The theme of this year's festival is "Franz Liszt and His World"; the program includes lectures and roundtable discussions as well as concerts; the musical menu offers a smorgasbord of works by Liszt himself and by composers who influenced or were influenced by him — including Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner, Chopin, Debussy, Donizetti, Franck, Grieg, Hummel, Mussorgsky, Rossini, Wagner and Mr. and Mrs. Schumann. In addition to such Liszt keyboard works as the Transcendental Edtudes, Reminiscences and Ann_es de plerinage, the festival will feature a number of the composer's more rarely-heard tone poems and choral works.
Ensembles in residence are the American Symphony Orchestra — conducted by music director Leon Botstein, who is Bard College's president as well as the festival's artistic director — and the Bard Festival Chorus. Each of the concerts features a variety of performers; among the soloists are pianists Jeremy Denk, Konstantin Scherbakov, Simone Dinerstein, Arnaldo Cohen, Valentina Lisitsa and Piers Lane; violinists Ani Kavafian and Giora Schmidt; and vocalists Nicole Cabell (the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World), Jill Grove, Olga Makarina, Philippe Castagner, Brandon Jovanovich and Christian Van Horn.
Complete information on the 2006 Bard Music Festival is available at www.bard.edu/bmf/2006.