Just an hour and 10 minutes west of Tanglewood is a music festival of an entirely different artistic vision. Both festivals include incredible musicians, but the Bard Music Festival in Annandale-on-Hudson’s programming focus features just one composer each summer. The creative team develops two weeks of events that tell the story of one composer’s life: their creative milieu, collaborators and influences, along with the literature, visual art, theatre, philosophy, and politics of the time in which the music was written.   The Bard Music Festival was founded in 1990 to promote this new way of understanding and presenting the history of music to a contemporary audience. The 2017 festival is focusing on the composer Chopin. In sixteen programs, the artistic director and staff lead the audience on a journey through an amazing array of programs recreating and dialoguing about culture in 1800s Europe. The concerts include music of Polish composer such as Mendelssohn, Moscheles, Szymanowski, Liszt, and dozens of others from all over the world. This week’s playlist cannot come close to reflecting the breadth and creativity of the festival. However, I hope you enjoy this short list of selections, including some wonderful, less well-known works.

ST#123 – Summer Music Festivals III The Bard Music Festival