The season opens on September 25 with a program of three large-scale 20th-century American works: Roger Sessions's Symphony No. 8, Randall Thompson's Second Symphony, and Ernest Bloch's Epic Rhapsody (written after the Swiss-born composer became an American citizen).
A concert on November 18 features the work of Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski; following, on January 29, 2006, is Das Paradies und die Peri, Schumann's sprawling oratorio based on Persian folklore by way of a poem by Thomas Moore.
On April 7, the ASO plays music by three 20th-century English composers: Ralph Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge, and Arthur Bliss. On May 21, the orchestra focuses on Swiss music, performing the works of Othmar Schoeck, Frank Martin, and Arthur Honegger.
The season finale on June 11 features two Russian operas with links to Mozart: Rimsky-Korsakov's Mozart and Salieri, which helped to popularize the notion, later dramatized in the play and film Adamdeus, that the composer Antonio Salieri murdered Mozart; and Dargomizhsky's The Stone Guest, based on Pushkin's play, which drew on Don Giovanni.
The ASO, founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski, has been directed by conductor, musicologist, and educator Leon Botstein since 1992. The orchestra performs neglected works and thematically organized programs, often with links to literature and other art forms.