American Symphony Orchestra Opens 2016-2017 Season With Troubled Days of Peace

The American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by music director Leon Botstein, will open its 55th season at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, October 19, 2016. The four-concert Vanguard series begins with a program titled Troubled Days of Peacein which Botstein will lead the Orchestra and the Bard Festival Chorale in concert versions of two one-act operas that examine the turbulent period between the First and Second World Wars: Ernst Krenek's Der Diktator ("The Dictator") and Richard Strauss' Friedenstag ("Days of Peace").

The works are markedly different artistic responses to the rise of tyranny in the 20th century. Krenek's Der Diktator, the work of the young but assured Austrian composer, observes the rise of a charismatic fascist leader, based loosely on Benito Mussolini. In contrast, Strauss completed Friedenstag with a libretto by Joseph Gregor in 1938, when the composer was in his mid-70's. His opera, a thinly veiled anti-war critique set in the 17th century on the last day of the Thirty Years' War, drew controversy and the disfavor of the Nazi regime.

Free to all ticketholders at 7 pm, Leon Botstein will present a lively 30-minute Conductors Notes Q&A session offering context on the program.

ASO: Troubled Days of Peace

Wed, Oct 19, 2016 at 8 pm

Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall

Conductor's Notes Q&A at 7 pm

American Symphony Orchestra

Leon Botstein, conductor

Bard Festival Chorale

James Bagwell, director

Ilana Davidson, Karen Chia-ling Ho and TaMara Wilson, sopranos

Donnie Ray Albert and Steven Eddy, baritones

Mark Duffin, Scott Joiner and Doug Jones, tenors

Carsten Wittmoser, bass-baritone

Ricardo Lugo, bass

Krenek: Der Diktator ("The Dictator")

Strauss: Friedenstag ("Day of Peace")

For more information on the program, click here.

Subscriptions and Tickets: Subscriptions (starting at $75) can be purchased at americansymphony.org and by phone at 212-868-9276. Single tickets, priced at $29, $39, $54, are available at CarnegieHall.org, at the Carnegie box office, or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800. The Conductor's Notes Q&A at 7pm in Stern Auditorium is free with a concert ticket.

American Symphony Orchestra

The American Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski with a mission of making orchestral music accessible and affordable for 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 audiences would otherwise seldom hear performed live.

The Orchestra has made several tours of Asia and Europe, and performed in countless benefits for organizations including the Jerusalem Foundation and PBS. Many of the world's most accomplished soloists have performed with the ASO, including Yo-Yo Ma, Deborah Voigt, and Sarah Chang. The Orchestra has released several recordings on the Telarc, New World, Bridge, Koch, and Vanguard labels, and numerous live performances are also available for digital download. In many cases, these are the only recordings of some of the rare works that have been rediscovered in ASO performances.

The ASO's recent online-only issue of Weber's Euryanthe, recorded at the 2014 Bard Music Festival, was reviewed by the Wall Street Journal as "Musically rich, lyrical and expansive."

Leon Botstein

Conductor and educator Leon Botstein has been music director of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992, co-artistic director of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival since 1990, and president of Bard College since 1975. He is also music director of The Orchestra Now (T?N), a pre-professional orchestra and master's degree program founded by Bard College, and will assume the artistic directorship of the institute of Grafenegg, Austria in 2018. He was the music director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra from 2003-2011, and is now conductor laureate. 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.



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