At Bard Music West, we seek to understand our world through music. We're an annual festival that explores the mind of a 20th-century or contemporary composer, delving into the ideas, obsessions, movements, and people that captured his or her imagination. Our events range backwards and forwards in time, across musical genres and creative media.
Bard Music West Quartet at the 2017 inaugural festival, The World of György Ligeti. Photo by Kevin Fryer.
Bard Music West is a new generation of the Bard Music Festival. Founded in 1990, the annual Bard Music Festival presents a series of thematic programs that explore the music, life, and times of a featured composer. Performances, informal talks, special events, and a book of essays, all designed to appeal to a broad audience, serve to place the work of the composer in historical, cultural, and social context. The Festival is committed to bringing to life rarely heard works, investigating the influences of popular and folk music on classical compositions, and broadening and diversifying the audience for classical music.
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Described as "brilliant" by the San Francisco Classical Voice, San Francisco-based pianist Allegra Chapman is dedicated to engaging with new audiences as performer and presenter. She performs regularly as both soloist and chamber musician, and has given concerts at Alice Tully Hall, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series, the New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, and the Bard Music Festival. Her performances have been broadcast on WQXR New York, WFMT Chicago, and KALW San Francisco. An avid chamber musician, Allegra performs with various Bay Area ensembles and has collaborated with musicians Blair McMillan, Ian Swensen, and members of International Contemporary Ensemble and the Orion String Quartet. In addition to her performing career, Allegra enjoys a thriving teaching studio and has coached chamber music ensembles at many institutions, including San Francisco State University. She is a faculty member at Cal Music Prep Academy and the Xi’an International Music Festival.
Passionate about performing and promoting the music of today, Allegra has worked with composers Joan Tower and Charles Wuorinen and premiered the works of many young composers. Allegra studied with Jeremy Denk and Peter Serkin at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, graduating in the inaugural class with degrees in Piano Performance and History. She continued her studies as a scholarship student at The Juilliard School where she earned her Master of Music degree with Seymour Lipkin and Julian Martin. Allegra previously studied with John McCarthy and has also worked with Dr. Sharon Mann at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
To learn more, please visit allegrachapman.com.
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Laura Gynon is an active performer and presenter of cello and chamber music in the San Francisco Bay Area. Described as "stunning" by the SF Examiner, Laura has performed with the American Bach Soloists, LiveOak, the unconducted orchestra One Found Sound, and as a founding member of the baroque chamber ensemble Musa. As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with luminaries including Kim Kashkashian, Krista Bennion-Feeney, Geoff Nuttall, Bonnie Hampton, Paul Hersh, and Ian Swensen. She is also Artistic Director of Bay Area Concerts at Home, a chamber music series that takes place entirely in the living rooms around the Bay Area. Recent festival appearances include the Oregon Bach Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Taos School of Music, and the International Piatigorsky Cello Masterclasses at USC.
Laura is dedicated to promoting the music of today, and spearheaded Musa’s “Art Inspiring Art” commissioning project, now in its third year. A devoted teacher, Laura has an active studio in San Francisco and is a teaching artist with Chamber Music by the Bay, as well as on faculty at California Music Preparatory Academy and the Pacific Crest Music Festival. Laura earned degrees from Yale University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she graduated with an M.M. in cello performance and an Artist Certificate in chamber music as a student of Jennifer Culp. She earned an added emphasis in Historical Performance through her studies with baroque cellist and viola da gambist Elisabeth Reed and harpsichordist Corey Jamason.
To learn more, please visit lauragaynon.com