Current Season

Sergei Taneyev, At the Reading of a Psalm

This first United States performance of Taneyev’s masterpiece At the Reading of a Psalm is not only part of the American Symphony Orchestra’s longstanding mission to revive neglected or unknown works of music that merit public performance and rediscovery, but it is taking place several weeks before the opening of the 2022 Bard Music Festival, which this year is dedicated to the life and career of Sergei Rachmaninoff, one of…

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The Cantata

Sergei Taneyev Born November 25, 1856, in Vladimir, Russia Died June 19, 1915 in Zvenigorod, Russia At the Reading of a Psalm Composed in 1915 Premiered on March 11, 1915 in Saint Petersburg, Russia conducted by Serge Koussevitzky Performance Time: Approximately 70 minutes The cantata is not a genre often associated with Russian composers, who are perhaps most famous – at least in the West – for their operas, symphonies,…

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Ficciones, Concerto for Electric Violin and Orchestra

I first read Jorge Luis Borges’ short story El Aleph when I was a student at the University of Puerto Rico. The paradox of a point of light where one could see the totality of everything simultaneously was a moment of revelation to me. In El Aleph what seems empirically impossible is possible. In this first movement I composed dissimilar sections and gestures that only when the movement concludes they…

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Contemporary Continuities

Tonight’s concert features four works by distinguished American composers with long and sustained careers. Each has been recognized and been the recipient of numerous awards; two of the pieces on the program, by Shulamit Ran and Melinda Wagner, won the coveted Pulitzer Prize in the 1990s. The viola concerto by Richard Wernick was written in the late 1980s, a decade after he won the Pulitzer. Roberto Sierra’s work is a…

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American Masters

Melinda Wagner Born February 25, 1957, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Concerto for Flute, Strings, and Percussion Composed in 1998 Premiered on May 30, 1998 in Purchase, New York New York at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College by Westchester Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mark Mandarano with soloist Paul Lustig Dunkel, flute. Performance Time: Approximately 23 Instruments for this performance: timpani, percussion (glockenspiel, crotales, xylophone, triangle, finger cymbal, castanets, vibraphone, chimes,…

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Mahler in New York

Mahler spent a total of about a year and a half in New York, in the course of four extended sojourns between 1907 and 1911. He conducted at the Met and gave numerous concerts with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall; he also visited a dozen American cities on tour. He conducted a wide range of operatic and symphonic repertoire that also included three of his own symphonies as…

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New York and Gustav Mahler

The New York City to which Gustav Mahler arrived in 1907 was the third largest German-speaking city in the world. With its nearly 800,000 Germans, and over 140,000 inhabitants from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, only Berlin and Vienna had more German speakers. Already in the 1870s, the largest German language newspaper in the world was the city’s New Yorker Staats-Zeitung. It had a circulation of over 55,000 readers. A large segment…

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ALL-DUKE ELLINGTON PROGRAM

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington Born April 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. Died May 24, 1974, in New York, NY By the time Duke Ellington was 75 years old, he was perhaps the most lauded composer of not only the 20th century, but possibly of any century. He had been presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, celebrated a birthday at the White House, received the Legion of Honor from France,…

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Duke Ellington

During his three-year sojourn in the United States in the early 1890s—as director of a conservatory here in New York—the world-famous Czech composer Antonin Dvo˘rák observed that if composers in the United States were ever to break away from being trapped in the shadow of Europe’s musical culture and make an original lasting American contribution to the world of music, they had to turn for inspiration to two sources for…

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