2024-2025 Season Press Release

June 25, 2024

New York City


SEPTEMBER 6, 2024 – JUNE 6, 2025

Four Symphonic Concerts, Including a FREE Season Opening Program Presented at Bryant Park and the Kupferberg Center for the Arts

 Performances at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and St. Bartholomew’s Church

U.S. Premiere of C.P.E. Bach’s Oratorio Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu,
and Rare Performance of Richard Strauss’ Opera Guntram

New York, NY, June 25, 2024 — The American Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announced its 63rd season of four full-orchestra concerts at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, Carnegie Hall, and St. Bartholomew’s Church, featuring a free opening performance titled Beyond the Hall at Bryant Park on September 6, repeated and also free at the Kupferberg Center for the Arts in Queens on September 7.

The Beyond the Hall program explores music in different environments than the usual concert setting. From the dance salon (Florence Price’s Suite of Dances) and the theater (Weill’s Threepenny Opera and Bernstein’s On the Town), to the opera stage (Joplin’s Treemonisha) and the silver screen (Herrmann’s Psycho), the works examine the role that music has played across venues, genres, and modes of expression. The September 6 concert is part of the Picnic Performances series at Bryant Park and marks the third consecutive year the ASO has debuted its season at Bryant Park.

Season Highlights include the U.S. premiere of C.P.E. Bach’s oratorio Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu (January 24 at St. Bartholomew’s Church), the ASO’s debut concert at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall offering works from the 1920s by John Alden Carpenter, Erwin Schulhoff, William Grant Still, and Edgard Varèse (March 23), and the first performance heard in New York City this century of Richard Strauss’ first opera Guntram (June 6 at Carnegie Hall).

“I’m delighted that ASO’s two previous outdoor season-opening concerts with free performances in Bryant Park have attracted so many new concertgoers, and I am looking forward to repeating this success again in September,” said Music Director and Principal Conductor Leon Botstein. “It’s a wonderful start to our exciting 2024-25 programs and a perfect introduction for these ever-widening audiences to ASO’s mission of presenting surprising premieres and music rarely heard onstage today in a way that’s accessible and affordable for everyone.”

Beyond the Hall: FREE Opening Concerts
Friday, September 6, 2024, at 7 pm, Bryant Park 
Saturday, September 7, 2024, at 3 pm, Kupferberg Center for the Arts, 6530 Kissena Blvd, Flushing, NY
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor
Scott Joplin: Treemonisha: Overture (1911)
Florence Price: Suite of Dances (1933)
Bernard Herrmann: Psycho: A Narrative for String Orchestra in Three Parts (1960)
Kurt Weill: Kleine Dreigroschenmusik  (Little Threepenny Music) (1928)
Leonard Bernstein: Three Dance Episodes from On the Town (1945)
The opening Beyond the Hall concert offers music from the opera stage, the dance salon, the silver screen, the theater, and the music hall. It begins with the overture from American composer Scott Joplin’s 1911 opera Treemonisha. The work did not receive its first staging for more than six decades, after which Joplin was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his remarkable score employing a style uniquely his own. Florence Price’s Suite of Dances is an orchestration of an earlier piano work, a set of three dance pieces, by the composer that incorporated traditional Black music. Notable as the first Black female composer to be recognized in the world of symphonic music, her award-winning first symphony, Symphony No. 1 in E minor, was premiered in 1933 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra—a cultural milestone at the time.

American composer Bernard Herrmann’s Psycho suite explores the composer’s famous film score written for Alfred Hitchcock’s acclaimed 1960 film by the same name. The suite performed at this concert was edited by Christopher Husted, one of three edited by different arrangers. Herrmann was well known for his work in movie score composition, and Hitchcock himself remarked that “33 percent of the effect of Psycho was due to the music.” Kurt Weill was a leading composer of musical theater. One of his most celebrated stage works, Die Dreigroschenoper (The Threepenny Opera), was written with collaborators Bertolt Brecht and Elisabeth Hauptmann for a three-act play with music after John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera and has been presented around the world since its premiere on stages from Berlin to Broadway. Weill created his Kleine Dreigroschenmusik, or Little Threepenny Music, as an independent work for wind orchestra. Leonard Bernstein’s first Broadway musical was On the Town, a wildly successful romantic wartime comedy about three sailors with 24 hours’ shore leave in New York City. He chose the Three Dance Episodes heard on this program from the show’s dance numbers for use as a concert suite that included the “Times Square Ballet” and the popular show tune “New York, New York.” The energy and orchestral complexity of Bernstein’s Broadway dance music make it a significant part of his legacy.

Tickets and Seating: Free performances. For Bryant Park on Sept. 6, no tickets or RSVP required; staff lends out free picnic blankets, provides bistro chairs, and offers a curated selection of food and drink to purchase from local vendors. For Sept. 7 at Kupferberg Center for the Arts, attendance is free with online RSVP at americansymphony.org (starting on Aug. 7).

Bach at St. Bart’s
Friday, January 24, 2025, at 8 pm, St. Bartholomew’s Church, 325 Park Avenue
Pre-concert Talk at 7 pm
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor
Bard Festival Chorale
James Bagwell
, music director of the Bard Festival Chorale
C.P.E. Bach: Heilig ist Gott, H.778 (1776)
C.P.E. Bach: Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu, H.777 (1787) (U.S. premiere)
Long associated with the instrumental genre, Carl Phillipp Emanuel Bach’s keyboard sonatas, trio sonatas, concertos, and symphonies earned him a leading position in the period bridging the Baroque and Classical eras. His vocal compositions are lesser-known and his oratorios, a genre he only explored twice, are rarely, if ever, presented. Marking a U.S. premiere, the ASO presents his Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu (The Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus). First performed during Easter in 1774, the score best illustrates some of the features of C.P.E. Bach’s music that were unusual in his time—abrupt changes of mood, fluid dynamics, highly chromatic harmonic writing—that point to the ardent qualities of Romanticism. The program also includes C.P.E. Bach’s 1776 choral work Heilig ist Gott, a work of which he thought highly, writing that the composition “may serve to ensure that I am not too quickly forgotten after my death.”

