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American Symphony Season Opener to Recapture 1913 New York Armory Show, 10/3

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American Symphony Season Opener to Recapture 1913 New York Armory Show, 10/3

The American Symphony Orchestra's upcoming season, full of discoveries and revolution begins with New York Avant-Garde on October 3, 2013. In partnership with the New-York Historical Society's new exhibition and catalog, the ASO recreates the fall-out in music of the famous New York Armory visual arts show of a century ago, in 1913.

That show rocked the New York music scene as it did the visual arts, but its full impact wasn't heard in American music until the early 1920s, and it is that period, which spawned the first pioneers of the country's own musical modernism, that the ASO will bring back to Carnegie Hall.

"The 1913 Armory show," says the ASO's music director Leon Botstein, "was a seminal moment in the history of American art and culture, which led to the sudden embrace of European modernism...people walked out and wrote diatribes and that happened around the music of the 1920's." Whether there will be similar riots at the ASO concert when audiences are again confronted with the shock factor of a composer George Antheil (the self-proclaimed "bad boy of music" whose music had literally caused a riot in Paris), early modernist Aaron Copland, German-trained Charles Griffes, Edgard Varèse and the highly individual Carl Ruggles remains to be seen. "It is unlikely that these composers will be quite as controversial today, but if we can recapture even a fraction of the impact, the excitement, the sheer aliveness that music had for audiences nearly a century ago we'll be serving them well," says Botstein.

Works include George Antheil - A Jazz Symphony, Charles Griffes - Poem, Carl Ruggles -Men and Mountains, Aaron Copland - Symphony for Organ and Orchestra and Edgard Varèse - Amériques (1922 version).

Other events happening in the 2013-2014 Season:

Elliott Carter: An American Original
November 17, 2013 at 8pm (Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage) Conductor: Leon Botstein

A year after Elliott Carter's death, the ASO concert will feature six orchestral works - the Clarinet Concerto, Sound Fields, Warble for Lilac-Time, Voyage, Concerto for Orchestra andPocahontas. The soloist for the Clarinet Concerto will be Anthony McGill. Mary MacKenziewill be the soprano for Warble for Lilac Time, Teresa Buchholz the mezzo in Voyage. Members of Carter's family will be in attendance for the tribute.

Richard Strauss: Feuersnot
December 15, 2013 at 2pm (Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage) Conductor: Leon Botstein

Subtitled "Strauss: Self-Portrait of the Artist," this opera matinee is an extremely rare chance to see Strauss's controversial one-acter Feuersnot ("In Need of Fire"). With an element of autobiography, Strauss revealed some perhaps rather disturbing things about himself with this tale of a sorcerer who deprives a town of its ability to light fire (seen as Strauss taking allegorical revenge on his critics) until they let him take the virginity of the mayor's daughter. The casting is as follows: Schweiker von Gundelfingen - Clay Hilley, tenor, Ortolf Sentlinger - Jeffrey Tucker, bass, Diemut - Jacquelyn Wagner, soprano, Elsbeth - Brenda Patterson, mezzo-soprano, Wigelis - Cynthia Hanna, mezzo-soprano, Margret - Micaëla Oeste, soprano, Kunrad - AlFRed Walker, bass-baritone, Jörg Pöschel - Branch Fields, bass, Kunz Gilgenstock - Ron Loyd, baritone, The Collegiate Chorale Singers, Manhattan Girls Chorus.

This England
January 31, 2014 at 8pm (Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage) Conductor: Leon Botstein

It was an English modernist composer, Elisabeth Luytens, who notoriously described the older school of English composers as writing "cow-pat music". Today there's much wider appreciation for the tradition she lacerated, but it is true that around 1914 there was an explosion of creativity in English music. It became seen internationally as forward-looking in a way that, with one or two exceptions, hadn't been the case for very many years. This concert celebrates that new movement with works as varied as a brass band suite, a film score, the piano concerto reinvented and a great symphony. Namely, Sir Arthur Bliss -Things to Come, Frank Bridge - Phantasm, Robert Simpson - Volcano and Sir William Walton - Symphony No. 2. Venezuelan-born star pianist Sergio Tiempo makes his Carnegie Hall debut in the Bridge Phantasm.

Bruch's Moses
March 27, 2014 at 8pm (Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage) Conductor: Leon Botstein

Shortly before Passover, the ASO performs the oratorio that Bruch himself felt defined his later years. Having steered clear of biblical subjects for a long time, daunted by the success of Mendelssohn in that genre, Bruch came to be obsessed with the idea of a work that would tell the story, as he put it, that "begins where Handel's Israel in Egypt ended" - with the saga of the Israelites in the wilderness. Ironically, this work that Bruch himself rated so highly is all but unheard today, while the same composer's Violin Concerto No. 1 is a staple of our concert halls. Casting is as follows: Moses - Sidney Outlaw, baritone, Aaron - Kirk Dougherty, tenor, Der Engel des Herrn - TaMara Wilson, soprano, The Collegiate Chorale

Forged From Fire
May 30, 2014 at 8pm (Stern Auditorium, Perelman Stage) Conductor: Leon Botstein

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Great War, a fascinating look at the way it gave rise to a new sense of nationalism in music - the patriotic music that defined Germany's imperial ambitions, the new national consciousness of the United States and Poland, and the aspiring nationalism among the Jews of Europe and North America. Works featured include Max Reger - A Patriotic Overture, Charles Ives - Orchestral Set No. 2, Ernest Bloch - IsraelSymphony and Karol Szymanowski - Symphony No. 3. Blair McMillen will be the pianist for the Ives.

The Symphony Space 'Classics Declassified' concerts

As ever, the format remains a first half in which a masterpiece is discussed and explained, followed by a complete performance of the work with the ASO and Leon Botstein after intermission. This season's Classics Declassified concerts feature:

Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 5, "Reformation"
October 27, 2013 at 4pm Conductor: Leon Botstein

Discover how symphonic form and the romantic expression of religious feeling are reconciled in Mendelssohn's popular Reformation Symphony as Leon Botstein and the orchestra present a lively talk, the work in full, and a Q&A.

Schumann's Symphony No. 2
February 23, 2014 at 4pm Conductor: Leon Botstein

Leon Botstein and the orchestra point out the ciphers and quotations in Schumann's 1846 symphony in a spirited discussion, then perform the work in full and take your questions in a Q&A.

Brahms Symphony No. 2
April 13, 2014 at 4pm Conductor: Leon Botstein

The nostalgic beauty of this work is matched by its exuberance and thrilling drama. Leon Botstein and the orchestra guide you through with a vibrant talk with musical excerpts, then perform the complete work, and answer questions in a Q&A.

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