The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s jampacked 2012-13 season will feature three world and 13 Atlanta premieres of works by for clarinet, piano and bass. The season, the ASO’s 68th, also marks the 12th year of the artistic partnership of Music Director Robert Spano and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles.

The new season begins Oct. 4 with Spano conducting Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and soloist Midori playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto. Spano also will conduct the three world premieres, starting with a clarinet concerto by Atlanta School of Composers member Michael Gandolf, written for principal clarinetist Laura Ardan on Jan. 10-12.

The remaining world premieres take place on April 4-5 and repeat at the Savannah Music Festival on April 6. Performances include a piano concerto by Marcus Roberts and the Marcus Roberts Trio and a new work by Atlanta Symphony bassist Michael Kurth.

The orchestra will play New York’s Carnegie Hall for the 23rd time, performing the Suite from Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with countertenor John Holiday, baritone Brett Polegato and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

Atlanta School of Composers including Gandolfi and Christopher Theofanidis return to the season alongside new talent. The orchestra will continue its long-standing tradition of orchestral pops, family hits, community programs and its annual holiday concerts. Metro Atlanta will see some 50 free community performances as the ASO works to foster community engagement and support.

“Inside the Music: Pre-Concert Lectures” will take place one hour before the start of all Thursday evening classical concerts at Atlanta Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Season tickets are on sale. Individual concerts will go on sale in August., 404.733.4800 (season tickets) or 404.733.5000 (single tickets).


  • Oct. 4-7: Violinist Midori plays Beethoven Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. Robert Spano conducts.
  • Oct. 18 and 20: ASO Chorus, countertenor John Holiday and baritone Brett Polegato perform Copland’s Suite From Appalachian Spring, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast. Spano conducts.
  • Nov. 1-3: Pianist Stewart Goodyear and the ASO perform Mozart’s Rondo in D Major, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24, R. Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration and Wagner’s Three Experts from Act 3 of Die Meistersinger. Asher Fisch conducts.
  • Nov. 8-10: Violinist Karen Gomyo and the ASO perform Matthias Pintscher’s Toward Osiris, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole and Stravinksy’s Suite From The Firebird. Matthias Pintscher conducts.
  • Nov. 15-18: Soprano Jessica Rivera joins the ASO for Sibelius’ Tapiola, Den Forsta Kyssen and Var Det en Drom, Grieg’s Solveig’s Song and Jeg elsker Dig, Rachmaninov’s Vocalise and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Spano conducts.
  • Nov. 29-Dec. 1: Pianist Emanuel Ax joins the ASO for Sibelius’ Symphony No. 6 and No. 7 and Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2. Spano conducts.
  • Jan. 10-12, 2013: World premiere of Concerto for Clarinet and Strings by Michael Gandolfi from the Atlanta School of Composers, Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 5 and Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade. Principal clarinetist Laura Ardan solos, with Juho Pohjonen on piano. Spano conducts.
  • Jan. 24 and 26, 2013: Violinist Vadim Gluzman and the ASO perform Weber’s Overture to Euryanthe, Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 Scottish. Kazushi Ono conducts.
  • Jan. 31 and Feb. 2: Violinist Vilde Frang and the ASO do Grieg’s Two Elegiac Melodies, Korngold’s Violin Concerto and Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 Rhenish. Gilbert Varga conducts.
  • Feb. 7-8 and 10: Guitarist Milos Karadaglic and the ASO do Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and Tchaikovsky’s Y Symphony No. 2 Little Russian. Xian Zhang conducts.
  • Feb. 21-23: Pianist Olli Mustonen joins the ASO for Verdi’s Overture to La forza del destino, Respighi’s Piano Concerto and Brhams’ Symphony No. 2. Spano conducts.
  • Feb. 28 and March 1: ASO  Chamber Chorus performs Bach’s Mass in B minor. Spano conducts.
  • March 7, 9-10: Violinist David Coucheron and the ASO do Schubert’s Overture to Die Zauberharfe.
  • Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, Schubert’s Rendering and Rossini’s William Tell Overture. Roberto Abbado conducts.
  • March 14-15: Reid Harris and the ASO do Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin, Schnittke’s Viola Concerto and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 Pastorale. Jun Märkl conducts.
  • March 28-30: Pianist Yevgeny Sudbin and the ASO do Benedikt Brydern’s Double Identity, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6 and Tchaikovksy’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Michael Morgan conducts.
  • April 4-5: The ASO performs new work by bassist Michael Kurth, a new piano Concerto by Marcus Roberts featuring the Marcus Roberts Trio, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Atlanta School of Composers member Christopher Theofanidis’ Rainbow Body. Spano conducts. Program repeats at the Savannah Music Festival on April 6.
  • April 11-13: Cellist Alisa Weilerstein joins the ASO for Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 and Bartok’s Concerto for Orchestra. Lionel Bringuier conducts.
  • April 25, 27-28: Violinist Itzhak Perlman joins the orchestra to perform Vivaldi Summer and Winter from The Four Seasons and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 Titan. Perlman conducts.
  • May 2, 4-5: Pianist Marc-André Hamelin joins the orchestra for Thomas Adès’ Dances From Powder Her Face, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 and Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 Spring. Hugh Wolff conducts.
  • May 9-11: Violinist David Coucheron, cellist Christopher Rex and pianist Robert Spano and join the ASO for Beethoven’s Egmont Overture and Triple Concerto and Walton’s Symphony No. 1. Donald Runnicles conducts.
  • May 16 and 18: Soprano Kiera Duffy, mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, baritone Edward Parks and the ASO do  Messiaen’s Les offrandes oubilées, Debussy’s La damoiselle élue and Duruflé’s Requiem. Donald Runnicles conducts.
  • May 30, June 1-2: Pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the ASO do Mozart’s Overture to The Magic Flute, James Macmillian’s Piano Concerto No. 3, The Mysteries of Light and Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 Jupiter. Spano, conducts.
  • June 13-15: R. Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra and Holst’s The Planets with concert images of space provided by NASA. Spano conducts.
  • June 20-22: Pianist Lars Vogt and the ASO do Brahms’ Tragic Overture, Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 1. Runnicles conducts.


