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ASO presents “Music of the Other Germany” on Jan 25

Leon Botstein and American Symphony Orchestra Present “Music of the Other Germany” – Including Four U.S. Premieres – on Sunday, Jan 25 at Lincoln Center

For the third concert in its Lincoln Center season, the American Symphony Orchestra presents “Music of the Other Germany” on Sunday, January 25, featuring works by some of the best-known composers of the former German Democratic Republic. Paul Dessau, Hanns Eisler, Siegfried Matthus, Rudolf Wagner-Régeny, and Udo Zimmermann all composed music in the great German tradition in a new environment that was a hotbed of artistic experimentation despite official censorship and oppression. Four of the six compositions on the program are receiving their United States premieres, and one is being given its New York premiere. Americans may recognize the sixth, Eisler’s national anthem for the “Other Germany”, because it used to be heard so frequently on broadcasts of the Olympic Games. That national anthem vanished from the airwaves and everywhere else when the German Democratic Republic died with the Berlin wall, sending Europe’s Iron Curtain to the scrapheap.

Leon Botstein, music director of the ASO, writes in a program note:

“The purpose of this concert is to inspire a tolerant and candid engagement with our past. East German life and culture before 1989 are easily susceptible to ridicule. They are undeserving of nostalgic sentiments. The suppression of freedom, the violence of the state, and the corruption and hypocrisy should not inspire admiration. But at the same time, through music, more than one generation of talented composers in East Germany sought, despite tyranny and the pressure to conform, the redemption of human possibility through music. They employed tradition and innovation in unique and memorable ways. We acknowledge without difficulty that East Germany provided many distinguished contributions to performance practice, from the era of the theater director Walter Felsenstein to that of Kurt Masur. There is a parallel richness to be discovered in the work of East German composers as well, those who lived in the German Democratic Republic between 1945 and 1989.”

Leon Botstein discusses “Music of the Other Germany” in a video available at the ASO website:

“Music of the Other Germany”
Leon Botstein conducts the American Symphony Orchestra
Marjorie Owens, soprano
Sunday, January 25 at 3 pm, Avery Fisher Hall

Hanns Eisler (1898-1962): Auferstanden aus Ruinen, Hymne der DDR (1949)
Paul Dessau (1894-1979): In memoriam Bertolt Brecht (1957) – US premiere
Rudolf Wagner-Régeny (1903-69): Mythological Figures (1951) – US premiere
Udo Zimmermann (born 1943): Sinfonia come un grande lamento, in memory of F. García Lorca (1977) – US premiere
Hanns Eisler: Goethe Rhapsody (1949) – US premiere
Siegfried Matthus (b. 1934): Responso (1977) – NY premiere

Tickets start at just $28; call 212.868.9ASO (9276). Group discounts available. All ticket sales are final.

Enjoy an illuminating pre-concert talk with American Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Leon Botstein, at 1:45 pm in the auditorium of Avery Fisher Hall.

Learn more about this concert and the rest of the season at or from (212) 868-9ASO (9276).

The American Symphony Orchestra’s 2008-09 season and programs are made possible, in part, through support from National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. Major support is provided by The Winston Foundation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and The Faith Golding Foundation. Additional support is provided by, JP Morgan Chase, The Fan Fox and Leslie Samuels Foundation, Con Edison, HBO, The Bay and Paul Foundation, Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, Carroll, Guido, & Groffman, LLP, DuBose & Dorothy Heyward Memorial Trust, The Edith C. Blum Foundation, and Solon E. Summerfield Foundation. WNYC is a Media Sponsor of the American Symphony Orchestra for the 2008-09 Season

What the critics are saying about Leon Botstein and the ASO

“Leon Botstein goes where other conductors fear to tread.” – New Yorker

“Trust Botstein to tweak every American Symphony Orchestra concert program with some intriguing discoveries from the past, all thematically related.” – New York magazine

“Leon Botstein and his American Symphony Orchestra keep coming at us with irresistible repertory.” – New York Times

Glenn Petry
21C Media Group
162 W. 56th Street, Suite 506
New York, NY 10019
(212) 625-2038

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