement is a rondo. In a rondo, a principal theme (typically jovial and light in character) alternates with one or more contrasting themes.

Weber writes a number of expressive markings throughout the concerto, among them con duolo (with pain), morendo (dying), con anima (with soul), lusingando (flattering), scherzando (joking), con fuoco (with fire).

I try to live my life as peaceful as possible, but when it comes to music, bring all of the drama! I’ve known since I was a very young clarinetist that if I ever had the honor to stand in front of an orchestra, I would play Weber, without a second thought.

Photo by Jake Luttinger

Watch the Sight & Sound livestream

Curious about our series Sight & Sound at The Metropolitan Museum of Art? Now you can watch a full concert online!

At Shostakovich, Michelangelo & The Artistic Conscience, conductor and music historian Leon Botstein explored the parallels between Shostakovich’s Suite on Verses of Michelangelo and the artwork of Michelangelo. On-screen artworks were discussed alongside musical excerpts, followed by a full performance with baritone Tyler Duncan, and an audience Q&A.

Check out the event in the video below, as it was streamed live on Facebook.

Get to know the TŌN musicians!

Get to know the outstanding musicians of TŌN on our YouTube channel!

Some of our finest oboe, viola, bassoon, and violin players share their personal stories to give audiences some insight into the musicians’ experience.

Watch the TŌN performance series on YouTube

Find out which pieces our musicians love to play in TŌN’s performance series on YouTube.

Enjoy performances of works by Beethoven, Holst, Bach, and others as performed by TŌN musicians on solo oboe, viola, bassoon, and violin.

TŌN debuts on WMHT Live!

The Orchestra Now is pleased to announce our debut on WMHT Live! Tune in to WMHT-FM 89.1/88.7, serving Eastern New York and Western New England, on Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 6 PM to hear Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain and Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony, conducted by Leon Botstein.

Future broadcasts will take place on Nov 5, 2017; Jan 28, 2018; March 18, 2018; April 8, 2018; and May 20, 2018.

>MORE INFO ON WMHT LIVE

Photo by Matt Dine

TŌN welcomes its newest musicians!

The Orchestra Now is pleased to welcome our newest class of musicians to the program! These 21 graduate students hail from 5 countries and 10 U.S. states, as close as White Plains, NY and as far away as Caracas, Venezuela and Sichuan, China. Collectively, they’ve studied at 30 schools, including The Julliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, Yale School of Music, the Peabody Institute, and Eastman School of Music.

Take a look at their profiles and get to know these talented young musicians:

Violin
Hyunjae Bae
Yurie Mitsuhashi
Lila Vivas Blanco
Weiqiao Wu
Yuqian Zhang

Viola
Yuan Qi

Cello
Kyle Anderson
Danny Poceta

Bass
Joshua DePoint
Casey Karr
Luke Stence

Flute
Matthew Ross
Denis Savelyev

Oboe
Regina Brady
James Jihyun Kim

Bassoon
Carl Gardner

Horn
Ethan Brozka
Anna Lenhart

Timpani/Percussion
William Kaufman
Miles Salerni

Harp
Emily Melendes

Adina Tsai: No guts, no glory

Violin player Adina Tsai is featured in the latest edition of our video series TŌN Close-Ups.

She talks about her earliest musical memories, her favorite parts of playing in The Orchestra Now, and the surprising way livestock have been involved in making violins.

Zachary Silberschlag: I started buzzing and I never looked back

In the latest edition of our video series TŌN Close-Ups, trumpet player Zachary Silberschlag shares stories about his musical adventures as a child, talks about the perks of playing under Leon Botstein, and discusses different types of trumpets.

Omar Shelly: The viola as a question mark

Viola player Omar Shelly stars in the February edition of our video series TŌN Close-Ups.

He talks about the mystery of his instrument, the perks of having a varied taste in music, and what it takes to be part of The Orchestra Now.

Eleanor Lee: Let’s get physical

The January edition of our video series TŌN Close-Ups spotlights cello player Eleanor Lee.

She talks about the physicality of playing an instrument, the link between the cello and the human voice, and her hopes for the future of classical music.

Elias Rodriguez: It’s about who keeps going

Clarinet player Elias Rodriguez is featured in December’s edition of TŌN Close-Ups.

He talks about the versatility of his instrument, his love of the band Coldplay, and what it’s been like bonding with TŌN musicians from all over the world.

Milad Daniari: It started with “Jaws”

We are excited to debut our new video series TŌN Close-Ups, giving you behind-the-scenes access to some of our musicians.

This month we feature bass player Milad Daniari, who talks about the camaraderie among orchestra players, the connection with the audience, and how the movie Jaws helped him choose his instrument.