Under founder Leopold Stokowski, the American Symphony Orchestra performed its debut season at Carnegie Hall in 1962. The ASO returns to its original home with the 2010-11 season, a six-concert series that kicks off in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage on October 6. The orchestra's 48th season opens with a characteristically distinctive program revolving around James Joyce and his iconic influence (with the ASO giving the U.S. premiere of Mátyás Seiber's cantata Ulysses) and his musical inspirations (including George Antheil's futurist Ballet Mécanique). This season will also see Leon Botstein conduct – in his 18th season as ASO music director – Albéric Magnard's 1909 opera Bérénice and the U.S. premiere of Paul Dessau's Passover choral work Haggadah shel Pesach. The ASO series at Carnegie Hall will also include thematic programs titled "Music and the Bible", "Before and After the Spanish Civil War", and "American Harmonies: The Music of Walter Piston".
Lauded for what the New York Times has called “justly acclaimed thematic programming,” the ASO presents concerts covering a wide range of undeservedly neglected repertoire, including many U.S. premieres, some challenging and others accessible, by composers both familiar and virtually unknown. New York magazine called the ASO’s seasons “one of the best-programmed series in the city,” while The New Yorker declared, “Leon Botstein goes where other conductors fear to tread.” As he has done for several seasons, Leon Botstein will continue to give pre-concert lectures himself, free for ticket-holders at Carnegie Hall.