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25th Anniversary Bard Music Festival Opens This Friday 

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Bard Music Festival Celebrates Silver Jubilee with In-Depth Survey of Music by Schubert and His Contemporaries

Named “a highlight of the musical year” by the Wall Street Journal, the world-renowned Bard Music Festival returns to celebrate its 25th anniversary season, crowning Bard SummerScape 2014 with a two-week, in-depth, illuminating exploration of Schubert and His World. Twelve concert programs over the two mid-August weekends (August 8–10 and 15–17), complemented by preconcert lectures, panel discussions, special events, and expert commentary, make up the examination of Franz Schubert, one of the most revered and influential composers of the Western tradition.

Considering Schubert both as he was known in his lifetime and as posterity has come to understand him, Weekend One, The Making of a Romantic Legend (August 8–10), offers an immersion in Schubert’s Vienna, contextualizing the composer’s early life and career within the contradictions of his native city. Weekend Two, A New Aesthetics of Music (August 15–17), addresses the nature of Schubert’s originality and his subsequent legacy and influence. Enriched by a wealth of music from Schubert’s predecessors, contemporaries, and musical descendants, this Silver Jubilee season serves as a fitting reminder of just how much the Bard Music Festival has done, since its founding in 1990, to revitalize the classical concert experience.

The present year is a fitting one in which to honor the composer, for it marks the bicentennial of his setting of Goethe’s Gretchen am Spinnrade, long recognized as Schubert’s first masterpiece, composed on October 19, 1814— a date that has come to be known as the “Birthday of the German Lied.” An elusive composer once overshadowed by Beethoven and Rossini and best known for his lyrical miniatures, Schubert was later sentimentalized as shy and lovelorn but surrounded by jovial friends, and more recently cast as a sexually ambiguous subversive who set the course of music history away from Beethoven’s monumental example. The time is ripe for Bard’s scholarly reappraisal.

A wide range of Schubert’s own music will be performed, from the perennially popular songs to the once-favored, now-forgotten Singspiel Die Verschworenen, to such posthumously canonized masterworks as the “Unfinished” Symphony and String Quintet in C Major, and finally to neglected rarities like his opera Fierrabras, which will be heard in a semi-staged performance as the festival’s final program. Bard will also present music by Schubert’s predecessors, contemporaries, and musical descendants.

Tickets start at $25. For more information visit fishercenter.bard.edu or call 845-758-7900.

Speaking of The Richard B. Fisher Center For The Performing Arts At Bard College

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