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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus


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Founded: 1945 - Atlanta, USA

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (= ASO) is one of the youngest American orchestras to achieve prominence on the global stage. Now in its 56th season, the ASO’s stature was most recently affirmed when - following a two-year international search - the ASO announced on February 8, 2000, the appointments of Robert Spano as Music Director Designate and Donald Runnicles as Principal Guest Conductor Designate.

The hiring of the two critically-acclaimed maestros were greeted with virtually universal acclaim. Approaching their leadership role with the ASO as a creative partnership, both conductors will officially begin their full duties in September 2001. (Each will also continue with the organization he currently conducts, Robert Spano with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra and Runnicles with the San Francisco Opera.)

During the current 2000-01 season, Spano conducts the ASO in four weekends of concerts, Mr. Runnicles in three, and both will record with the Orchestra for Telarc. Their partnership, which has already begun, clearly signals a dynamic, new era for the ASO and an enlightening experience for Atlanta music lovers.

The ASO debuted in 1945 as the Atlanta Youth Symphony, organized by members of the Atlanta Music Club and later guided by a Board of Directors. Henry Sopkin, a gifted young conductor and educator from Chicago, was brought in as Conductor on a one-year contract. He remained with the organization for more than two decades and built it from a youth ensemble into a respected regional orchestra.

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