Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Currently in its 67th season, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra consistently affirms its
position as one of America's leading orchestras by performing great music, presenting great
artists, educating, and engaging. The orchestra is known for the excellence of its live
performances its renowned choruses, as well as its impressive list of Grammy Award-winning
As the leading cultural organization in the Southeast, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
serves as the cornerstone for artistic development and music education in the region. Since
September 2001, the orchestra and its audiences have together explored a creative mix of
programming, including Theater of a Concert performances that explore different formats,
settings, and enhancements for the musical performance experience. Another example is the
Atlanta School of Composers, which reflects Robert Spano and the orchestra's commitment to
nurturing and championing music through multi-year partnerships that define a new
generation of American composers. Since the beginning of his tenure as music director, Mr.
Spano and the orchestra have performed more than 100 concerts that contain contemporary
works (composed since 1950), and by the end of the 2011-2012 season will have performed 15
orchestra-commissioned world premieres.
During its 32-year history with Telarc, the orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Chorus recorded more than 100 albums, and their recordings have won 27 Grammy Awards in
categories that include Best Classical Album, Best Orchestral Performance, Best Choral
Performance, and Best Opera Performance. The orchestra continues to record regularly on its
new in-house label, ASO Media, which demonstrates the orchestra's commitment to celebrating
classical masterworks while continuing to perform, commission, premiere, and record with
some of today's leading composers.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs more than 200 concerts each year for a combined
audience of more than half a million in a full schedule of performances, including
educational and community concerts. A recognized leader and supporter of contemporary
American music, the orchestra received the 2007 award for Strongest Commitment to New
American Music from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. With the
opening of the 12,000-seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park (vzwamp.com) in May
2008, the orchestra became the first US orchestra to annually perform and present in its
concert hall and in two amphitheaters. In summer 2008, the orchestra celebrated 35 years at
legendary Chastain Park Amphitheater, the award-winning 6,500 seat venue in Atlanta, during
its annual Delta Classic Chastain concert series (deltaclassicchastain.com).
Currently in his 11th season as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Robert
Spano is recognized internationally as one of the most imaginative conductors today. Since
2001, he has invigorated and expanded the orchestra's repertoire, while elevating the
ensemble to new levels of international prominence and acclaim.
Mr. Spano's discography with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra includes 19 recordings, six of
which have been honored with Grammy Awards. He has led the orchestra's performances at
Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, as well as at the Ravinia, Ojai, and Savannah music
festivals. Mr. Spano has conducted the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics, San
Francisco Symphony, the Boston and Chicago symphony orchestras, and the Cleveland and
Philadelphia orchestras, as well as the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, BBC Symphony,
and Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He has also conducted at the Royal Opera,
Covent Garden; Welsh National Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; and Houston Grand Opera, as
well as the 2005 and 2009 Ring cycles at Seattle Opera. Mr. Spano was Musical
America's 2008 Conductor of the Year.
In March 2010, Mr. Spano began a three-year tenure as Emory University's Distinguished
Artist-in-Residence, in which he spends three weeks each year leading intensive seminars,
lecturing, and presenting programs on science, math, philosophy, literature, and musicology
throughout the university's campus. In its history, Emory University has only honored seven
other individuals with such expansive residencies, including the Dalai Lama, President
Jimmy Carter, and author Salman Rushdie.
In March 2011, Mr. Spano was announced as the incoming music director of the Aspen Music
Festival and School. He was in residence in Aspen for the 2011 summer season as music
director-designate, and will assume the full role of music director in 2012. Mr. Spano will
also lead the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen (AACA) as a co-director in 2011 and
as director from 2012 onward. He will be the fourth long-term music director and second
AACA director in the AMFS's 63-year history.