Taneyev’s At the Reading of a Psalm Press Release

Carnegie Hall



New York, NY, June 6, 2022 The American Symphony Orchestra completes its 60th anniversary season on Friday, July 15, 2022 at 8 PM. The program, part of the Orchestra’s Vanguard Series and presented in a special collaboration with the Bard Music Festival, is conducted by Music Director Leon Botstein and features the U.S. premiere of Sergei Taneyev’s final work, At the Reading of a Psalm. Conceived as a massive statement of Russian Orthodox faith at the onset of WWI, this large-scale cantata for full orchestra, double chorus, and vocal soloists showcases the dramatic effect of Taneyev’s contrapuntal mastery. The concert, initially scheduled for January 28, was postponed due to the Omicron variant.

All of the singers are Metropolitan Opera artists: soprano Mané Galoyan debuted at the Met as Prilepa/Chlöe in Pique Dame; mezzo-soprano Eve Gigliotti, whose voice has been described as “powerful and agile” (The New York Times), sings this season in The Rake’s Progress and Elektra; tenor Terrence Chin-Loy debuted in the fall as Adult William in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut up in My Bones; and bass Christian Zaremba has sung the roles of Lesbo in Agrippina and Angelotti in Tosca at the Met.

Sergei Taneyev’s At the Reading of a Psalm, U.S. Premiere
Friday, July 15, 2022, 8 pm
Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage)
Mané Galoyan, soprano
Eve Gigliotti, mezzo-soprano
Terrence Chin-Loy, tenor
Christian Zaremba, bass
Bard Festival Chorale


First Movement

i. Chorus (Allegro tempestoso)
ii. Double Chorus (Andante sostenuto)
iii. Triple Fugue (Fuga a tre soggetti, Andante – Allegro molto)

Second Movement

iv. Chorus (Allegro moderato – Fuga. Allegro tenebroso)
v. Quartet (Andante)
vi. Quartet and Chorus (Adagio ma non troppo)

Third Movement

vii. Interlude (Allegro appassionato)
viii. Aria (Alto Solo) (Adagio piu tosto largo)
ix. Double Chorus (Finale) (Adagio pietoso e molto cantabile-Allegro moderato-Allegro molto)


Tchaikovsky famously described Sergei Taneyev as “the finest contrapuntist in Russia.” This is clearly demonstrated in At the Reading of a Psalm, comprised of three main movements, each subdivided into three sections. The repeating melodic motifs, as well as a refined set of harmonic connections between the individual sections, give the cantata a deep sense of musical architecture and Taneyev’s command of counterpoint can be heard throughout. The work is based on a poem by the 19th-century poet and religious philosopher Aleksey Khomyakov, and is dedicated to the memory of his late mother, who often read the poetry of Khomyakov to him. Offering moments of grandeur as well as passages of contemplation, the cantata is a testament to the composer’s genius. Serge Koussevitzky conducted the premiere in 1915 wartime Petrograd, a few months before Taneyev’s death.

The American Symphony Orchestra plans to record At the Reading of a Psalm in advance of the July 15 performance for future use and release.

Tickets: Priced at $25–$65, tickets are available at carnegiehall.org, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or visiting the box office at 57th St & 7th Ave. Ticket holders will need to comply with the venue’s health and safety requirements, which can be found here.


American Symphony Orchestra

Now in its 60th season, the American Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski with the mission of providing 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, 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, performs at the Bard Music Festival, and offers chamber music performances throughout the New York City area.

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 streaming. 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 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.” More info online at LeonBotstein.com.


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

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.


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