The Orchestra Now Begins its Carnegie Hall Series with a Program Titled “The Lost Generation” on November 3, 2022
U.S. and New York City Premiere of Hugo Kauder’s Symphony No. 1
Rare Performances of Works by Hans Erich Apostel, Adolf Busch, and Walter Braunfels
New York, NY, October 6, 2022 — Music Director Leon Botstein conducts The Orchestra Now in the first concert of its annual Carnegie Hall series on Thursday, November 3 at 7 PM. The program offers rarely performed works by four early 20th century German and Austrian composers from The Lost Generation, whose music was unfairly ignored or suppressed during and following World War II. In a special partnership with the Hugo Kauder Society, TŌN presents the New York City premiere of Kauder’s First Symphony. The Orchestra performs the Symphony’s U.S. premiere at the Fisher Center at Bard on October 29 and repeats the program on October 30. Both Fisher Center performances will be livestreamed on TŌN’s website.
TŌN’s next concert will launch the 2022–23 season of its popular Sight & Sound Series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art with a program exploring connections between the Tudor era and Vaughan Williams’ score to a documentary about Elizabethan England (December 4, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium).
The Lost Generation
Thursday, November 3, 2022, at 7 PM
Carnegie Hall, Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Leon Botstein, conductor
Adolf Busch (arr. P. Serkin): Variations on an Original Theme
Walter Braunfels: Sinfonia brevis
Hans Erich Apostel: Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Hugo Kauder: Symphony No. 1 (NYC Premiere)
The evening opens with Adolph Busch’s Variations on an Original Theme, performed in an orchestration by his grandson, the late Peter Serkin, who was on the piano faculty at Bard. Busch’s original work, for piano four-hands, was composed in 1944 as a gift to his wife. The work was a favorite of Peter’s and his father Rudolf Serkin, which they enjoyed playing together. Peter, later in his life, began investigating the music written by his grandfather and was attracted by the potential of the variations in an orchestral version, an idea that interested Leon Botstein. Peter Serkin worked on the project shortly before he passed away in 2020. The program continues with Walter Braunfels’ Sinfonia brevis. A Frankfurt native, Braunfels was director of the Cologne Academy of Music from 1945 to 1950 but was removed during the rise of Nazi power for being half-Jewish and composing what the regime considered degenerate music. Leon Botstein then leads Hans Erich Apostel’s version of Variations on a Theme by Haydn. Apostel was a modernist and student of Schoenberg.
TŌN is partnering with the Hugo Kauder Society to debut a restoration of the Viennese composer’s First Symphony. A self-taught composer, Kauder left Vienna when the Nazis took over Austria, and ended up in the U.S., where he made his living writing music and teaching music theory, composition, and violin in New York City until his death in 1972. His Symphony has been performed only once, in 1924, by the Vienna Workers Orchestra, led by conductor Leopold Reichwein. A review at the time noted the multiple standing ovations the work received, which led to Kauder being awarded the Vienna City prize in 1928. Until this year, the work existed in only its original handwritten manuscript, part of the papers that Kauder was able to salvage when he fled Austria in 1938. The full score has been edited and digitized for the upcoming performances.
The TŌN concerts are taking place during the centennial celebrations for the International Society of Contemporary Music (ISCM) – which held its inaugural meeting in Salzburg, Austria in 1922 – in addition to the upcoming 100th anniversary of the Symphony’s premiere in 2024. Hugo Kauder was part of the illustrious ISCM group, which included Paul Hindemith, Anton Webern, and Karl Weigl. Additional events in New York include an online Book Talk arranged by the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research on its YouTube channel on October 20 with Kauder’s biographer, Karin Wagner, and a Kauder chamber concert at YIVO on October 27.
Carnegie Hall Tickets priced at $25–$50 are available online at carnegiehall.org, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or at the Carnegie Hall box office at 57th & Seventh Avenue. Ticket holders will need to comply with the venue’s health and safety requirements, which can be found here.
The Orchestra Now
The Orchestra Now (TŌN) is currently comprised of 62 vibrant young musicians from 13 different countries across the globe: Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Peru, Singapore, Taiwan, and the United States. 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, Vadim Repin, Hans Graf, Peter Serkin, Gerard Schwarz, Tan Dun, and JoAnn Falletta. Recordings featuring The Orchestra Now include two albums of piano concertos with Piers Lane on Hyperion Records, and a Sorel Classics concert recording of pianist Anna Shelest performing works by Anton Rubinstein with TŌN and conductor Neeme Järvi. Buried Alive with baritone Michael Nagy, released on Bridge Records in August 2020, includes the first recording in almost 60 years—and only the second recording ever—of Othmar Schoeck’s song-cycle Lebendig begraben. Recent releases include Classics of American Romanticism—featuring the first-ever complete recording of Bristow’s Arcadian Symphony—and an album of piano concertos with Orion Weiss, both on Bridge Records, 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.
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.
For upcoming activities and more detailed information about the musicians, visit ton.bard.edu.
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