Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Experience Music as the Bronsons Might Have

Much of what many of us think of as the classics of chamber music was composed in the 18th century, but the 19th century may have been chamber music's finest moment. In the 18th century, the music we know as chamber music was typically performed in a palace chamber, but in the 19th century, the works of Haydn, Handel, and Mozart would likely have been performed, in Europe and America, by amateur or professional musicians in the homes of wealthy folk who were not kings and queens.

It's not hard to imagine that Dr. Oliver Bronson and his wife, Joanna, might have invited friends and family--the crème de la crème of Hudson Valley society in the mid-19th century--to their home on the edge of Hudson (now a National Historic Landmark) to hear chamber music in the glorious suite of octagonal rooms which was part of the addition to their home designed by Alexander Jackson Davis in 1849. This Sunday, June 19, Historic Hudson re-creates the intimate musical experience that Oliver and Joanna might have offered their guests more than a century and a half ago.

At 2 p.m. this Sunday, musicians from The Orchestra Now of Bard College will perform quartets and trios by Haydn, Handel, and Mozart, in the very space where our Oliver and Joanna fantasy happened--the suite of octagonal rooms in the 1849 addition of the Dr. Oliver Bronson House. The Orchestra Now, which was founded in 2015, is an innovative training orchestra and master's degree program at Bard College, led by conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein.

Seating for this "time and again" experience is limited, but the cost is very reasonable: $25 for members of Historic Hudson; $35 for nonmembers. The concert will be followed by a reception with the musicians. Secure your tickets now at, or send a request for a reservation to

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