LOOK FOR RETURNING FAVORITES JOSHUA BELL, GARRICK OHLSSON AND INGRID FLITER; BROADWAY’S SUTTON FOSTER TOPS POPS! LINEUP
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s 2016-17 season features three world premieres, 12 Atlanta premieres, a 70th birthday celebration for composer John Adams and a series recognizing living composers.
The orchestra’s 72nd season — the 16th in the artistic partnership of music director Robert Spano and principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles — begins Sept. 15 with Tchaikovsky and guest artist Joshua Bell and ends June 3 with Spano conducting Britten, Wagner and the world premiere of a new work by composer Mark Buller, winner of the Rapido! Competition.
ASO musicians who’ll perform as soloists are concertmaster David Coucheron (violin), principal flute Christina Smith, associate principal cello Daniel Laufter and principal trumpet Stuart Stephenson, who makes his ASO solo debut.
Returning favorites Joshua Bell, Garrick Ohlsson and Ingrid Fliter are joined by debuts from seven artists, including mandolinist Avi Avital.
The POPS! series comprises 11 concerts including an evening with Broadway’s Sutton Foster, the two-time Tony Award winner who grew up in Georgia.
Subscriptions are on sale and begin at $114 for a six-concert package. To renew or become a subscriber go HERE or call 404.733.4800. Single tickets go on sale in August. For details on every concert in the season, go HERE.
Here’s a month-by-month look at what’s ahead for metro classical music lovers.
SEPT. 15 | CLASSICAL. Opening Night. Music director Robert Spano leads Tchaikovsky with guest Joshua Bell on violin. Program features the Russian composer’s Nutcracker Suite, Romeo and Juliet and Violin Concerto in D major. 8 p.m.
SEPT. 22 + 24 | CLASSICAL. American pianist Garrick Ohlsson performs Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto. The Spano-led program includes the U.S. premiere of John Adams‘ Tromba lontana; Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5; and the Rachmaninov. 8 nightly.
SEPT. 30 | POPS! An Across the Pond Spectacular. Principal pops conductor Michael Krajewski leads a program featuring vocalists Storm Large (a rock, theater and cabaret artist), Shem von Shroeck and the ASO. 8 p.m.
OCT. 1 | POPS! The Across the Pond Spectacular program repeats. 8 p.m.
OCT. 6 + 8 | CLASSICAL. Adams, Shostokovich & Mozart. Music director Robert Spano leads a program comprising John Adams‘ The Chairman Dances, Shostokovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 22, featuring Bosnian-born pianist Pedja Muzijevic. 8 nightly. Ticket holders for both nights are welcome at a free pre-concert chamber music recital (6:45 p.m. Thursday) in Symphony Hall.
OCT. 13 + 15 | CLASSICAL. Adams, Gershwin & Copland. Guest conductor Hugh Wolff is on the podium for concerts featuring the U.S. premiere of John Adams’ Lollapalooza; Copland’s Symphony No. 3; and Russian pianist Denis Kozhukhin making his ASO premiere with Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F. 8 nightly.
OCT. 20 + 22 | CLASSICAL. Barber, Dvořák & James Lee III. ASO assistant conductor Joseph Young leads the orchestra in Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony, plus the U.S. premiere of Lee’s Sukkot Through Orion’s Nebula; and Barber’s Violin Concerto. American violinist Joseph Swensen makes his ASO debut. 8 nightly.
OCT. 21 | CLASSICAL. A Casual Fridays concert. Dvořák’s “New World” Symphony repeats, with Young on the podium, in this shorter Casual Fridays concert. 6:30 p.m.
OCT. 28-29 | POPS! Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Watch the 1993 feature film while the ASO performs the score live. Guest conductor Stuart Chafetz is on the podium.
OCT. 30 | FAMILY. The Phantoms of the Orchestra. The orchestra, with Young conducting, and the Magic Circle Mime Company present Bach’s Toccata in D Minor, Kodaly’s Ballet Music 1925 (Dragon’s Dance), Bach and Stockowski’s Little Fugue in G, Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain. 3 p.m.
