Soloists to lead an evening of bold classical works

The American Symphony Orchestra will once again be presenting two evenings of works that promise to thrill even die-hard classical music fans.

The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College presents the opening concert of the 2012–13 season of the popular American Symphony Orchestra (ASO) series on Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13, at 8pm in the Sosnoff Theater. The concert will be conducted by Bard College President Leon Botstein, music director, with a preconcert talk by Peter Laki, visiting associate professor of music at Bard College, beginning at 7pm.

Christopher Gibbs, James H. Ottaway Jr. professor of music, discussed the offerings. “The first half of the concert features two winners of the Bard Conservatory concerto competition,” he said, referring to David Nagy, a bassoonist and Péter Blága, a tuba player. “Both are from Hungary, and they will be playing short concertos, both playing two pieces.”

Nagy, who moved to the United States at age 18 to pursue double degrees at Bard’s Conservatory of Music where he is a Bitó Scholar, will perform works by Carl Maria von Weber, an early 19th century German composer: Bassoon Concerto, Op. 75 and Andante and Rondo Ungarese, J. 158, Op. 35.

Blága, who completed his undergraduate work at the Ferenc Lizst Music Academy in Budapest, where he studied with László Szabó, will perform Serge Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14. “Rachmaninoff wrote for piano and pure vocal sound,” said Gibbs, “and (the work) became so famous that it’s played with lots of different instruments. In this case, it’s going to be played with the tuba.”

Blága will also perform Menachem Zur’s Tuba Concerto. Zur is a contemporary Israeli composer, and the work is “relatively recent and not a recorded piece,” explained Gibbs.

The variety of work presented by these two musicians is key. “There is a bassoon piece from the 19th century, the Rachmaninoff in the 20th century, and this one (Zur’s concerto) in 21st century,” said Gibbs.

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