The program, conducted by ASO music director Leon Botstein, includes Stravinsky's Song of the Nightingale, Zemlinsky's Mermaid, Karel Husa's Steadfast Tin Soldier, and Paul Klenau's Little Ida's Flowers Overture. Actor Roger Rees narrates Steadfast Tin Soldier.
The concert is one of the first in a worldwide celebration of Andersen, who was born in 1805 and died in 1875. He wrote novels and essays as well as his signature fairly tales.
"For Andersen," Botstein writes in his program notes, "the demonic, mystical, magical and fantastic, in all its darkness as well as joy, dramatized life's experiences by suggesting a world of morally ordered supernaturalism, of rules and actions which provoked consistent consequences of tragedy or triumph."
Founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski, the ASO performs thematically organized programs, often with links to literature and other art forms.