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American Symphony Orchestra to Present FORGED FROM FIRE, 5/30

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American Symphony Orchestra to Present FORGED FROM FIRE, 5/30

The American Symphony Orchestra, led by Leon Botstein, presents Forged From Fire, the final concert of its 2013-14 Vanguard Series at Carnegie Hall, at 8pm, on May 30. On the eve of the 100th anniversary of World War I, the ASO offers a fascinating look at the patriotic music that defined the imperial ambitions of Germany, the war-inspired music that expressed a new consciousness in Poland and the United States, as well as the aspiring nationalism among the Jews of Europe and North America.

Maestro Leon Botstein shares the stories behind the music in a lively 30-minute Conductor's Notes Q & A at 7pm in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. This event is free for all ticket holders.

The program for the performance features Max Reger - A Patriotic Overture; Charles Ives - Orchestral Set No. 2; Ernest Bloch - Israel Symphony; and Karol Szymanowski - Symphony No. 3.

Performers are Blair McMillen, piano; Denis Sedov, bass; Corey Bix, tenor; and The Collegiate Chorale Singers. James Bagwell is the director.

Tickets are $25 / $35 / $50 and are available at americansymphony.org and by phone at 212-868-9276. Tickets are also available at CarnegieHall.org, at the Carnegie box office, or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800.

The American Symphony Orchestra was founded 50 years ago by Leopold Stokowski, with the avowed intention of making orchestral music accessible and affordable for everyone. Under Music Director Leon Botstein, Stokowski's mission is not only intact but thrives. And beyond that, the ASO has become a pioneer, presenting concerts curated around various themes drawn from the visual arts, literature, politics, and history, and unearthing rarely-performed masterworks for well-deserved revival. These concerts are performed in the Vanguard Series at Carnegie Hall.

The Orchestra also gives the celebrated concert series Classics Declassified at Peter Norton Symphony Space, and regularly performs at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where it appears in a winter subscription series as well as Bard's annual SummerScape Festival and the Bard Music Festival. Many of the world's most accomplished soloists have performed with the ASO, among them Yo-Yo Ma, Deborah Voigt, and Sarah Chang. In addition to CDs released by the Telarc, New World, Bridge, Koch, and Vanguard labels, many live performances by the American Symphony are now available for digital download. In many cases, these are the only existing recordings of some of the rare works that have been rediscovered in ASO performances.

Leon Botstein recently celebrated his 20th year as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. He is also co-Artistic Director of the Summerscape and Bard Music Festivals at Bard College, where Mr. Botstein has been President since 1975. He is also Conductor Laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, where he served as Music Director from 2003-2011. Mr. Botstein leads an active schedule as a guest conductor all over the world, and can be heard on numerous recordings. The Los Angeles Times called this summer's Los Angeles Philharmonic performance under Mr. Botstein "the all-around most compelling performance of anything I've heard all summer at the Bowl."

Highly regarded as a music historian, Mr. Botstein is the editor of The Musical Quarterly and the author of numerous articles and books. Last year he was invited to give the prestigious Tanner Lectures in Berkeley, CA. For his contributions to music he has received the award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Harvard University's prestigious Centennial Award, as well as the Cross of Honor, First Class from the government of Austria. In 2009 he received Carnegie Foundation's Academic Leadership Award, and in 2011 was inducted into the American Philosophical Society. He is also the 2012 recipient of the Leonard Bernstein Award for the Elevation of Music in Society. In 2013, following in the footsteps of Sir John Barbirolli, Otto Klemperer, and others, Mr. Botstein received the Bruckner Society's Julio Kilenyi Medal of Honor for his interpretations of that composer's music.

More information is available at americansymphony.org.

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