The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra began in 1945 as an ensemble of musicians from Atlanta public schools known as the Atlanta Youth Symphony. Adult professional musicians were gradually added to the lineup until the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was a fully professional organization in 1951. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has played many times in Carnegie Hallin New York City and toured the United States and Europe. The 95-member ASO plays more than 200 annual shows in the Atlanta area, including a special tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King called the King Celebration. The 75-year-old orchestra, along with the world-renowned ASO Chorus, has produced more than 100 recordings. The group has won 28 Grammy Awards, including four for Best Classical Recording and nine for Best Choral Performance.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra continues to find a high-ranking position among American regional orchestras due to the leadership of four strong music directors. Henry Sopkin brought a Youth Symphony to the ranks of the country’s top 25 orchestras by hosting guest artists and touring. In 1967, Robert Shaw began a 21-year tenure as head of the ASO. He made the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra a full-time orchestra and founded the choruses. Under Shaw, the ASO played The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Carnegie Hall for the first time, toured extensively, broadcast on national radio and began professionally recording. Yoel Levi continued to refine the ASO sound during his tenure from 1989 to 2000. He evolved the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s international outlook and remains the ASO music director emeritus to this day. The present music director, Robert Spano, has a dynamic partnership with principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles, and the two continue the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s production of award-winning recordings and nationally recognized performances.
Where can I buy Atlanta Symphony Orchestra tickets?
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Is the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra coming to a city near me?
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra plays many times a month on their home stage at Atlanta Symphony Hall, and they play a summer series in Chastain Park in their home city. The Orchestra is scheduled to play Carnegie Hall next year.
What can I expect from an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performance?
Most Atlanta Symphony Orchestra concerts run for about 90 minutes with an intermission. A few family-oriented shows are only an hour long. Sometimes the orchestra plays many pieces, occasionally the program is devoted to one long piece and often the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is joined by a guest musician or vocalist. Some concerts feature movie themes, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra runs an interactive chamber music program for children under 5 called Music for the Very Young.
What US regional orchestras are similar to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra?
Who are some famous performers in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra?
Three of the most famous conductors of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra were Robert Shaw, Yoel Levi and the current music director, Robert Spano. Jane Little played bass for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for 71 years, a Guinness Book world record.
What is the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s most famous recording?
In the Robert Spano era, the best-known recordings by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra are the Grammy Award-winning A Sea Symphony and the Grammy-nominated Carmina Burana.Back to Top
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