The Kingdom Press Release




Soloists Include: Soprano Janai Brugger, Mezzo–Soprano Maya Lahyani, Tenor Cooper Nolan, and Baritone Alexander Birch Elliott, with Choral Director James Bagwell and the Bard Festival Chorale

New York, NY October 10, 2019— The 58th season of American Symphony Orchestra’s Vanguard series at Carnegie Hall will open on October 31 with Music Director Leon Botstein leading the ASO in a performance of Edward Elgar’s great choral work, The Kingdom, the second of Elgar’s incomplete trilogy of oratorios.

Beginning with the calling of twelve young men (The Apostles), The Kingdom explores the start of the apostles’ mission on earth, ultimately unfolding at the end of time (The Last Judgement). This immense choral work—set to scriptural references from the New Testament—focuses on the apostle Peter and the beginnings of the Christian Church in Jerusalem. Guest soloists are soprano Janai Brugger, one of Opera News’ top 25 “brilliant young artists”; mezzo-soprano Maya Lahyani, who has sung more than 70 performances at the Metropolitan Opera; tenor Cooper Nolan, praised by Musical America for his “bright, shining, tenor”; and baritone Alexander Birch Elliot, who recently debuted at both the Houston Grand Opera and the Metropolitan Opera as Zurga in Les Pêcheurs de Perles.

The next concert in the series will be Sons of Bach, presenting rarely-performed works by the four fellows who followed in the footsteps of their famous father, J.S. Bach. The performance is part of the ASO’s expanded 2019-2020 season, which includes this additional concert at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall (December 19, 2019).

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.

The Kingdom
Thursday, October 31, 2019 at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage)
Conductor’s Notes Q&A 7 PM
Concert 8 PM

Leon Botstein, conductor
Janai Brugger soprano
Maya Lahyani, mezzo–soprano
Cooper Nolan, tenor
Alexander Birch Elliott, baritone
Bard Festival Chorale
James Bagwell, choral director

Edward Elgar: The Kingdom

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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Phone: 646.234.7088