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Mr. Schwarz conducts leading musicians from over 30 major American orchestras in four new episodes featuring symphonic masterpieces and works by
contemporary composers including a world premiere;
soloists include violinist 
Anne Akiko Meyers and pianist Lola Astanova

The second season of All-Star Orchestra to be released on two DVDs
by Naxos of America on September 11

August 11, 2015 — The second season of the three-time Emmy Award-winning television series, All-Star Orchestra will air on public television stations, distributed by American Public Television in partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting, across the U.S. beginning October 1 (check local listings).

Led by conductor Gerard Schwarz, All-Star Orchestra features classical masterpieces as well as new works from contemporary American composers, performed by an ensemble of top instrumentalists from leading orchestras across the U.S. The four episodes that make up the second season include Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in the original jazz-band orchestration with pianist Lola Astanova, Copland’s Music for the Theatre and Robert Beaser’s Ground O (Program #9), Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade (Program #10), Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben featuring concertmaster David Kim as violin soloist and principal horn Erik Ralske (Program #11), and Mozart’s Serenade No. 9, “Posthorn” and the world premiere of Samuel Jones’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra with violinist Anne Akiko Meyers (Program #12). In addition to the performances, the programs offer brief historical backgrounds about the composers and their worlds when particular works were composed, with interviews and educational commentary by Mr. Schwarz, the All-Star Orchestra musicians, and special guests.

Naxos of America will release the complete second season on two DVDs on Friday, September 11, 2015. The DVDs will be available for individual sale from, and all participating retailers for $19.99 each. Following the airing of the second season, the first season of eight episodes will be rebroadcast on public television stations beginning November 1 (check local listings).

The All-Star Orchestra is an ensemble of prominent musicians from the major orchestras in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Florida, Houston, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville, New Jersey, New York (including the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra), Oregon, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Francisco, Seattle, Utah, Washington D.C., and more. Together these musicians perform on one stage under the leadership of Gerard Schwarz, who led the Seattle Symphony for 26 years and now serves as its Conductor Laureate. The ensemble is featured in the All-Star Orchestra television series seen nationally on public broadcasting stations. The series has won the 2013 ASCAP Deems Taylor Broadcasting Award and three Emmy© Awards in 2014 and 2015 including two for Special Event Coverage and one for Audio Post-Production. The series aims to expose classical music to an even broader audience while keeping the listening experience informative and accessible. Programs from the first season were also released on DVD by Naxos of America and are available from Amazon and other retailers. Episodes from the first season are available to stream at

In 2014, the All-Star Orchestra partnered with the Khan Academy (, the free educational website that has more than 15 million monthly users on average. The collaboration brings music education to the widely visited website that teaches math, science, economics, humanities and many other subjects. To date, All-Star Orchestra lessons and features on the Khan Academy website have garnered over 1.8 million unique page views.

Season two of All-Star Orchestra was filmed in August 2014 at the SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center in Purchase, New York. The sessions were filmed using multiple high-definition cameras that were allowed unlimited access to each performance, roaming freely among the musicians to provide the audience with the best visuals and behind-the scene access.

American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations since 1961. In 2014, APT distributed one-third of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the U. S. Among its 300 new program titles per year, APT programs include prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramas, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies. America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Rick Steves’ Europe, Live From the Artists Den, Doc Martin, Nightly Business Report, Midsomer Murders, Vera, NHK Newsline, Lidia’s Kitchen, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, and P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home join numerous documentaries and performance programs popular with public television viewers. APT licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. Now in its 10th year, Create® TV — featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming — is distributed by APT. APT also distributes WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) is the largest cultural and education institution in Oregon and southern Washington, delivering excellence in public broadcasting to 1.5 million people each week through television, radio, and the Internet. Widely recognized as a national leader in the public broadcasting arena, OPB is a major contributor to the program schedule that serves the entire country. OPB is one of the most-used and most-supported public broadcasting services in the country and is generously supported by its members.

Naxos of America, headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee, is the leading independent classical music distributor in the U.S. and Canada. Specializing in state-of-the-art distribution and marketing and promotion, Naxos of America distributes nearly 65,000 SKUs to traditional brick and mortar retail, as well as offering a comprehensive suite of services tailored to consumer direct fulfillment. Naxos of America is also one of the world’s largest digital distributors of independent classical music and video, supplying a catalog of over 1.6 million tracks and 65,000 album discs to hundreds of digital platforms and mobile outlets across the globe. Naxos of America offers marketing, publicity, physical and digital e-commerce services, licensing opportunities, streaming services, sales support and customer service for all new releases and active catalog titles of Naxos Records and nearly 700 distributed labels.

All-Star Orchestra
Gerard Schwarz, conductor

DVD 1: Catalogue Number: 2.110370 UPC: 747313537051

Program #9: Rhapsody in Blue – Visions of New York
Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
Lola Astanova, piano
Copland: Music for the Theatre
Robert Beaser: Ground O

Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is featured in the rarely heard original jazz-orchestra version from the 1924 premiere, with the Russian-American pianist Lola Astanova. This iconic work will be paired with Aaron Copland’s 1925 jazz-age classic Music for the Theatre. Robert Beaser’s Ground O offers a personal musical perspective of New York after 9/11.

Program #10: 1001 Arabian Nights – The Legend of Scheherazade
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade
David Kim, solo violin

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s exotic orchestral showpiece Scheherazade is based on fantastical tales that – according to tradition – were told by the ingenious wife of a cruel Sultan so as to prolong her life for 1001 nights.  Concertmaster David Kim conveys the voice of the wily heroine in virtuosic violin solos. This ever-popular work could be described musical magic carpet ride between the worlds of Arabian folklore and Russian romanticism. Rimsky-Korsakov’s colorful orchestration offers many solo opportunities for the principal players.
DVD 2:  Catalogue Number: 2.110371 UPC: 747313537150

Program #11: A Hero’s Life in Music
Strauss: Ein Heldenleben
David Kim, solo violin
Erik Ralske, solo horn

Richard Strauss’ orchestral autobiography from 1899, Ein Heldenleben, is a unique documentary in music, scored for an extra-large orchestra – a sonic spectacular, and a showcase for the All-Star musicians, with extended solos by Concertmaster David Kim and Principal Horn Erik Ralske. In this highly pictorial music, the listener follows the “Hero” – identified as Strauss himself – as he asserts his independence, falls in love, confronts his critics, engages in battle, creates a legacy of peace, and eventually comes to life’s end.

Program #12: Mozart and a World-Premiere
Mozart: Serenade No. 9, K. 320, “Posthorn
David Bilger, Posthorn
Samuel Jones: Concerto for Violin (world premiere)
Anne Akiko Meyers, violin

Mozart’s  “Posthorn Serenade” is followed by the world premiere of Samuel Jones’ Violin Concerto with renowned soloist Anne Akiko Meyers performing on the legendary Vieuxtemps Guarneri violin. This rare event of a classical music world-premiere on national TV will showcase the collaboration between composer, soloist, and conductor in bringing a brand-new concerto to life.


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