Guest Soloists are Violinists Adele Anthony and Zongheng Zhang, Pianists Blair McMillen and Shai Wosner, and Cellist Peter Wiley

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, March 16, 2021 Music director Leon Botstein leads The Orchestra Now in two spring concerts livestreamed FREE from the Fisher Center at Bard on April 10 and May 1, an exciting return to performing symphonic works with a larger orchestra on stage. The April 10 program features Tania León’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated work Ácana, alongside music by Bernstein, Stravinsky, and Mendelssohn. The May 1 performance is the first concert of a belated two-part tribute to Beethoven’s 250th birthday. The second part will be performed by the Bard Conservatory Orchestra on May 8.

On April 10, Leon Botstein conducts TŌN in Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” Symphony and Bernstein’s Serenade featuring violinist Zongheng Zhang, a winner of the 2020 Bard Conservatory Concerto Competition. Also on the program is Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments with pianist Blair McMillen, hailed by The New York Times as “prodigiously accomplished and exciting,” and the 2008 work Ácana by Cuban-born composer, conductor, and educator Tania León. León’s honors include an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and commissions from the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, among many others.

On May 1, Leon Botstein will lead the Orchestra in the first of two concerts dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven. After the pandemic shutdown, many celebrations planned for the 250th anniversary of his birth were cancelled. The first program in the Belated Beethoven Birthday Celebration series presents the composer’s beloved 5th and 7th Symphonies, as well as his Triple Concerto for violin, cello, and piano featuring Australian-American violinist Adele Anthony, first-prize winner of the prestigious Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in 1996; cellist Peter Wiley, a member of the Beaux Arts Trio from 1987 to 1998; and internationally acclaimed pianist Shai Wosner. The commemoration continues on May 8 at 8PM with Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory and Symphonies No. 3 and 4, performed by the Bard Conservatory Orchestra.

Mendelssohn & Bernstein
Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 8PM ET
The Orchestra Now
Leon Botstein, conductor
Zongheng Zhang, violin (Bard class of 2021)
Blair McMillen, piano
Tania León: Ácana
Bernstein: Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium)
Stravinsky: Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 “Scottish”

Access: Free concert, with a suggested donation of $25-50. RSVP here to receive a direct link to the livestream on the day of the concert. This concert will be available for delayed streaming on TŌN’s digital portal STAY TŌNED, starting on April 15.

Belated Beethoven Birthday Celebration (Part I*)
Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 8PM ET
The Orchestra Now
Leon Botstein, conductor
Adele Anthony, violin
Peter Wiley, cello
Shai Wosner, piano
Ludwig van Beethoven
Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
Triple Concerto in C Major, Op. 56
Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92

Access: Free concert, with a suggested donation of $25-50. RSVP here to receive a direct link to the livestream on the day of the concert. This concert will be available for delayed streaming on TŌN’s digital portal STAY TŌNED, starting on May 6.

This concert is dedicated to the memory of Stuart Stritzler-Levine, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Emeritus Dean of Bard College, who passed away on May 1, 2020. Stritzler-Levine joined the Bard faculty in 1964 and devoted 56 years of continuous service to the College.

*Part 2 of the Beethoven celebration will be presented on May 8 at 8PM and performed by the Bard Conservatory Orchestra.

Since March 2020, TŌN has presented more than 100 audio and video streams on STAY TŌNED, its new portal regrouping of all digital initiatives. Audio content is offered every Tuesday and videos every Thursday. The events feature weekly new and archived audio and video recordings that comprise recitals, chamber music, and symphonic programs, including collaborations with the Bard Music Festival that are also available on the Fisher Center at Bard’s virtual stage, UPSTREAMING. Much of the content is also available on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Bard College Covid-19 Measures and Safety
To adapt to current circumstances, Bard College created detailed protocols for testing and screening, daily monitoring of symptoms, contact tracing, quarantine practices, and physical distancing in the classroom and across the Bard campus. This includes specific protocols for musicians campus-wide in both its undergraduate and graduate programs.

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 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 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.

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


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