By MCN Editor


For Immediate Release
March 28, 2012


On April 27 and 28 the American Symphony Orchestra and Music Director and Conductor Leon Botstein present the world premiere performances of Howard Shore’s Mythic Gardens at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Arts at Bard College. Commissioned by the Orchestra thanks to a generous gift from Stuart and Linda Nelson, Shore composed the concerto for cellist Sophie Shao, who will premiere the work.

Award-winning composer (including the score of The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Shore first worked with Shao when she performed solo cello pieces on his score for the Oscar nominated 2008 documentary The Betrayal (Nerakhoon). Shore says that “the concerto was conceived for the masterful playing of Sophie Shao and for the depth and beauty of the 1860 Honore Derazey cello in her hands. The work was inspired by the architecture of three classic Italian Gardens: Cimbrone, Medici and Visconti Borremeo Litta.” Mythic Gardens is a companion piece to Shore’s 2010 piano concerto Ruin and Memory which he composed for Lang Lang.

“I am so excited to premiere this complex piece, full of such beautiful and dramatic moments,” says Shao. “Just to have the opportunity to perform a Howard Shore work in front of a live audience is a thrill.”

The work will be presented as part of a program that also includes works by Lutosławski, Brubeck and Bartók. See below for full details.


American Symphony Orchestra

Friday & Saturday, April 27 & 28, 2012

Richard B. Fisher Center for the Arts at Bard College

7:00 p.m. Preconcert Talk with Peter Laki

8:00 p.m. Concert

Tickets: $25, 35, 40


Concerto for Orchestra


Prague Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra

Tamas Markovics, bass trombone


Mythic Gardens, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra

Sophie Shao, cello


Concerto for Orchestra

Ticket Information

Tickets can be purchased through, in person at the Fisher Center Office, or by calling (845) 758-7900.

About the American Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1962 by legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski, the American Symphony Orchestra continues its mission to demystify orchestral music, and make it accessible and affordable to everyone. Under music director Leon Botstein, the ASO has pioneered what the Wall Street Journal called “a new concept in orchestras,” presenting concerts curated around various themes drawn from the visual arts, literature, politics and history, and unearthing rarely-performed masterworks for well-deserved revival. These concerts are performed in the Vanguard Series at Carnegie Hall.

The orchestra also performs in the celebrated concert series Classics Declassified at Peter Norton Symphony Space, and is the resident orchestra of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where it appears in a winter subscription series as well as Bard’s annual SummerScape Festival and the Bard Music Festival. In 2010, the American Symphony became the resident orchestra of The Collegiate Chorale, performing regularly in the Chorale’s New York concert series. The orchestra has made several tours of Asia and Europe, and has performed in countless benefits for organizations including the Jerusalem Foundation and PBS.

ASO’s award-winning music education program, Music Notes, integrates symphonic music into core humanities classes in high schools across the tri-state area.

In addition to albums released on the Telarc, New World, Bridge, Koch and Vanguard labels, many live performances by the American Symphony Orchestra are now available for digital download. In many cases, these are the only existing recordings of some of the rare works that have been rediscovered in ASO performances.

Twitter: @ASOrch

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