Nicholas Bardonnay, photographer & multimedia artist
Nicholas Bardonnay is a photographer, multimedia artist, and the Creative Director & CEO of Westwater Arts.
Founded in 1973, Westwater Arts has created multimedia experiences for more than one million classical music lovers. To date, over 195 U.S. and international orchestras have programmed their groundbreaking art form: symphonic photochoreography. Westwater Arts’ visual repertoire is set to music by Dvořák, Mahler, Copland, Shostakovich and 22 other renowned composers.
Since joining Westwater Arts in 2009, Nicholas has photographed, produced, and performed over a dozen photochoreography pieces. Some recent projects have taken him to many of our beautiful national parks, Iceland, Mexico and the Czech Republic. His creative process begins with either a visual concept or a musical work, then he pairs one with the other. During concerts, Nicholas uses multiple digital projectors to fill a large panoramic screen with hundreds of tightly choreographed image transitions, which he live-cues from memory. He has worked on more than 120 concerts with orchestras in cities across the U.S. as well as Scotland, England, Singapore, Canada, Poland and Germany. When Nicholas is not traveling for concerts or photographing new “visual concertos,” you can usually find him on the road in his vintage Airstream or planning his next big bike adventure.
For this special concert with the WFSO, Nicholas is presenting three visual concertos: Mágico, Rodeo!, and a newly commissioned piece featuring the photography of Wichita Falls’s own, Frank Yeager.
Mágico is choreographed to Moncayo’s Huapango—his most beloved work. The piece celebrates the beautiful diversity, warmth and cultural richness of our neighbor to the south, Mexico—both in music and images.
Transporting us to a place both familiar, and yet, one-of-a-kind, is the new WFSO commission exploring the grandeur of Yellowstone. This experience combines the timeless Largo movement from Dvořák’s New World Symphony with Frank Yeager’s wonderful photography spanning his many years documenting the special landscapes, plants and animals of America’s first national park.
Finally, closing out the concert is Rodeo!, which is set to Copland’s synonymous work. The piece portrays the excitement of a lively small-town rodeo from behind the scenes, with a backdrop of sweeping western landscapes and centuries of ranching heritage in the American West.
Learn more about Nicholas and his collaborative art form at WestwaterArts.com.
Frank Yeager, Photographer
The photos featured in Music in Pictures are but a small window into the gifted eye, well-honed skill and deft timing of photographer, Frank Yeager.
Frank Yeager has taken pictures most of his adult life. Early photos naturally centered around family activities and portraits. Inspired by his mother-in-law Elizabeth Prothro, a well-known local photographer, he began including flowers and fauna in his “hobby” portfolio.
In 2000, while in the mountains of Colorado, taking photos took on a whole new meaning. With an inherent eye for color, lighting and composition, Frank embraced the challenge of capturing the fascinating and stunningly beautiful surroundings he found. A hobby became a passion. He became totally immersed in capturing the moment. Through the lens of his camera — he makes time stand still. He prefers using a handheld camera sans tripod. His subjects, featured in five limited edition books, include ponderous bison, graceful fowl, swaying aspens, and majestic mountains.
A long-time resident of Wichita Falls, Frank counts among his blessings, being the husband of Kay Prothro Yeager, father of Kathryn Elizabeth Yeager and Linda Anne Yeager and grandfather of Andrew, Nick, Lara and Yeager.