American Symphony Orchestra Announces Details of 60th Anniversary Season

The American Symphony Orchestra celebrates its return to the stage and its 60th anniversary season in 2021-22 with four full-orchestra programs at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, and a free opening concert titled Mahler in New York at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on December 16. The opening program focuses on composers whom Mahler had championed during his years in New York.

AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

Additional highlights comprise the U.S. Premiere of Sergei Taneyev’s massive final work, At the Reading of a Psalm (January 28, 2022); an all-Duke Ellington program—cancelled at the start of the pandemic—featuring jazz pianist Marcus Roberts and his Trio with such works as Black, Brown, and Beige SuiteSophisticated Lady; and Night Creature for Jazz Band and Orchestra (March 24, 2022); and a free closing program of living American PulitzerPrize-winning composers including Melinda Wagner, Richard Wernick, Shulamit Ran, and a world premiere by Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra with legendary electric violinist Tracy Silverman (June 5, 2022). .

Now in its 60th season, the American Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski, with the mission of providing music within the means of everyone. Music Director Leon Botstein expanded that mission when he joined the ASO in 1992, creating thematic concerts that explore music from the perspective of the visual arts, literature, religion, and history, and reviving rarely performed works that audiences would otherwise never have a chance to hear performed live.

Nothing can compare to the thrill of live performances. We are overjoyed at our return to the stage after the restrictions of the past year and to once again be able to play for our beloved audiences in person. To celebrate this especially meaningful event on the occasion of our 60th anniversary season makes it even more significant.

American Symphony Orchestra Music Director Leon Botstein

Leon Botstein provides the musical context for most of the concert programs in lively, 30-minute Conductor’s Notes Q&A sessions. These discussions, animated learning opportunities for both new concertgoers and music connoisseurs alike, begin one hour before each concert and are free for all ticket holders.

AMERICAN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Leon Botstein

Leon Botstein has been music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992. He is also music director of The Orchestra Now, an innovative training orchestra composed of top musicians from around the world. He is co-artistic director of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival, which take place at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where he has been president since 1975. He is also conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, where he served as music director from 2003–11. In 2018, he assumed artistic directorship of Campus Grafenegg and Grafenegg Academy in Austria. Mr. Botstein also has an active career as a guest conductor with orchestras around the globe, and has made numerous recordings, as well as being a prolific author and music historian. He is the recipient of numerous honors for his contributions to the music industry. In 2019, The New York Times named Leon Botstein a “champion of overlooked works…who has tirelessly worked to bring to light worthy scores by neglected composers.”

Mahler in New York

Thursday, December 16, 2021, 8 pm, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam AveConductor’s Notes Q&A 7 pm. This free 60th anniversary performance opens the ASO season in the glorious Cathedral of St. John the Divine with a survey of some of the composers whom Mahler had championed during his time in New York, including George Whitefield Chadwick, Alphons Diepenbrock, and Henry Hadley. Mahler’s famous Adagio from his Symphony No. 10 will also be performed.Taylor Raven, mezzo-sopranoGeorge Whitefield Chadwick: Melpomene OvertureHenry Hadley: The Culprit Fay, Op. 62Alphons Diepenbrock: Hymne an die NachtGustav Mahler: Adagio from Symphony No. 10 

Tickets: The performance is free, reservations are required and can be made online at americansymphony.org. Ticket holders will need to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 using a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to enter the venue and details can be found here.

Sergei Taneyev’s At the Reading of a Psalm, U.S. Premiere

Friday, January 28, 2022, 8 pm, Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage) Conductor’s Notes Q&A 7 pm to be confirmed closer to the date as part of the venue’s guidelines The ASO returns to Carnegie Hall for its Vanguard Series with the U.S. Premiere of Sergei Taneyev’s final work, At the Reading of a Psalm. Conceived as a massive statement of Russian Orthodox faith at the onset of WWI, this large-scale cantata for full orchestra, double chorus, and vocal soloists showcases the dramatic effect of Taneyev’s contrapuntal mastery.Wendy Bryn Harmer, sopranoEve Gigliotti, mezzo-sopranoJoshua Blue, tenorHarold Wilson, bassBard Festival ChoraleFirst Movementi.      Chorus (Allegro tempestoso)ii.     Double Chorus (Andante sostenuto)iii.    Chorus. Triple Fugue (Fuga a tre soggetti, Andante – Allegro molto)Second Movementiv.   Chorus (Allegro moderato – Fuga. Allegro tenebroso)v.    Quartet (Andante)vi.   Quartet and Chorus (Adagio ma non troppo)Third Movementvii.  Interlude (Allegro appassionato)viii. Aria (Alto Solo) (Adagio piu tosto largo)ix.   Double Chorus (Finale) (Adagio pietoso e molto cantabile-Allegro moderato-Allegro molto) 

