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Opening this Weekend: Bard Music Festival “Stravinsky and His World”

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Opening this Weekend:
24th Annual Bard Music Festival “Stravinsky and His World”

Weekend One | August 9–11
Becoming Stravinsky: From St. Petersburg to Paris
Limited tickets available. Buy today!

Weekend Two | August 16–18
Stravinsky Reinvented: From Paris to Los Angeles

When Igor Stravinsky died in 1971 at the age of almost 90, he was the world’s most famous composer and the most influential figure in 20th-century music—indeed the last classical music composer to make history of any kind. Who was this charismatic and complex composer? What is his legacy? How do we reconcile his compositions with the extensive body of commentary about music and culture he left behind, much of it written with Robert Craft, his longtime associate during his American years?

Stravinsky began his career in his native Russia in the circle of Nicolay Rimsky-Korsakov but rapidly catapulted himself to international notoriety, inspired by the revival of interest in Russian folklore traditions, contact with new French music, and the collaboration with key artists in Sergei Diaghilev’s circle. In the 1920s and 1930s, living in exile in Switzerland and France, Stravinsky pursued a self-consciously “classical” musical aesthetic that rejected late Romantic premises regarding expressiveness and favored linearity and clarity, marked by great rhythmic invention and an uncanny ear for sonority.

In 1939 Stravinsky came to the United States, where he remained until his death. He exerted a profound influence on American musical life, especially after delivering his Norton lectures at Harvard, published as The Poetics of Music. But he also took another turn in his own work, ultimately adapting serial techniques pioneered by Arnold Schoenberg. In his American years, Stravinsky produced a wide array of masterpieces, from symphonies and ballet scores to religious works, including the Requiem Canticles, his last major composition.

The 2013 Bard Music Festival, scheduled to coincide with the centenary of the scandal at the premiere of The Rite of Spring, will explore the full range of this great composer’s elusive and enigmatic personality and career. Through panels, lectures, and concerts, audiences will encounter works by Stravinksy—many of them rare—along with music by his Russian and French contemporaries; his fellow émigrés, including Schoenberg, Hindemith, Bartók, and Eisler; and by Americans he influenced, including Copland, Piston, and Carter.

Bard Music Festival weekends include orchestral concerts by the American Symphony Orchestra, chamber and choral music performances, panel discussions, and special events.

For tickets and information, visit fishercenter.bard.edu or call 845-758-7900.

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