The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s 2013-14 season will feature five world premieres, six Atlanta premieres, a return trip to New York’s Carnegie Hall and a fund-raising tribute to the late maestro Robert Shaw.

The ASO’s 69th season opens Sept. 26 with music director Robert Spano on the podium for a program featuring Bach’s Orchestra Suite No. 3, Brahms’ Symphony No. 3 and pianist André Watts playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. It marks Spano’s 13th year as music director and his partnership with principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles.

The world premieres begin in October and are as follows:

  • Oct. 3-5. A new work by Richard Prior, director of orchestra studies at Emory University.
  • Oct. 17 and 19. The Circle and the Child, a piano concerto by Philip Lasser, a faculty member at the Juilliard School.
  • Feb. 20 and 22, 2014. The ASO-commissioned Oratorio by Atlanta School of Composers member Michael Gandolfi.
  • March 20-21, 2014. The ASO-commissioned Fire Angels by Mark Grey.
  • May 29-31, 2014. A work by Charles Zoll, winner of the third Rapido! National Composition Contest for young composers.

ASO premieres include American Symphony by Atlanta School of Composers member Adam Schoenberg (Oct. 3-5). The Atlanta School is an effort on the part of Spano and the orchestra to champion music through multiyear partnerships with a new generation of American composers. The other Atlanta premieres are works by Britten, Copland, Carl Nielsen, Sibelius and Verdi.


On Nov. 10, the ASO will host a musical celebration of the life and legacy of Robert Shaw. Spano, on the piano, cellist Lynn Harrell, soprano Christine Brewer, mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson and vocalist Sylvia McNair will take part in a gala recital to honor Shaw, the orchestra’s late music director and conductor laureate. Proceeds will benefit the making of a film titled Robert Shaw – Man of Many Voices, co-produced by Georgia Public Broadcasting, the ASO and Yale University’s Music Library. (Follow the film’s progress HERE.)

Spano leads the ASO and Chorus to Carnegie Hall on April 30, 2014, to perform Britten’s War Requiem with soprano Evelina Dobraeva, tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, baritone Stephen Powell and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. The performance is a centerpiece of Carnegie Hall’s “Britten 100” — a season-long celebration of the centenary of the prolific English composer’s birth.

New this season are five “First Friday” classical concerts, which will begin at 6 p.m. and last about an hour without intermission. They’ll feature abbreviated versions of the week’s subscription performances.


The 24-week subscription season closes June 5, 7 and 8, 2014, with Verdi’s Aida. Guest artists throughout the season include violinists Joshua Bell, Hilary Hahn, Leonidas Kavakos and Gil Shaham; pianists Stephen Hough and Garrick Ohlsson; cellist Yo-Yo Ma; mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor; and soprano Jessica Rivera.

Season ticket packages, ranging from $138 for a six-concert series to more than $500 for all 24 concerts, are on sale now HERE or at 404.733.4800. Tickets for individual concerts will go on sale in August.

The orchestra has much more planned. For even more details, go HERE.

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.

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