|Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Web site: http://www.atlantasymphony.org
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As one of the most creative and innovative orchestras in North America, the 95-member Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is complemented by the acclaimed Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the widely recognized Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. Serving as the cornerstone for musical performance and training in an area extending far beyond the city's borders, the ASO reaches nearly half a million people through its various concert series and its diverse initiatives in music education and outreach. The orchestra performs more than
200 concerts each
year, with its main
augmented by pops
series, family concerts, and a full summer schedule including classical, pops, and free parks concerts. Its educational concerts for young people are consistently sold out and, along with outreach initiatives in schools and community centers, serve more than 50,000 youngsters annually.
Music Director since 2001, Maestro Robert Spano has led an innovative period for the ASO that has included commissions for video and animated installations in the concert hall as well as video interviews with living composers and a greater emphasis on contemporary repertoire.
Recordings by the ASO have drawn international praise, winning an Audio Excellence Award, Gramophone and Ovation Magazine Awards, and many Grammy Awards. The ASO records for Telarc, with additional releases available on the Argo, New World, Nonesuch, Sony Classical, and Vox labels. The orchestra’s annual King Celebration concerts honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have grown to include symposiums, chamber-music concerts, and other related events. Guest artists have included Billy Taylor and his Trio, André Raphel Smith, Faye Robinson, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Indra Thomas, and Korva Coleman. participant in the
National Black Arts
Festival since its
beginning, the ASO
joined with the festival
in 1994 to sponsor a
competition for new compositions by African-American composers. The orchestra also treasures its relationships with area churches, with concerts given in collaboration with the Cathedral of St. Philip, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, North Avenue Presbyterian Church, and the Temple, among others.
The ASO’s innovative Talent Development Program identifies promising African-American and Latino musicians of school age and provides them with lessons, performing experience, and scholarships to summer music camps.
A number of TDP students have qualified for membership in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Georgia All-State Bands and Orchestras. TDP graduates are now studying at several conservatories and college schools of music.
The ASO has launched a number of ambitious outreach partnerships that take the orchestra’s musicians, individually or in groups, into the lives of school children who otherwise would never meet a professional musician. Most of the ASO’s
volunteer their time for
these activities, in
partnership with local
school systems, arts
centers, libraries, and other organizations. Through partnerships with Georgia State University, the Rialto Performing Arts Center, and the national Sphinx Competition, the ASO provides expanded performance and educational opportunities for many budding musicians.