Program Led by Leon Botstein Features Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments Performed by Soloist Blair McMillen
|New York, New York, January 20, 2022 — The Orchestra Now (TŌN) presents the second program of the 2021-22 season in its popular Sight & Sound series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on Sunday, February 20. The afternoon features Stravinsky’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments with pianist, recording artist, conductor, and new-music champion Blair McMillen, dubbed “one of the piano’s brilliant stars” by The New York Times. The presentation will draw connections between the corresponding development of new forms in different genres of the arts through the works of Stravinsky and Picasso. In Sight & Sound concerts, conductor and music historian Leon Botstein explores the parallels between orchestral music and the visual arts. On-screen artworks are staged in a lively discussion alongside musical excerpts performed by the Orchestra, followed by a full performance and audience Q&A. The final program of the Sight & Sound series this season takes place on April 10, featuring the music of Dvořák and MacDowell alongside Eugène Delacroix’s painting The Natchez.
|Stravinsky, Picasso & Cubism
Sunday, February 20, 2022 at 2 PMLeon Botstein, conductorBlair McMillen, pianoStravinsky: Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments and Picasso’s Man with a Guitar
Upon settling in Paris in the 1920s, Igor Stravinsky formed close friendships with artists like Pablo Picasso, a founder of Cubism, which sought to deconstruct the familiar and reassemble reality through a disciplined, formal approach. The movement inspired Stravinsky to develop a new approach to the construction of musical forms. He loved to perform his Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, one of his earliest “neo-classic” masterpieces. Tickets priced at $30–$50, include same-day museum admission and may be purchased online here, by calling The Met at 212.570.3949, or at any desk in The Great Hall at The Met Fifth Avenue. Ticket holders will need to comply with the venue’s health and safety requirements, which can be found here.
|The Orchestra Now
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of 61 vibrant young musicians from 13 different countries across the globe: Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Mongolia, Peru, Taiwan, and the United States. 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 Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Järvi, Gil Shaham, Fabio Luisi, Vadim Repin, Hans Graf, Peter Serkin, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, 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. Recent releases include an album of piano concertos with Orion Weiss on Bridge Records, and the soundtrack to the motion picture Forte. 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 ton.bard.edu.
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 LeonBotstein.com.
|Image: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Malaga 1881–1973 Mougins, France). Man with a Guitar (detail), Paris, 1915–16. Watercolor, gouache, resin, and graphite on white wove paper, 12 1/4 × 9 1/2 in. (31.1 × 24.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection, Gift of Leonard A. Lauder, 2016 (2016.237.3). © 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso