Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: January 2022

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I N T R O D U C T I O N S In Tune.

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Music Director..

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ASO Leadership. ASO Musicians. N OT E S

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Written by Noel Morris

JAN 13, 15..

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JAN 20,22.

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JAN 29, 30. .

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D E PA R T M E N T S ASO Support. .

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Ticket Info/General Info. ASO Staff. .

46 age 12 P A conversation with composer Sarah Gilbson | @AtlantaSymphony |


ASO | IN TUNE Dear Friends, At the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra we are deeply committed to ensuring that symphonic music continues to thrive through our award-winning and diverse training programs for Atlanta’s finest young musicians. There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing a group of passionate, committed young people making music together. We hope you will join us for one of their performances this spring. There has been a special energy in the air at performances by the inspiring young musicians of our Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra (ASYO) this fall. The 116-member ensemble returned to Symphony Hall in November for their first concert with in-person audiences since November 2019. Led by ASYO Music Director/ASO Associate Conductor Jerry Hou, the concert featured a collaboration with the Alliance Theatre Teen Ensemble in an engaging and diverse program. There are still two chances to see ASYO in action this year on February 27 and May 14. If you miss a concert, we are excited to release video recordings of each of the concerts this season. Visit for more information. The ASO’s intensive Talent Development Program (TDP) is currently accepting applications for the 2022/23 school year. The highly selective TDP is a program of excellence, providing rigorous year-round, pre-professional training for African American and Latinx musicians starting as early as 5th grade through high school. To hear the students with your own ears, join us for the TDP Spring Recitals this spring in the Rich Theatre. To reserve your tickets or to learn more about the program, please visit It is incredible to follow the careers of the alumni of these programs. Many go on to pursue successful careers as performers, teachers, composers and arts administrators. This month, the ASO is delighted to perform a work by ASYO alumna Sarah Gibson on January 20 and 22. Read more about her work and her experience in ASYO in a recent conversation she had with ASO Bassist and Composer Michael Kurth on page 12. We also look forward to welcoming rock star TDP alumnus Xavier Foley back to the Symphony Hall stage as both soloist and composer, premiering his new ASOcommissioned bass concerto with the ASO on March 24 and 26. The future is indeed bright in the hands of these brilliant young musicians! With gratitude,

Jennifer Barlament Executive Director | @AtlantaSymphony |




t’s a creative partnership like no other, forged over two decades. Since 2001, Robert Spano and Sir Donald Runnicles have collaborated on each of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s seasons, curating a collection of works chosen for this time and this place. Together, our two maestros have led the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra into a new era. Robert Spano, conductor, pianist, composer and teacher, is known worldwide for the intensity of his artistry and distinctive communicative abilities, creating a sense of inclusion and warmth among musicians and audiences that is unique among American orchestras. After twenty seasons as Music Director, he is continuing his association with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as Co-Artistic Advisor for the 2021/22 season. An avid mentor to rising artists, he is responsible for nurturing the careers of numerous celebrated composers, conductors, and performers. As Music Director of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 2011, he oversees the programming of more than 300 events and educational programs for 630 students and young performers. Principal Guest Conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra since 2019, Spano became Music Director Designate on April 1, 2021, and begins an initial three-year term as Music Director in August 2022. He will be the tenth Music Director in the orchestra’s history, which was founded in 1912. Sir Donald Runnicles is the General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Music Director of the Grand Teton Music Festival, as well as Principal Guest Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. In 2019 Runnicles also took up post as the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s first-ever Principal Guest Conductor. He additionally holds the title of Conductor Emeritus of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, having served as Chief Conductor from 2009-2016. Runnicles enjoys close and enduring relationships with many of the leading opera companies and symphony orchestras, and he is especially celebrated for his interpretations of Romantic and post-Romantic repertoire, which are core to his musical identity. Sir Donald Runnicles is born and raised in Edinburgh. He was appointed OBE in 2004, and was made a Knight Bachelor in 2020. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Sir Donald Runnicles

Robert Spano

6 | encore ASO | LEADERSHIP | 2021/22 Board of Directors OFFICERS Janine Brown

Howard Palefsky

Lynn Eden

James Rubright


immediate past chair

vice chair

vice chair

Patrick Viguerie

Susan Antinori

Bert Mills

chair elect



DIRECTORS Phyllis Abramson, PhD. Erroll Brown Davis, Jr.

