The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Announces 2014-2015 Season
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) President and CEO Stanley E. Romanstein, Ph.D., Music Director Robert Spano, and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles today announced the ASO's 2014-15 season - the Orchestra's 70th season and Mr. Spano's and Mr. Runnicles's 14th as artistic partners. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is one of America's leading orchestras. It performs great music, presents leading artists, nurtures young talent, and engages music lovers. The 24-week subscription season will feature world-class music of past centuries while paving the way for great music of the future with performances by today's leading composers, soloists, and conductors.
"Working with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is a joy. After 14 years as Music Director, Atlanta is home, and I find the experience onstage with our superb musicians and enthusiastic audiences as exhilarating now as on opening night in 2001," said Music Director Robert Spano. "I am extremely fortunate to have a colleague and a friend in our Principal Guest Conductor, Donald Runnicles. Next season, I look forward to sharing new works with Atlanta audiences from American composers Michael Gandolfi, Christopher Theofanidis, Jonathan Leshnoff and Avner Dorman. Continuing our operatic adventures, we will perform Saint-Sae?ns's masterpiece, Samson et Dalila, with a star-studded cast. We are also thrilled to welcome guest conductor Marin Alsop back to Atlanta, as well as returning ASO favorites including Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, Lynn Harrell, and Kelley O'Connor. The season, of course, will showcase our extraordinary ASO musicians, and our legendary ASO Chorus will be featured in Vaughan Williams's A Sea Symphony and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9."
"It's hard to believe I am already fourteen years into this unique partnership with Robert Spano and this Orchestra," said Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles. "Collaborating with the musicians of the Orchestra and with my friend Robert continues to be very fulfilling and exciting. There is still so much ahead of us - this year, exploring the music of Beethoven with the Orchestra and Chorus, and unveiling the powerful music of Mahler. I am very much looking forward to sharing another astounding season of music-making with the people of Atlanta."
"There is nothing like a live musical performance. The Orchestra's energy, passion, and creativity continues to thrive under Robert Spano and Donald Runnicles," said Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Stanley E. Romanstein, Ph.D. "We are excited for all that is ahead of us, and we are delighted to be sharing this 70th anniversary season of diverse musical experiences with our community of music lovers."
The season opens on Thursday, September 25, 2014, with Mr. Spano leading the Orchestra in a weekend of performances featuring pianist Jeremy Denk playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20; also on the program is Mozart's Symphony No. 35, "Haffner," and Strauss's Don Juan and Till Eulenspiegel.
Mr. Runnicles will lead the Orchestra in a two-part mini-Beethoven Festival October 2-11, 2014. Part I will feature pianist Jonathan Biss playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1, as well as Symphony No. 9 with soprano Angela Meade, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, tenor Russell Thomas, and bass Nathan Berg. Part II of the festival will feature violinist Nicola Benedetti playing Beethoven's Violin Concerto. Mr. Runnicles will also lead the Orchestra in Symphony No. 6, "Pastorale."
The Orchestra will perform three world premieres in the 2014-15 season, including two new works by Atlanta School of Composers members Christopher Theofanidis and Michael Gandolfi. The third world premiere is by Jonathan Leshnoff.
Jonathan Leshnoff's new work, Symphony No. 2, "Innerspace," is an ASO commission and will be premiered November 13 and 15, 2014. Christopher Theofanidis's new work, Creation/Creator, will be premiered April 23 and 25, 2015. The world premiere of the piece will mark the culmination of a unique partnership between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Emory University, and the Georgia Humanities Council. Interweaving text and ideas from philosophy, science, religion, poetry, and literature, Mr. Theofandis says the work will give us a "profoundly deeper understanding of the relationship between these two subjects and will remove a limiting sense of a passive relationship between 'God' and humanity." Michael Gandolfi's new work, Sinfonia Concertante, will be premiered April 30 and May 2, 2015, and has been commissioned to honor Robert Spano's parents. The work will feature four ASO musicians: Principal Oboe Elizabeth Koch Tiscione, Principal Bassoon Designate Keith Buncke, Principal Clarinet Laura Ardan, and Principal Horn Brice Andrus.