Nadia Boulanger & Ernest Chausson Highlight Bard Summerscape’s 2020 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The Bard SummerScape has announced its 2020 season celebrating the Life and Times of Pioneering Parisian Polymath Nadia Boulanger, with Seven-Week Arts Festival in New York’s Hudson Valley. For the purpose of this article we will only focus on the vocal performances.


This season will mark the first fully-staged American presentation of Chausson’s “King Arthur,” directed by award-winner Mary Birnbaum. Sets will be designed by Obie, Henry Hewes, and Princess Grace Award-winner Riccardo Hernandez and costumes by Barrymore Award-winner Oana Botez. Norman Garrett will sing the title role while Raehann Bryce-Davis will interpret Guinevere and tenor Matthew White will take on Lancelot. The presentation will feature the Bard Festival Chorale and American Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leon Botstein.

Performance Dates: July 24 – August 2, 2020

Bard Music Festival 

This year’s composer will be composer Nadia Boulanger, who will be the first woman to come into Bard’s festival spotlight. The festival will showcase performances of Boulanger’s music as well as music by her numerous students George Antheil, Grażyna Bacewicz, Burt Bacharach, Daniel Barenboim, Lennox Berkeley, Marc Blitzstein, Donald Byrd, Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, John Eliot Gardiner, Philip Glass, Roy Harris, Quincy Jones, Dinu Lipatti, Gian Carlo Menotti, Thea Musgrave, Per Nørgård, Astor Piazzolla, Walter Piston, Louise Talma and Virgil Thomson. There will also be music by Fauré, Raoul Pugno, Louis Vierne and Charles Marie Widor; her Parisian contemporaries, like Claude Debussy, Olivier Messiaen, Francis Poulenc, Maurice Ravel, Erik Satie, and expats George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Igor Stravinsky.

Performance Dates: August 7–9, Weekend One explores Music in Paris in the first half of the 20th century & August 14–16, Weekend Two addresses The 20th-Century Legacy of Nadia Boulanger