Tickets: Priced at $25–$65, tickets are available at carnegiehall.org, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or visiting the box office at 57th St & 7th Ave. Ticket holders will need to follow the venue’s guidelines and show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 using a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to enter the building.

Duke Ellington + Marcus Roberts Trio

Thursday, March 24, 2022, 8 pm, Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage)Conductor’s Notes Q&A 7 pm to be confirmed closer to the date as part of the venue’s guidelinesThe American Symphony Orchestra toasts the genre-defying genius of Duke Ellington with an evening including New World A-Comin’ and Three Black Kings for jazz trio and full orchestra with renowned jazz pianist Marcus Roberts. Originally scheduled for March 2020 but canceled due to the pandemic, the concert features Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Catherine Russell. Roberts worked with the ASO in United We Play, a short film featuring three world premieres commissioned by ASO and released in December 2020 on the Orchestra’s streaming platform ASO Online.Marcus Roberts Trio    Marcus Roberts, piano    Rodney Jordan, bass    Jason Marsalis, drumsCatherine Russell, vocalistAll-Duke EllingtonBlack, Brown, and Beige Suite (Arr. Maurice Peress)Satin Doll (Arr. Chuck Israels)Harlem (Arr. Luther Henderson & Maurice Peress)Sophisticated Lady (Arr. Morton Gould)New World A Comin’ (Arr. Maurice Peress)Three Black Kings (Completed by Mercer Ellington, Arr. Luther Henderson)Night Creature for Jazz Band and Orchestra (Arr. Luther Henderson, Ed. Gunther Schuller) 

Tickets: Priced at $25–$65, tickets go on sale December 22 and are available at carnegiehall.org, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or visiting the box office at 57th St & 7th Ave. Ticket holders will need to follow the venue’s guidelines and show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 using a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to enter the building.

American Masters

Sunday, June 5, 2022, 8 pm, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, Broadway at 60th StreetConductor’s Notes Q&A 7 pmThe ASO offers another free performance to close its 60th anniversary season. In line with the ASO’s long history of championing American artists, the closing concert offers a trio of American Pulitzer Prize-winning living composers including Melinda Wagner and two of her mentors, Richard Wernick and Shulamit Ran. Philadelphia-born Melinda Wagner’s Concerto for Flute, Strings, and Percussion was distinguished for its well-crafted flute solo. Boston native Richard Wernick’s Viola Concerto—written for violist Walter Trampler and Leon Botstein (who conducted the 1987 premiere)—alludes to the well-known Dylan Thomas poem “Do not go gentle into that good night.” Shulamit Ran’s Symphony, commissioned by The Philadelphia Orchestra, also won the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award the same year as her 1991 Pulitzer. The program’s highlight is the world premiere of Roberto Sierra’s newly commissioned Concerto for Electric Violin, which presents a mixture of Sierra’s Latin-influenced ideas and modern compositional techniques through the voice of the electric violin, performed by the renowned electric violinist Tracy Silverman.Tracy Silverman, violinRoberto Sierra: Concerto for Electric Violin (World Premiere)Melinda Wagner: Concerto for Flute, Strings, and Percussion (work awarded with 1999 Pulitzer Prize)Richard Wernick: Viola Concerto (“Do Not Go Gentle…”)Shulamit Ran: Symphony (work awarded with 1991 Pulitzer Prize) 

Tickets are free but required. Ticketing and reservation access information will be available in early 2022 at americansymphony.org and jazz.org. Ticket holders will need to follow the venue’s guidelines and show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 using a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to enter the building.

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