NOV. 3 + 5 | CLASSICAL. Elgar & Vaughan Williams. Music director Robert Spano conducts Elgar’s Sea Pictures and Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony with the ASO and ASO Chorus and guest artists Tamara Wilson (soprano), Jamie Barton (mezzo-soprano) and Brian Mulligan (baritone). Wilson and Barton are making their ASO debuts. 8 nightly.
NOV. 6 | ASO YOUTH ORCHESTRA. Overture Concert. Young conducts the young players in Elgar’s Enigma Variations. 3 p.m.
NOV. 10 + 12 | CLASSICAL. Flourish With Fireworks premiere. Spano is on the podium for Oliver Knussen’s Flourish With Fireworks; Scriabin’s Symphony No. 5, Prometheus, Poem of Fire; Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1; and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. Concertmaster David Coucheron solos on violin, and Elizabeth Pridgen solos on piano. 8 nightly.
NOV. 17 + 19 | CLASSICAL. Donald Runnicles Season Premiere. Runnicles, the ASO’s principal guest conductor, returns to lead Mahler’s The Song of the Earth and A flock descends into the Pentagonal Garden by Takemitsu. Frequent visitor Kelley O’Connor (mezzo-soprano) and Russell Thomas (tenor) solo. 8 nightly. Ticket holders for both nights are welcome at a free pre-concert chamber music recital (6:45 p.m. Thursday) in Symphony Hall.
NOV. 25-26 | POPS! Virtuoso Jazz Trumpeter Byron Stripling. Stripling, an Atlanta native, joins the ASO to play Louis Armstrong tunes and holiday favorites. Krajewski is on the podium. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday. The Saturday matinee is a 75-minute performance.
NOV. 27 | FAMILY HOLIDAY. Young leads the ASO in a program suitable for all ages. 3:30 p.m.
DEC. 1 + 3 | CLASSICAL. Vivaldi Premiere. Laura Jackson, music director of the Reno [Nev.] Philharmonic, leads the symphony in its premiere of Vivaldi’s Concerto for Mandolin in C major with special guest Avi Avital, an Israeli mandolinist and composer. Also scheduled: Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances Suite 1; Avner Dorman’s Concerto for Mandolin and Strings (ASO premiere); and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6,
Pathétique. 8 nightly.
DEC. 9-10 | HOLIDAY. Christmas With the ASO. Conductor Norman Mackenzie leads the ASO and ASO Chorus, the Morehouse College Glee Club and the Gwinnett Young Singers in one of the orchestra’s most popular concerts of the year. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday.
DEC. 15 | HOLIDAY. Handel’s Messiah. Mackenzie leads the ASO and ASO Chamber Chorus in Part 1 of Handel’s epic work. 8 p.m.
DEC. 16-17 | HOLIDAY. A Very Merry Holiday POPS! British-American conductor David Charles Abell leads the ASO, the All-City High School Chorus and vocalists Hugh Panaro (Broadway’s Les Miserables, Side Show, The Phantom of the Opera, Show Boat) and Nikki Renée Daniels (The Book of Mormon, Anything Goes, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess) in a program of holiday favorites. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday.
DEC. 20-21 | HOLIDAY. Cirque de la Symphonie. The acrobats, jugglers, contortionists, strong men and high-flying aerialists return to Symphony Hall to work their magic on and above the stage as the ASO performs holiday favorites. Assistant conductor Joseph Young is on the podium. 8 p.m. Tuesday; 2 + 8 p.m. Wednesday.
JAN. 5 + 7 | CLASSICAL. Hayden’s Trumpet Concerto. ASO principal trumpet Stuart Stephenson performs the Hayden piece in his ASO solo debut. The program, led by Peter Oundjian, music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, includes Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio espagnol and Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. 8 nightly.
JAN. 12 + 14 | CLASSICAL. Shostakovich & a World Premiere. Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles is on the podium for the world premiere of a work by American composter Marc Neikrug, plus Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Jewish-American and Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein plays the Tchaikovsky. 8 nightly.
