Founded in 2015 by Bard College President Leon Botstein with the goal of making orchestral music relevant to 21st-century audiences, The Orchestra NOW is made up of 80 hand-picked musicians from more than 12 countries. Under the baton of conductor and Bard educator James Bagwell, the ensemble will present two programs this month at the college as part of its current residency there. The concert series kicks off this weekend with back-to-back performances of Gershwin’s An American in Paris.
Written by Gershwin in 1928, the piece was heavily influenced by jazz and by the sights and sounds of Paris when the composer was living there in the 1920s. Outside of Rhapsody in Blue, it’s arguably his greatest and best-known work, and inspired the 1951 Hollywood musical of the same name.
In this promotional trailer, Botstein explains the concepts behind The Orchestra Now and discusses the upcoming season:
The Orchestra NOW conducted by James Bagwell will perform Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Schumann’s Symphony No. 2, and Jennifer Higdon’s Blue Cathedral at the Fisher Center’s Sosnoff Theater in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, on February 3 at 8pm and February 4 at 2pm. The Orchestra NOW conducted by Leon Botstein returns on February 17 and 18 for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 and Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1. Tickets are $25. For more information, call (845) 758-7900 or visit http://fishercenter.bard.edu/.