Bard Music Festival – Program Nine

August 14

Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater


Remembering Ethel Smyth and Boulanger’s Circle at Home and Abroad

The American Symphony Orchestra’s first concert at the Bard Music Festival opens with Fête galante by Dame Ethel Smyth, a Victorian-born English suffragist whose lovers included the Princesse de Polignac, and whose grand opera The Wreckers received its first fully staged American production at SummerScape 2015.

Program Nine also features the harmonically adventurous Fifth Violin Concerto by Boulanger’s student Grażyna Bacewicż, a revered figure in Poland who merits wider recognition worldwide.

Boulanger’s own reach extended far beyond her homeland, and her impact on American composition was immense. She taught no fewer than eleven Pulitzer Prize laureates, including modernist masters Aaron Copland and Walter Piston, who was one of three Boulanger students to win the award twice. Both composers are represented, Piston by his Fourth Symphony, one of the past century’s finest contributions to the genre, and Copland by the popular and patriotic Lincoln Portrait, a work performed on many significant occasions with such venerable narrators as Eleanor Roosevelt, Barack Obama and the composer himself.

Due to changing health and safety guidelines, our ticketing process begins with a waitlist sign-up this season.


This performance will be available for livestreamed. On the week of the performance—as well as one hour before start time—virtual livestream ticket holders will receive an email from Fisher Center Box Office which will include a private link to the livestream. For more information about livestreams–including viewing best practices–please visit our FAQs. Livestream tickets: $10, purchase here. 


August 14
5 PM
Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater


Ethel Smyth (1858–1944)
   Fête galante (1923)

Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)
   Theme and Variations (1911–14; orch R. Wilson, 2021)

Walter Piston (1894–1976)
Symphony No. 4 (1950)

Aaron Copland (1900–90)
   A Lincoln Portrait (1942)

Grażyna Bacewicż (1909–69)
Violin Concerto No. 5 (1954; U.S. premiere)


Ben Bliss, tenor
Janai Brugger, soprano
Luosha Fang, violin
Joshua Hopkins, baritone
Bard Festival Chorale
James Bagwell, choral director
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, music director