JAN. 19 + 21 | CLASSICAL. An Evening of Bruckner. Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles leads the ASO and ASO Chorus in the ASO premiere of Bruckner’s Te Deum as well as his Symphony No. 9. With soloists Melody Moore (soprano), Kelley O’Connor (mezzo-soprano), Nicky Spence (tenor) and Raymond Aceto (bass). Moore and Spence make their ASO debuts. 8 nightly.
JAN. 27-28 | POPS! Watch the 1981 feature film Raiders of the Lost Ark as the ASO plays the score live. Cincinnati-born Steven Reineke conducts.
FEB. 2 + 4 | CLASSICAL. Schumann, Strauss & Tchaikovsky. German conductor Jun Märkl leads a program comprising Schumann’s Symphony No. 1, Spring; Strauss’ Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme; and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations. With German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser. 8 nightly. Ticket holders for both nights are welcome at a free pre-concert chamber music recital (6:45 p.m. Thursday) in Symphony Hall.
FEB. 9 + 11 | CLASSICAL. Mahler & Beethoven. Music director Robert Spano leads the ASO in Mahler’s First Symphony (Titan) and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen as soloist. 8 nightly.
FEB. 10 | CLASSICAL. Casual Fridays. Spano and pianist Juho Pohjonen return for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in the shorter, Casual Fridays concert. 6:30 p.m.
FEB. 17-18 | POPS! The Legendary Music of Simon & Garfunkel. Principal pops conductor Michael Krajewski leads a program featuring the music of the 1960s-’70s folk-rock duo (“The Sound of Silence,” “Mrs. Robinson,” “Scarborough Fair,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water”). With vocalists AJ Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle.
FEB. 23 + 25 | CLASSICAL. Copland, Saint-Saëns & Vaughan Williams. Brits Michael Francis (conductor) and Benjamin Grosvenor (piano) make their ASO debuts with Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2 and Williams’ Symphony No. 5. 8 nightly.
MARCH 2 + 4 | CLASSICAL. ASO Premiere & Sibelius. Music director Robert Spano leads a program of modern masters, featuring the ASO premiere of Christopher Theofanidis‘ Dreamtime Ancestors; John Adams’ Harmonielehre; and American violin virtuoso Benjamin Beilman on Sibelius’ Violin Concerto.
MARCH 9 + 11 | CLASSICAL. Russian Masters. Michael Stern, music director of the Kansas City Symphony, conducts a concert of Russian masters featuring pianist Marc-André Hamelin, making his ASO debut, and Nikolai Medtner‘s Second Piano Concerto. Scheduled: Shostakovich’s Festive Overture and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. 8 nightly.
MARCH 10 | CLASSICAL. Casual Fridays. Shostakovich’s Festive Overture and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 are repeated in this Casual Fridays concert. 6:30 p.m.
MARCH 12 | FAMILY. Peter & the Wolf and Friends. Associate conductor Joseph Young leads the ASO in a program comprising Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee; Saint-Saëns “Elephant” from Carnival of the Animals; Copland’s “I Bought Me a Cat”; and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. 3 p.m.
MARCH 17-18 | POPS! The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Celebrates St. Patrick’s Day. Principal pops conductor Michael Krajewski leads the ASO in saluting the green, with the Irish-American vocalists of Cherish the Ladies. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday (75-minute concert); and 8 p.m. Saturday.
MARCH 19 | CLASSICAL. The Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra’s Crescendo Concert. Scheduled: Mussorgsky and Ravel’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Young conducts. 3 p.m.
MARCH 23 + 25 | CLASSICAL. Christopher Theofanidis’ Creation/Creator. Spano leads the ASO and ASO Chorus, which are joined by soprano Jessica Rivera, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke (ASO debut), baritone Nmon Ford, bass Evan Boyer, and narrators Steven Cole and Shannon Eubanks. Rivera and Ford are frequent ASO collaborators. 8 nightly.
