The concert will be presented at 8 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29. Music director Leon Botstein will conduct the ASO as usual, and a preconcert talk will be given by Christopher Gibbs, James H. Ottaway Jr. professor of Music at Bard, beginning at 6:45 p.m. Featured soloists include Bard College Conservatory of Music Vocal Arts Program students Hannah Goldshlack and Matthew Morris.
Also worthy of note is the fact that the ASO has something special to toot its horns about this opening weekend: Bard alumnus László Z. Bitó, Class of 1960, has donated $9.2 million to the Bard College Conservatory of Music for the construction of a new Conservatory Building. Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new state-of-the-art teaching and performance facility take place this Saturday, October 29 at 11:30 a.m., adjacent to the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Center.
The performance space of the László Z. Bitó ‘60 Conservatory Building, a 145-seat hall that can be configured in a variety of ways, will allow students to reimagine the traditional concert space. It will also features one-touch audio and video recording, as well as live-streaming capability. Designed by Deborah Berke & Partners Architects, the building will contain 15 teaching studios and a lounge, along with a large classroom that can also be used for audio and video recording. The project will use geothermal wells and heat pumps and follow Bard’s environmental best-practice standards. Completion of the building is projected for January 2013.
A refugee from Hungary, Bitó obtained a Ph.D. from Columbia University in medical cell biology. His research led to the development of Xalatan, a drug that has saved the sight of millions of glaucoma sufferers. Among many other honors, he has been awarded the highest recognition in the field of eye research, the Proctor Medal. He must be something of a music-lover as well, and the folks at Bard have every reason to be thankful for his generous vision for his alma mater.
Tickets for the ASO performances go for $25, $35 and $40. Call (845) 758-7900 or visit the Fisher Center website at fishercenter.bard.edu to purchase tickets or for further information.