In 1962, Leopold Stokowski founded the American Symphony Orchestra with the imperative “to offer concerts of great music within the means of everyone.” Thirty years later that imperative has expanded to rebuild audiences for orchestral music by connecting music to a wide range of interests and experiences. The mission of the ASO is to renew live orchestral music as a vital force in contemporary American culture. To this end, the ASO presents thematic programming, in which musical works are curated around ideas drawn from a variety of disciplines such as history, visual arts, science, politics and literature. ASO pursues innovation in concert presentation and is devoted to the promotion of musical education.
In its efforts to increase the constituency for orchestral music by making it once again a relevant and essential experience for a modern, diverse society, the ASO considers itself an organization in the public’s service, and a model for the survival and growth of orchestras in the twenty-first century.