  • Oct. 12-13: Sounds of Simon and Garfunkel.
  • Nov. 23-24: The ASO plays the score from Pirates of the Caribbean while the film plays on the big screen. Richard Kaufman conducts.
  • Dec. 21-22: A Very Merry Holiday Pops. Variety show with Jodi Benson, the voice of The Little Mermaid’s Ariel, a drumline, jitterbug Santa and more. Michael Krajewski conducts.
  • Feb. 15-16, 2013: Viva Italia. Vocal trio Poperazzi does songs from Frank Sinatra, The Godfather, La Traviata, The Barber of Seville and Turandot’s “Nessum Dorma.” Krajewski conducts.
  • April 19-20: Sixties Hits With the Midtown Men. The original cast of Jersey Boys joins the ASO for hits by Motown and more. Krajewski conducts.
  • May 24-25: An Evening With Michael Feinstein.


  • Dec. 6-8: Christmas With the ASO. The symphony and ASO Chorus are joined by the Morehouse College Glee Club and the Gwinnett Young Singers. Norman Mackenzie conducts.
  • Dec. 9 and 16: Second Chance Christmas – ASO Kid’s Christmas. The Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra performs. Jere Flint conducts.
  • Dec. 13 and 15: Handel’s Messiah with the ASO and ASO Chamber Chorus. Also: Gloria from Bach’s Mass in B minor. Mackenzie conducts.
  • Dec. 14-15: Gospel Christmas with the ASO and the ASO Gospel Choir. Chelsea Tipton II conducts.
  • Dec. 18-19: Holiday concerts to be announced.
  • Dec. 31: ASO New Year’s Eve. Pianist Tony DeSare and trio join the ASO performing tunes from Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter and Prince. Michael Krajewski conducts.


  • Oct. 21: Halloween at Hogwarts. The ASO does music from the Harry Potter films. Audience members are invited to come in costume. Jere Flint conducts.
  • Nov. 17: Pianist Lang Lang joins the ASO in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 and Symphony No. 5. Robert Spano conducts.
  • Jan. 17, 2013: A King Celebration Tribute Concert. The ASO’s annual tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at King International Chapel, Morehouse College. With the Morehouse College and Spelman College glee clubs. Spano conducts.
  • Feb. 9, 2013: The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra joins trumpeter Wynton Marsalis for its annual Atlanta performance.
  • Feb. 17: Charlotte and the Music-Maker. Platypus Theatre joins the ASO to take Charlotte on a magical journey that explores the sounds and colors of instruments.
  • April 14: Mother Goose. The ASO and Enchantment Theatre Company perform music inspired by Mother Goose stories and works by composer Maurice Ravel.

New Era Concerts

  • Nov. 11: Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra performs. Jere Flint conducts.
  • March 17, 2013: ASYO performs. Flint conducts.
  • May 12, 2013: ASYO performs. Flint conducts.




About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

View all posts by Kathy Janich