The American Symphony Orchestra is a New York-based orchestra whose mission is to renew live orchestral music as a vital force in contemporary American culture. Under the direction of Leon Botstein ASO pursues innovation in concert presentation and is devoted to the promotion of musical education. At Bard College, the ASO appears in an annual winter subscription series at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, and also takes part in the Bard Music Festival and SummerScape. This collection includes organizational files including papers relating to the founding of ASO and historical financial and corporate documents. The collection also contains miscellaneous ephemera relating to ASO including stagebills; advertising flyers; news releases; and reviews. The collection was given to the Archives by Lynne Meloccaro (BArd class of 1985, executive director of the ASO) through Leon Botstein.
14 boxes and 3 binders
Scope and Content:
Collection includes miscellaneous ephemera relating to ASO including stagebills; advertising flyers; news releases; and reviews. Organizational files include papers relating to the founding of ASO and historical financial and corporate documents. Publications include copies from 1992-2008 of Dialogues & Extensions, an ASO-published expanded program guide; and bound copies of Carnegie Hall Magazine, 1965-1967. Correspondence includes the ASO Pablo Casals Tribute Correspondence. Photographs include those taken at the 90th Birthday concert of Leopold Stokowski, April 18, 1972 and at the 80th Birthday of Aaron Copland, November 9, 1980. Audio visual files consist of video cassettes of performances of the ASO, including performances from the Korea tour. There are a few tapes of interviews with Leon Botstein on Oprah Winfrey, CBS Sunday Morning, etc.
Biographical / Historical:
Leopold Stokowski was 80 years old when in 1962 he founded the ASO with a mission of making orchestral music accessible and affordable for everyone. He served as music director together with assistant Amos Meller until May 1972 when he returned to England. Subsequent music directors were Kazuyoshi Akiyama until 1978, followed by Moshe Atzmon, Giuseppe Patanè, and John Mauceri. In 1991, Catherine Comet was succeeded by Bard College president Leon Botstein.
Under music director Leon Botstein, the ASO expanded its mission, presenting concerts designed around various themes drawn from the visual arts, literature, politics, and history and reviving rarely performed masterworks through its Vanguard Series at Carnegie Hall. By preserving and restoring these works, the ASO makes them available for performance by other orchestras.
In New York, the ASO performs primarily at Carnegie Hall. At Bard College, the orchestra is the resident orchestra of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, appearing in an annual winter subscription series. The ASO also takes part in the Bard Music Festival and SummerScape. The orchestra also offers a variety of music education programs at high schools in Manhattan and New Jersey. Over 150 recordings from ASO’s archives of live performances are available for download online. Concert notes documenting the ASO's performances of rare repertoire are also online. The collection came to the Archives from Lynne Meloccaro (class of 1985, executive director of the ASO) through Leon Botstein.