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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

One of the youngest of America's major orchestras, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra began in 1945 as the Atlanta Youth Symphony, created by members of the Atlanta Music Club to give high-quality performance opportunities to young musicians in the Atlanta area. Over its history, the ensemble has grown from a community orchestra of volunteers and part-time employees to a world-class ensemble with a reputation for musical excellence.

Under the direction of the gifted conductor and teacher Henry Sopkin, the Atlanta Youth Symphony became the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) in 1947. Although still in its fledgling years, the orchestra flourished under Sopkin's leadership: expanding its repertoire, increasing its programs for young players, and improving the level of musicianship among its members. As it grew, the orchestra was able to attract world-renowned soloists such as Glenn Gould and Isaac Stern, which further enhanced its reputation as a top-notch regional orchestra. In 1964, the ASO, still an organization of part-time musicians, became a founding member of the Atlanta Arts Alliance, which later became the internationally acclaimed Woodruff Arts Center.

When Sopkin announced his retirement in 1966, an arduous search began to find a replacement for this talented and visionary conductor. The job was offered to Robert Shaw who initially turned down the position because he felt that he was not well-versed enough in orchestral repertoire to "stay ahead of the musicians." When he finally accepted the music director's position in 1967, it was obvious that he was equal to the challenge. Shaw immediately expanded the ASO to 87 full-time musicians, created the 200-voice Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and raised the expected level of musicianship to a new and highly professional standard. He also began to organize significant tours for the ASO which brought national recognition and recording opportunities to the group. Under Shaw's leadership, the ASO performed for the inauguration of President Jimmy Carter in 1977 and released the first commercial digital orchestral recording for Telarc.

The ASO made numerous recordings, won 15 Grammy Awards and toured internationally under Shaw's direction. In 1988, Shaw retired from his position as ASO music director. Following Shaw's retirement, Yoel Levi became the third music director in ASO history. A conductor of international reputation, Levi has continued the tradition of musical excellence for which the ASO has become known. In 1995, the ASO celebrated its 50th anniversary season with two nationwide television broadcasts and a successful tour of the northeastern United States, and performed for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in 1996 which was viewed by more than 3.5 billion people worldwide. In 2001, Robert Spano became music director, with Donald Runnicles as principal guest conductor. One of the six or seven largest Americal orchestras, the ASO performs over 200 concerts each year. By 2011, the orchestra had recorded over 100 albums and won a total of 27 Grammy Awards. The orchestra has commissioned, premiered, and recorded works by Osvaldo Golijov, Jennifer Higdon, Michael Gandolfi, and Christopher Theofanidis, among others.
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Beautiful Wedding: Ceremony

Composer: George Frideric Handel
Title: Solomon, Oratorio, Hwv 67
Composer: Jeremiah Clarke
Title: The Prince Of Denmark's March (Trumpet Voluntary In D Major) For Brass, Winds, & Percussion (or Keyboard Or Trumpet & Organ)
Composer: Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Title: Prélude Pour Le Te Deum À 8, For Strings, H. 145a
Composer: Henry Purcell
Title: Trumpet Tune (from "The Indian Queen (as Z. 630/4a")) For Harpsichord In C Major ZT 698
Composer: André Campra
Title: Rigaudon
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Title: Cantata No. 208, "Was Mir Behagt," (Hunt Cantata), Bwv 208 (Bc G1, G3)
Title: Cantata No. 147, "Herz Und Mund Und Tat Und Leben," Bwv 147 (Bc A174)
Title: Cantata No. 29, "Wir Danken Dir, Gott, Wir Danken Dir," Bwv 29 (Bc B8)
Composer: Franz Schubert
Title: Ellens Gesang III ("Ave Maria"), Song For Voice & Piano, D. 839 (Op. 52/6)
Composer: Antonio Vivaldi
Title: "Autumn" From The Four Seasons, Concerto For Violin, Strings & Continuo In F Major ("L'autunno"), Op.8/3, Rv 293
Composer: Felix Mendelssohn
Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Incidental Music, Op. 61
Composer: George Frideric Handel
Title: Music For The Royal Fireworks, For Orchestra, Hwv 351
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Title: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 In D Major, Bwv 1050
Composer: George Frideric Handel
Title: Concerto Grosso In G Major, Op.6/1, Hwv 319
Title: Water Music Suite No.2 For Orchestra In D Major, Hwv 349
Composer: Ottorino Respighi
Title: Ancient Airs And Dances, Set 2, Arrangements (4) For Orchestra, P. 138
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Track List: Osvaldo Golijov: Ainadamar

Comments

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WOOHOO!!!!! GO ASO!!! We like to go see them as an orchestra field trip

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