The American Symphony Orchestra (ASO) continues its 60th anniversary season on Sunday, June 5 with American Masters, a free symphony concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center featuring the world premiere of Roberto Sierra’s new Electric Violin Concerto performed by the renowned electric violinist Tracy Silverman. The program will also feature works by three Pulitzer Prize-winning composers: Melinda Wagner, Richard Wernick and Shulamit Ran.
Leon Botstein will provide the musical context for the concert program during a lively 30-minute Q&A to the conductor’s notes beginning one hour before the performance, also free to all ticket holders. The discussion is a lively learning opportunity for new viewers and music connoisseurs.
From May 16 to June 9, the ASO is offering free chamber music performances in Manhattan’s Bryant Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park as part of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Sounds at Sunset series. These five concerts have been hosted by ASO musicians who will perform music ranging from French Impressionist composers and Italian works spanning four centuries to Afro-Cuban Batá percussion, as well as a tribute to iconic American jazz composers. Featured artists include ASO percussionist, educator and composer Javier Diaz, award-winning multi-instrumentalist Alexa Tarantino, accomplished trombonist Dion Tucker and Grammy-nominated oboist Imani Winds Toyin Spellman-Diaz. Music lovers will find a limited number of first-come, first-served seats near the Bryant Park Fountain Terrace in front of the stage and at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 3 Greenway Terrace to enjoy an after-work respite with live music. All chamber concerts last one hour.
The next ASO Symphony Concert is presented as part of a special collaboration with the Bard Music Festival at Carnegie Hall on July 15 and features the US premiere of Sergei Taneyev’s latest work, At the Reading of a Psalm. Conceived as a massive statement of the Russian Orthodox faith at the start of World War I, this large-scale cantata for full orchestra, double choir and vocal soloists showcases the dramatic effect of Taneyev’s contrapuntal mastery. This concert, originally scheduled for January 28, has been postponed due to the Omicron variant.
Sunday, June 5, 2022, 8 p.m.
Jazz at Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street
Q&A on Conductor’s Notes 7 p.m.
Tracy Silverman, violin
Matthew Lipman, viola
Tara Helen O’Connor, flute
Roberto Sierra: Ficciones, Concerto for electric violin and orchestra (2022) World Premiere
Melinda Wagner: Concerto for flute, strings and percussion (Pulitzer Prize 1999)
Richard Wernick: Viola Concerto (“Do Not Go Gentle…”)
Shulamit Ran: Symphony (1991 Pulitzer Prize)
In keeping with the ASO’s long history of championing American artists, this concert features a trio of living American Pulitzer Prize-winning composers, including Melinda Wagner and two of her mentors, Richard Wernick and Shulamit Ran. Philadelphia-born Melinda Wagner’s Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion is notable for its well-crafted flute solo. Boston native Richard Wernick’s Viola Concerto, written for violist Walter Trampler and Leon Botstein (who conducted the premiere in 1987), alludes to Dylan Thomas’ famous poem “Do not go soft into that good night” . Shulamit Ran’s Symphony, commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, also won the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award the same year as his 1991 Pulitzer. The highlight of the program is the world premiere of Roberto Sierra’s Electric Violin Concerto, commissioned by the ASO, which features Sierra’s blend of Latin-influenced ideas and modern compositional techniques through the voice of the electric violin, performed by renowned electric violinist Tracy Silverman. .
The ASO is offering free admission to this show as a gift to New York music lovers. Tickets are free but required, available at americansymphony.org beginning May 5. Processing fees will apply. Ticket holders will be required to comply with the venue’s health and safety requirements, which can be found here.
BRYANT PARK CHAMBER MUSIC PERFORMANCE
String Quartet – Celebrating the Fête de la Musique
Monday, May 16, 2022, 5:30 p.m.
Bryant Park Fountain Terrace
To celebrate 40 years of the Fête de la Musique, which began in France and is now celebrated around the world, a string quartet of ASO musicians perform works by French composers, including Debussy and Ravel, in honor of the inspiring example of France.
Percussion Ensemble – Chants, Songs and Rhythms of the Americas
Tuesday, May 17, 2022, 5:30 p.m.
Bryant Park Fountain Terrace
This percussion ensemble combines Afro-Cuban Batá percussion and poetry with the sounds of contemporary chamber percussion, featuring Grammy-nominated Imani Winds oboist Toyin Spellman-Diaz in compositions by percussionist and composer Javier Diaz.
Jazz Ensemble – ASO pays homage to the royalty of American jazz
Monday May 23 & Tuesday May 24, 2022, 5:30 p.m.
A true American genre, the ASO presents this jazz ensemble as a tribute to American jazz royalty: jazz pianist, organist and composer from New Jersey, Count Basie, considered one of the greatest conductors all time ; jazz singer and pianist Nat King Cole, the first black American to host a television variety show; and Duke Ellington, whose totally original musical style used a unique blend of classical and jazz compositional techniques that combined improvisation with written works.
Tickets: Chamber performances are free, no RSVP necessary. A limited number of first-come, first-served chairs will be set up near the Bryant Park Fountain Terrace in front of the stage.
CHAMBER MUSIC PERFORMANCE AT BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK
String quartet – Italian expressiveness and expressionists
Thursday, June 9, 2022, 6 p.m.
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 3 Greenway Terrace
A string quartet of ASO musicians perform a program that spans four centuries, from Isabella Leonarda, a 17th-century Ursuline nun, to 20th-century expressionist and avant-garde composer, Niccolò Castiglioni. The concert finale will feature the soaring melodies and filigree lines of 19th-century bel canto master Gaetano Donizetti.
Tickets: A free but advanced RSVP is encouraged and can be completed here. People without an appointment will be welcomed depending on the space available. Safety protocols and guidelines for Brooklyn Bridge Park are detailed here. For more information, visit brooklynbridgepark.org.
American Symphony Orchestra
Now in its 60th season, the American Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski with a mission to provide music for everyone. Music Director Leon Botstein expanded this mission when he joined the ASO in 1992, creating thematic concerts that explore music from the perspective of visual arts, literature, religion and history, and bringing to life rarely performed works that audiences would otherwise never have the chance to see. hear played live.
The ASO’s signature programming includes its Vanguard Series, which features concerts of rare orchestral repertoire, and various other events dedicated to enriching and reflecting on 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 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’s performances.
For more information, visit americansymphony.org.
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 made up of the best 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, of which he has been president since 1975. He is also an award-winning conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Orchestra, where he was music director from 2003 to 2011. In 2018, he took over the artistic direction of the Grafenegg Campus and the Grafenegg Academy in Austria. Mr. Botstein also has an active career as a guest conductor with orchestras around the world and has made numerous recordings, in addition to being a prolific songwriter and music historian. He is the recipient of numerous accolades for his contributions to the music industry. In 2019, The New York Times named Leon Botstein a “Champion of Neglected Works…who has worked tirelessly to bring to light worthy scores from overlooked composers”. More information online at LeonBotstein.com.