This season, Leon Botstein celebrates his 20th anniversary as Music Director and Principal Conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra. He is co-artistic director of the acclaimed Summerscape and Bard Music Festivals, which take place at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, designed by Frank Gehry for Bard College. He is also Conductor Laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, where he served as Music Director from 2003–2011. He has been president of Bard College in New York since 1975.
Mr. Botstein leads an active schedule as a guest conductor all over the world, and can be heard on numerous recordings, including operas by Strauss, Dukas, and Chausson, as well as works of Shostakovich, Dohnanyi, Liszt, Bruckner, Bartók, Hartmann, Reger, Gliere, Szymanowski, Brahms, Copland, Sessions, Perle, and Rands. Many of his live performances with the American Symphony Orchestra are now available for download on the Internet.
Mr. Botstein is highly regarded as a music historian. He is the editor of The Musical Quarterly and the author of numerous articles and books. Last year he gave 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.