MARCH 29 | CLASSICAL. Side-by-Side Concert. The professionals of the ASO and the aspiring professionals of the ASYO share the stage, with Young conducting. 8 p.m.
APRIL 6-7 | CLASSICAL. All-Rachmaninov Program. Pianist Stephen Hough joins maestro Robert Spano and the ASO for Rachmaninov’s Vocalise, Piano Concerto No. 1
and Symphonic Dances. 8 nightly.
APRIL 19 | CLASSICAL. Temple Anniversary Concert. Associate conductor Joseph Young leads the ASO and cellist Matt Haimovitz, an Israeli who grew up in the United States, in a program comprising Prokokfiev’s Overture on Hebrew Themes, Bloch’s Schelomo, and Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story Symphonic Dances and Candide Overture. 8 p.m.
APRIL 21-22 | POPS! Broadway’s Sutton Foster in Concert. Foster, a two-time Tony Award winner (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes) and multiple nominee, joins the ASO and Broadway music director/conductor Andy Einhorn for a selection of Broadway tunes and other favorites. Both Foster, who spent some of her growing-up years in Georgia, and Einhorn make their ASO debuts. 8 nightly.
APRIL 27 + 29 | CLASSICAL. R. Strauss, Dvořák & Mendelssohn. Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko leads the ASO in R. Strauss’ Don Juan, Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 (featuring Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter) and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8. Ticket holders for both nights are welcome at a free pre-concert chamber music recital (6:45 p.m. Thursday) in Symphony Hall.
MAY 4 + 6 | CLASSICAL. Mozart, Stravinsky & Haydn. British conductor Nicholas McGegan leads a program comprising Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite and Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 (London). 8 nightly.
MAY 5 | CLASSICAL. Casual Fridays With Mozart & Haydn. Nicholas McGegan conducts Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik and Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 (London). ASO principal cellist Daniel Laufer plays Couperin’s Pièces en concert for Cello and Strings. 6:45 p.m.
MAY 11 + 13 | CLASSICAL. Gluck Premiere. Music director Robert Spano leads the ASO and ASO Chamber Chorus in the premiere of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, with countertenor David Daniels as Orfeo, lyric soprano Susanna Phillips as Euridice and lyric soprano Heidi Stober as Amore. These concerts will be recorded live for ASO Media. 8 nightly.
MAY 14 | CLASSICAL. Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestra Finale Concert. Associate conductor Joseph Young lead the AYSO in Respighi’s Pines of Rome. 3 p.m.
MAY 19-20 | POPS! Music of the King: The Elvis Presley Songbook. This tribute features principal pops conductor Michael Krajewski on the podium, the ASO, and vocalists Dave Bennett and Alison Blackwell. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday (75-minute program); and 8 p.m. Saturday.
MAY 25 + 27 | CLASSICAL. An All-French Program. Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles leads Debussy’s Nocturnes, Jolivet’s Flute Concerto (ASO premiere) and Fauré’s Requiem with the ASO, ASO Chorus, ASO principal flute Christina Smith, Swiss soprano Kim-Lillian Strebel and American baritone Matthew Worth. 8 nightly. Ticket holders for both nights are welcome at a free pre-concert chamber music recital (6:45 p.m. Thursday) in Symphony Hall.
JUNE 1 + 3 | CLASSICAL. Season Finale. Music director Robert Spano closes the season with a program featuring Britten, Wagner and the world premiere of a new work by composer Mark Buller, winner of the Rapido! Competition. Featured artists: soprano Twyla Robinson, tenor Clifton Forbis of the Canadian Tenors and Australian bass-baritone Daniel Sumegi. 8 nightly.
JUNE 9-10 | POPS! Singin’ in the Rain. See the classic 1952 feature film starring Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor while the ASO performs the score live. Maestro Jack Everly — music director of the National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth on PBS — conducts. 8 nightly.
JUNE 11 | FAMILY. Plundering Pirates of Symphony Hall. Associate conductor Joseph Young leads this concert for all ages. 3 p.m.