Beyond Beethoven Press Release





New York, NY January 6, 2020 — American Symphony Orchestra will pay tribute to the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth with a concert that investigates how his music inspired others on Friday January 31, 8 pm at Carnegie Hall. From Liszt’s fantasia on the “Turkish March” to Spohr’s Beethovenesque scherzo and Reger’s variations on a bagatelle theme by Beethoven, the program also celebrates the 100th anniversary of an often-overlooked 20th-century master, Galina Ustvolskaya. Her Piano Concerto is considered her first composition and demands the listener’s ear with a pounding rhythmic motif that is repeated by the piano until the closing chord.

French pianist Lucas Debargue—who makes his Carnegie Hall mainstage and New York City symphonic debut at this performance—is the soloist. The only musician at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition awarded with the Moscow Music Critic’s Prize, the Huffington Post wrote that “Since Glenn Gould’s visit to Moscow and Van Cliburn’s victory at the Tchaikovsky Competition, never has a foreign pianist provoked such frenzy.” Following an unconventional path to success, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Paris Diderot as a teen, and didn’t change his primary focus to piano until his twenties, when Debargue started professional training at the Paris Cortot Music School and made a formal commitment to music. Since winning First Prize at the Gaillard International Piano Competition in 2014 and becoming a prize winner in the Tchaikovsky Competition, he has released four solo albums with Sony, received a prestigious 2017 German ECHO Klassik prize, and was the subject of a documentary following his Tchaikovsky Competition break-through. A composer as well, his Orpheo di camera concertino for piano, drums and string orchestra was premiered with Kremerata Baltica in Latvia in 2017. This season, he appears in Boston, Toronto, and Montreal, on tour with the Russian National Orchestra and Maestro Pletnev to the Middle East and Berlin, in concerts with violinist Gidon Kremer, and is returning to the Verbier Festival.

Music director Leon Botstein will provide the musical context for the program in a lively, 30-minute Conductor’s Notes Q&A session, free for all ticket holders, one hour before the concert. As for all ASO programs, these discussions offer animated learning opportunities for both concert-goers and music connoisseurs alike.

Beyond Beethoven
Friday, January 31, 2020 at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage)
Conductor’s Notes Q&A 7 PM
Concert 8 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor
Lucas Debargue, piano

Louis Spohr, Symphony No. 6, “Historical Symphony”
Galina Ustvolskaya, Piano Concerto
Franz Liszt, Fantasy on Motifs from Beethoven’s Ruins of Athens
Max Reger, Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Beethoven

Tickets, priced at $25–$65, are available at, CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800 or the box office at 57th St & 7th Ave.

American Symphony Orchestra
Now in its 58th season, the American Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski, with a mission of providing great music within the means of 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 that audiences would otherwise never have a chance to hear performed live.

The ASO’s signature programming includes its Vanguard Series, which presents concerts of rare orchestral repertoire at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center; an adult educational series at Symphony Space that offers interactive investigations into popular classical works; and various other events dedicated to enriching and reflecting the diverse perspectives of American culture. During the summer months, the ASO is the orchestra-in-residence at Bard’s SummerScape Festival and performs at the Bard Music Festival.

As part of its commitment to expanding the standard orchestral repertoire, the ASO has released recordings on the Telarc, New World, Bridge, Koch, and Vanguard labels, and live performances are also available for digital download. In many cases, these are the only existing recordings of some of the forgotten works that have been restored through ASO performances.

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 of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, where he served as music director from 2003–11. In 2018, he assumed artistic directorship of Campus Grafenegg and 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, as well as being a prolific author and music historian. He is 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.”

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Media Contact
Pascal Nadon
Pascal Nadon Communications
Phone: 646.234.7088