I just received the program for the American Symphony Orchestraâ€™s 2005-2006 season (under Leon Botstein, music director). The program includes works composed in the 1930s by Roger Sessions, Randall Thompson, Ernest Bloch, Frank Bridge, Arthur Bliss, Ralph Vaughan Williams; a memorial program on Polish composer Witold Lutolawski; works written in the 50s and 60s by Swiss composer Othmar Schoeck (actually a US premiere), Frank Martin, Arthur Honegger; a complete Schumann program; and a Russian program including Rimsky Korsakov and one act opera by Dargomizhsky (US premiere), awkwardly marketed with a mention of Amadeus, apparently subscribing to the new Lincoln Center myth that Mozart â€˜could have gone to Russiaâ€™ although he never did in real life (see this year’s Mostly Mozart program). I wish they could have included a 1990s music program in the series but I guess that wouldnâ€™t be retro enough.
On the positive side, I see a real effort to find material that is not run-of-the-mill. On the other hand, if a 50 year interval (as for the Schoeck piece composed in 1955) is what it takes to get a new orchestral piece premiered, Iâ€™d say, letâ€™s keep on writing our orchestral music and write up a willâ€¦ and choose your executor well!