Press Releases

The Orchestra Now begins 2023–24 Carnegie Hall season with “Exodus: Jewish Composers in Exile”, November 7, 2023

New York City Premieres of Josef Tal’s Exodus with Baritone Noam Heinz, and Walter Kaufmann’s An Indian Symphony

New York, NY, October 3, 2023 Music Director Leon Botstein leads The Orchestra Now in the opening of its 2023-24 Carnegie Hall season with a program titled Exodus: Jewish Composers in Exile on Tuesday, November 7 at 7 PM at Carnegie Hall. The evening, also marking TŌN’s first performance in New York City this season, offers seldom-heard works by Jewish composers Alexandre Tansman, Josef Tal, Walter Kaufmann and Marcel Rubin—including two NYC premieres—written while in exile from their homelands during World War II.

TŌN’s next concert in Manhattan launches the Orchestra’s popular Free Concerts series featuring TŌN Resident Conductor Zachary Schwartzman leading works by Schumann, Strauss, and Barber (Peter Norton Symphony Space, November 19). 

Exodus: Jewish Composers in Exile
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at 7 PM
Leon Botstein, conductor
Noam Heinz, baritone
Alexandre Tansman: Polish Rhapsody
Josef Tal: Exodus (NYC premiere)
Walter Kaufmann: An Indian Symphony (NYC premiere)
Marcel Rubin: Symphony No. 4, Dies irae
Alexandre Tansman was a multi-genre composer as well as a virtuoso pianist. He fled Europe for the United States in 1941, and his rhythmic Polish Rhapsody—inspired by the invasion of Poland and dedicated “to the defenders of Warsaw”—was premiered in St. Louis that same year. The NYC premiere of prolific composer Josef Tal’s Exodus is based on the Passover Haggadah and was debuted by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra during the first days of that country’s War of Independence. He had emigrated to Jerusalem before the war in 1942. The performance features Israeli – British – American baritone Noam Heinz, who performed the title role in the world premiere of the opera Theodor, about Israel’s founding father Theodor Herzl, with the Israel Opera. 

The Orchestra offers another NYC premiere with An Indian Symphony by Walter Kaufmann, one of many Jewish refugees who found a haven in India, where he lived for 14 years and wrote his Symphony while exiled in Bombay. Viennese composer Marcel Rubin fled first to France and then to Mexico, where he wrote his melancholy Symphony No. 4, Dies irae, as a reflection of his experiences during the Second World War. Among his many honors are a Grand Austrian State Prize for Music and a Gold Medal of Vienna.

Tickets, priced at $25–$50, are available online at, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th & Seventh Avenue.

The Orchestra Now
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is a group of 60 vibrant young musicians from 13 different countries across the globe: Austria, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Hungary, Mongolia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, and Venezuela. All share a mission to make orchestral music relevant to 21st-century audiences by sharing their unique personal insights in a welcoming environment. Hand-picked from the world’s leading conservatories—including the Yale School of Music, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Royal Academy of Music, and the New England Conservatory of Music—the members of TŌN are enlightening curious minds by giving on-stage introductions and demonstrations, writing concert notes from the musicians’ perspective, and having one-on-one discussions with patrons during intermissions.

Conductor, educator, and music historian Leon Botstein, whom The New York Times said “draws rich, expressive playing from the orchestra,” founded TŌN in 2015 as a graduate program at Bard College, where he is also president. TŌN offers both a three-year master’s degree in Curatorial, Critical, and Performance Studies and a two-year advanced certificate in Orchestra Studies. The Orchestra’s home base is the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center at Bard, where it performs multiple concerts each season and takes part in the annual Bard Music Festival. It also performs regularly at the finest venues in New York, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others across NYC and beyond. HuffPost, who has called TŌN’s performances “dramatic and intense,” praises these concerts as “an opportunity to see talented musicians early in their careers.”

The Orchestra has performed with many distinguished guest conductors and soloists, including Leonard Slatkin, Neeme Järvi, Gil Shaham, Fabio Luisi, Joan Tower, Vadim Repin, Hans Graf, Peter Serkin, Naomi Woo, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, and JoAnn Falletta. Among TŌN’s many recordings are albums featuring pianists Piers Lane, Anna Shelest, and Orion Weiss; Buried Alive with baritone Michael Nagy, which includes the first recording in almost 60 years—and only the second recording ever—of Othmar Schoeck’s song-cycle Lebendig begraben; Classics of American Romanticism, featuring the first-ever complete recording of Bristow’s Arcadian Symphony; and the soundtrack to the motion picture Forte. Recordings of TŌN’s live concerts from the Fisher Center can be heard on Classical WMHT-FM and WWFM The Classical Network, and are featured regularly on Performance Today, broadcast nationwide.

For upcoming activities and more detailed information about the musicians, visit

Leon Botstein
Leon Botstein is founder and music director of The Orchestra Now (TŌN), music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra (ASO), artistic codirector of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival, and conductor laureate and principal guest conductor of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (JSO), where he served as music director from 2003 to 2011. He has been guest conductor with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre, Russian National Orchestra in Moscow, Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Taipei Symphony, Simón Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, and Sinfónica Juvenil de Caracas in Venezuela, among others. In 2018, he assumed artistic directorship of Campus Grafenegg and Grafenegg Academy in Austria.

Recordings include acclaimed recordings of Othmar Schoeck’s Lebendig begraben with TŌN, Hindemith’s The Long Christmas Dinner with the ASO, a Grammy-nominated recording of Popov’s First Symphony with the London Symphony Orchestra, and other various recordings with TŌN, ASO, the London Philharmonic, NDR Orchestra Hamburg, and JSO, among others. He is editor of The Musical Quarterly and author of numerous articles and books, including The Compleat Brahms (Norton), Jefferson’s Children (Doubleday), Judentum und Modernität (Bölau), and Von Beethoven zu Berg (Zsolnay). Honors include Harvard University’s prestigious Centennial Award; the American Academy of Arts and Letters award; and Cross of Honor, First Class, from the government of Austria, for his contributions to music. Other distinctions include the Bruckner Society’s Julio Kilenyi Medal of Honor for his interpretations of that composer’s music, the Leonard Bernstein Award for the Elevation of Music in Society, and Carnegie Foundation’s Academic Leadership Award. In 2011, he was inducted into the American Philosophical Society. More info online at

Press Contacts
Pascal Nadon
Pascal Nadon Communications
Phone: 646.234.7088
Email: [email protected]

Mark Primoff
Associate Vice President of Communications
Bard College
Phone: 845.758.7412
Email: [email protected]

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