Concerts and Events

All concerts are free and open to the public.

We are delighted, as ever, to offer this outstanding concert series free of charge and hope you will join us often.

Fall 2016

August 2016
Aug 28 (Sun) 8:00pm Welcome Concert for the Class of 2020

Presented by members of the music department faculty: Gail Archer, organ, James Ruff, tenor and early Gaelic wire harp, Anna Polonsky, piano, Brian Mann, piano, Sophie Shao, cello, and Richard Wilson, piano.

September 2016
Sep 10 (Sat) 3:00pm "27" The Verdi documentary film project. Documentary Film-in-progress screening plus Q & A with the filmmaker.

Film-maker and writer August Ventura will present scenes from his documentary film-in-progress "27", about the enduring legacy of Giuseppe Verdi whose twenty-seven operas are venerated in surprising ways, both heartfelt and hilarious, by the citizens of Parma, Italy, an opera town like no other!

Co-sponsored by the Italian Department.

Sep 18 (Sun) 3:00pm Who Wants Love? Cabaret and Film Songs by Franz Waxman

Robert Osborne, bass-baritone, and Richard Gordon, piano.

Sep 24 (Sat) 8:00pm Julian Lage Trio

Heralded by the New York Times as “one of jazz’s breezier virtuosos, possessed of an unflappable technical facility and seemingly boundless curiosity,” Julian Lage performs selections from his latest album, Arclight, joined by trio members Scott Colley, double bass, and Kenny Wollesen, drums.

A Dickinson-Kayden Event

Sep 25 (Sun) 3:00pm Todd Crow, piano

Schubert Sonatas in G Major, D. 894, and in B-flat Major, D. 960.

October 2016
Oct 1 (Sat) 8:00pm The Gaels’ Honour: Early Music for Voice and Harp from Gaelic Scotland and Ireland

James Ruff, tenor and early Gaelic wire-harp.

‘S ged a thigeadh iad uile, bu leat urram nan Gàidheal’ 
          ‘and even if they all gathered, yours was the Gaels’ honour’ 
                                        – Elegy for Mac Gille Chaluim of Raasay, 1671

Tenor, James Ruff, turns his love and long experience of early music in the direction of the Highlands and Islands: transcribing and arranging early courtly music from Irish and Scottish manuscripts and from Oral Tradition, and presenting an evening of rarely heard gems – centuries-old love songs and formal laments sung in both Scottish Gaelic and Irish, while accompanying himself on the high art-music instrument of the Gael: the wire-strung Clarsach.  Played for a thousand years until its dénouement around 1800, this instrument, technique and repertoire have been brought back to life only in recent decades. You’ll relish the bell-like tones of the Clarsach, bringing to life the music of Turlough O’Carolan and other harper composers, and enjoy its historic kinship with the evocative Pibroch of the Highland Pipes. A magical evening you won’t forget!

Oct 2 (Sun) 3:00pm Abendmusik: Early Music String Band presents Italians in Vienna

The 17th century string ensemble showcases rarely performed repertoire composed during and after Europe’s Thirty Years War, as it relates to the cultivation of 17th century German style.

Oct 8 (Sat) 8:00pm Vassar College Orchestra

Eduardo Navega, conductor.

Dvořák Slavonic Dance, Op. 46 No. 4, and Mendelssohn Symphony No. 5, “Reformation.”

Oct 27 (Thu) 8:00pm Frank Cassara, percussion. With Ralph Ferris, viola, and dancers Molissa Fenley and Christiana Axelsen.
Ms. Fenley choreographs works by Glass, Xenakis, Cage, and others in an infusion of music and dance.
Oct 29 (Sat) 8:00pm Antioch Chamber Ensemble

Under the leadership of founding Artistic Director Joshua Copeland, the ensemble presents a diverse program of the world’s greatest choral literature, both sacred and secular, with a core group of ten to twelve of the New York Metropolitan area’s finest singers.

Oct 30 (Sun) 3:00pm Mary Nessinger, mezzo-soprano. With Dominique Labelle, soprano, and Sara Laimon, piano

Featuring La Chanson d’Éve by Gabriel Fauré and Das Buch der Hängenden Gärten by Arnold Schoenberg.

November 2016
Nov 5 (Sat) 1:30pm Senior Recital: Zhanwen Phil Chen, piano
Nov 5 (Sat) 8:00pm Vassar College Women’s Chorus

Contemporary works for female voices by Ko Matsushita, Morten Lauridsen, Gwyneth Walker, and Jocelyn Hagen’s How to Survive Winter with professional string ensemble.  Christine Howlett, conductor.

Nov 6 (Sun) 3:00pm Escher String Quartet with Todd Crow, piano

The highly acclaimed ensemble is known for its profound musical insight and rare tonal beauty. The quartet’s Vassar debut features Mozart’s Quartet in B-flat Major, K.589, Bartok’s Quartet No. 2, Op. 17, and Dvořák’s Piano Quintet with faculty member Todd Crow.

Nov 12 (Sat) 4:00pm Senior Recital: Carlin Purcell, piano
Nov 12 (Sat) 8:00pm Vassar College Choir

Joseph Haydn’s Missa in Angustiis (Lord Nelson Mass) with professional orchestra.  Christine Howlett, conductor.

Nov 13 (Sun) 3:00pm Vassar College and Community Wind Ensemble

James Osborn, conductor

Nov 19 (Sat) 8:00pm Vassar College Orchestra

Eduardo Navega, conductor.

Nov 20 (Sun) 3:00pm Vassar College Madrigal Singers

Drew Minter, conductor. "Tender Mercies." Music of Byrd, Allegri, Purcell, Poulenc, Thompson, Distler, Mealor, Gjeilo, and others. 

December 2016
Dec 2 (Fri) 8:00pm Vassar College Jazz Ensembles

James Osborn, director.

Dec 3 (Sat) 3:00pm Chamber Music Recital

Featuring students of the Vassar College Chamber Music Program. Eduardo Navega, director.

Dec 4 (Sun) 7:00pm A Service of Lessons and Carols

Christine Howlett and Drew Minter, conductors. Vassar College Choir, Madrigal Singers, and Women’s Chorus, and Cappella Festiva Chamber and Treble Choir. This annual Christmas service includes readings, choral anthems, a commissioned work by James Fitzwilliam, and congregational carols that culminates in a candle lighting ceremony.

Chapel

All events not otherwise noted take place in Skinner Hall of Music and are free and open to the public. Programs are subject to change. For further information and up-to-date details on all Vassar College Department of Music concerts, please call (845) 437-7294. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Latecomers will be seated at the performers’ discretion. All audience members are to be seated. Food and beverages are not permitted in the Recital Hall. All electronic devices must be silenced during performances.