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 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-Saëns’ 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 legend-ary 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 14 years into this unique partnership with Robert Spano and this Orchestra,” Runnicles said. “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.”
The season opens Sept. 25 with Spano leading the orchestra in a weekend of performances featuring pianist Jeremy Denk playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20. Also on the program are Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, “Haffner” and Strauss’ "Don Juan" and "Till Eulenspiegel."
Runnicles will lead the orchestra in a two-part mini-Beethoven Festival Oct. 2 through 11. 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 Nov. 13 and 15. Christopher Theofanidis’ 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.
Gandolfi’s new work, “Sinfonia Concertante,” will be premiered April 30 and May 2, 2015, and has been commis-sioned to honor Robert Spano’s parents.
A series of pre-concert chamber music performances featuring ASO musicians will continue in 2014-15.
The orchestra will close the season with a performance of Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, led by Spano, June 4 and 6, 2015.
In the fall, the orchestra will release its fifth recording on its own record label, ASO Media. The all-Vaughan Williams release will feature Spano leading the orchestra in “The Lark Ascending,” with ASO Concertmaster David Coucheron as soloist, as well as Dona nobis pacem, featuring soprano Jessica Rivera, baritone Brett Polegato and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. The composer’s “Fourth Symphony” will also be included on the album.
The Orchestra’s First Friday classical concerts will continue to be held at 6:30 p.m. in Atlanta Symphony Hall on the first Friday of each month.
In the new season, the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra will celebrate its 40th anniversary.
The main orchestra also will present contemporary concerts in Atlanta Symphony Hall, the 2014 Delta Classic Chastain series, marking its 41st season, at the Chastain Park Amphitheatre in Buckhead, and concerts at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta.
For more information and a full schedule of concerts and events, visit www.atlantasymphony.org.