Tickets, priced at $25-$45, are available on Sept. 9 at americansymphony.org.

Tapping into the Twenties
Sunday, March 23, 2025, at 3 pm, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center
Pre-concert Talk at 2 pm
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor
Orion Weiss, piano
John Alden Carpenter: Skyscrapers (1924)
Erwin Schulhoff: Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra, Op. 43 (1923)
William Grant Still: Symphony No. 1, Afro-American Symphony (1929-30)
Edgard Varèse: Amériques (1922)
The ASO’s first concert at David Geffen Hall focuses on composers who came of age in the 1920s. Chief among these in the U.S. was Edgar Varèse, whose gargantuan piece Amériques exemplifies his stated search for “the bomb that would make the music world explode,” using all manner of sounds formerly known as “noises.” Explosive dynamics, crashing sonorities, and propulsive rhythms portray such sounds as Manhattan street traffic and foghorns on the Hudson River. Written for nearly 30 woodwinds and brass instruments each and the largest percussion suite yet employed, Amériques stretches the post-Romantic orchestra to its limits. Varèse’s pupil, William Grant Still, found inspiration in the blues and spirituals of Black Americans. In his best-known work, the Afro-American Symphony, Still represents the experiences of the African diaspora, from the sorrows of the past to hope in the future.

Among the first composers to recognize the expressive potential of jazz in the 1920s was Austro-Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff. Blending improvisational passages with Neoclassical elements, his 1924 Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra shows the compositional range and versatility of this unjustifiably neglected composer, a leading figure in the “Lost Generation” of Jewish composers who were suppressed and (as was the case with Schulhoff) lost their lives during the Holocaust. The soloist, Orion Weiss, performed with dozens of orchestras in North America, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic. Another composer who sought to create a distinctly American sound was John Alden Carpenter. His Skycrapers, with its language of jazz and popular tunes, blends seamlessly with the idiom of dissonance and asymmetric rhythms modernized in his time. Like Varèse, Carpenter imaginatively portrays “the many movements and sounds of modern American life.”

Tickets, priced at $25–$65, are available on Jan. 3 at lincolncenter.org, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.721.6500, or by visiting the box office at 10 Lincoln Center Plaza.

Strauss’ Guntram
Friday, June 6, 2025, at 8 pm, Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Pre-concert Talk at 7 pm
American Symphony Orchestra
Leon Botstein, conductor
Bard Festival Chorale
James Bagwell
, music director of the Bard Festival Chorale
Soloists to be announced at a later date
Richard Strauss: Guntram (1887-93, rev.1939)
Completed in 1893, Richard Strauss’ first opera, Guntram, is such a rarity that this performance by the American Symphony Orchestra is the first one heard in New York City this century. A story of love, guilt, and renunciation, Guntram reveals a young Strauss positioning himself as a successor to Wagner. Strauss’ mastery of orchestral and vocal-writing techniques, and the melodic arcs that anticipate his later, more famous works make a strong argument in Guntram’s favor for a prime position—instead of the footnote it has received—in his compositional output.

Tickets, priced at $25–$65, are available on Sept. 9 at carnegiehall.org, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or by visiting the box office at 57th St. & 7th Ave.

Details of the ASO’s 2024-25 season are available at americansymphony.org.

American Symphony Orchestra
The American Symphony Orchestra (ASO) was founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski with the mission of providing great music for everyone. Leon Botstein expanded that focus when he joined the ASO as Music Director in 1992 by creating concerts that explore music through the lens of the visual arts, literature, religion, and history, as well as by reviving rarely performed works that audiences would otherwise never hear performed live.

The ASO’s signature programming includes its Vanguard Series, which features concerts of seldom-performed orchestral repertoire presented at Carnegie Hall, Bryant Park, and other historic venues, and its Chamber Series—curated by ASO’s musicians—offering concert programs dedicated to reflecting the diverse perspectives of American culture. During the summer, the ASO is the orchestra-in-residence at Bard’s SummerScape and performs at the Bard Music Festival. All of the ASO presentations comprise a year-round series of vital and innovative programming for audiences of all backgrounds.

As part of its commitment to expanding the standard orchestral repertoire and ensuring accessibility to musical masterpieces, the ASO offers free streaming of exclusive live recordings on its digital platform, ASO Online. Content includes SummerScape operas, chamber performances, and short films. In many cases, these are the only existing recordings of some of the forgotten works that have been restored through ASO performances.

For more information, please visit americansymphony.org.

Leon Botstein
Leon Botstein has been music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992. He is also music director of The Orchestra Now, an innovative training orchestra composed of top musicians from around the world. He is co-artistic director of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival, which take place at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where he has been president since 1975. He is also conductor laureate and principal guest conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, where he served as music director from 2003–11. In 2018, he assumed artistic directorship of Campus Grafenegg and the Grafenegg Academy in Austria. Mr. Botstein also has an active career as a guest conductor with orchestras around the globe and has made numerous recordings. He is a prolific author and music historian and the recipient of numerous honors for his contributions to the music industry. In 2019, The New York Times named Leon Botstein a “champion of overlooked works…who has tirelessly worked to bring to light worthy scores by neglected composers.” More info online at LeonBotstein.com.

The ASO’s Vanguard Series is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

The programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Media Contact

Pascal Nadon
Pascal Nadon Communications
Phone: 646.234.7088
Email: pascal@pascalnadon.com



June 25, 2024
New York City