Nancy Janet*

Doug Reid

Keith Adams

Randolph J. Koporc

James Rubright

Juliet M. Allan

Carlos del Rio, M.D. FIDSA

Carrie Kurlander

William Schultz

Susan Antinori

Sloane Drake

James H. Landon

Charles Sharbaugh

Jennifer Barlament*

Lynn Eden

Donna Lee

Fahim Siddiqui

Paul Blackney

Angela Evans

Sukai Liu

W. Ross Singletary, II

Rita Bloom

Craig Frankel

Kevin Lyman

John Sparrow

Janine Brown

Sally Bogle Gable

Deborah Marlowe

Elliott Tapp

Justin Bruns*

Rodrigo GarciaEscudero

Bert Mills

Brett Tarver

Molly Minnear

S. Patrick Viguerie

Hala Moddelmog*

Kathy Waller

Terence L. Neal

Mark D. Wasserman

Galen Lee Oelkers

Chris Webber

Benjamin Q. Brunt C. Merrell Calhoun S. Wright Caughman, M.D.

Anne Game Bonnie B. Harris Charles Harrison

Susan Clare

Caroline Hofland

Lisa Chang

Tad Hutcheson, Jr.

Russell Currey

Roya Irvani

John R. Paddock, Ph.D. John B. White, Jr. Howard D. Palefsky

Richard S. White, Jr.

Cathleen Quigley

Kevin E. Woods, M.D., M.P.H.


John T. Glover

Meghan H. Magruder

Michael W. Trapp

John W. Cooledge, M.D. Dona Humphreys

Penelope McPhee

Ray Uttenhove

John R. Donnell, Jr.

Aaron J. Johnson, Jr.

Patricia H. Reid

Chilton Varner

Jere A. Drummond

Ben F. Johnson, III

Joyce Schwob

Adair M. White

Carla Fackler

James F. Kelley

John A. Sibley, III

Sue Sigmon Williams

Charles B. Ginden

Patricia Leake

H. Hamilton Smith

Karole F. Lloyd

G. Kimbrough Taylor, Jr.

LIFE DIRECTORS Howell E. Adams, Jr.

Bradley Currey, Jr.

Betty Sands Fuller

*Ex-Officio Board Member | @AtlantaSymphony |

Azira G. Hill | @AtlantaSymphony |

8 | encore ASO | 2021/22 Musician Roster




David Coucheron


Rainer Eudeikis




The Mr. and Mrs. Howard R. Peevy Chair

The Atlanta Symphony Associates Chair

The Miriam and John Conant Chair

Justin Bruns

associate principal

associate concertmaster

Sou-Chun Su acting / associate

The Charles McKenzie Taylor Chair

The Frances Cheney Boggs Chair


Jay Christy


assistant concertmaster

acting associate / assistant

Jun-Ching Lin


Daniel Laufer The Livingston Foundation Chair

Karen Freer assistant principal

Dona Vellek assistant principal emeritus

assistant concertmaster

Dae Hee Ahn

Anastasia Agapova

Robert Anemone

Kevin Chen

Sharon Berenson

Carolyn Toll Hancock

Noriko Konno Clift

Brad Ritchie

The Wells Fargo Chair

David Dillard


John Meisner Christopher Pulgram Juan R. Ramírez Hernández Olga Shpitko Kenn Wagner Lisa Wiedman Yancich Sissi Yuqing Zhang SECTION VIOLIN ‡ Judith Cox Raymond Leung The Carolyn McClatchey Chair

Sanford Salzinger

Sheela Iyengar** Eleanor Kosek Ruth Ann Little

Thomas Carpenter Joel Dallow The UPS Foundation Chair

Joseph McFadden principal

The Marcia and John Donnell Chair

Rachel Ostler

Gloria Jones Allgood


The Lucy R. & Gary Lee Jr. Chair

Zhenwei Shi

Brittany Conrad**


Karl Fenner

The Edus H. and Harriet H. Warren Chair

Paul Murphy associate principal

The Mary and Lawrence Gellerstedt Chair

Catherine Lynn

associate principal

Michael Kenady The Jane Little Chair

Michael Kurth Daniel Tosky FLUTE

assistant principal

Christina Smith

Marian Kent

The Jill Hertz Chair

Yang-Yoon Kim Yiyin Li


Robert Cronin associate principal

Lachlan McBane

C. Todd Skitch

Jessica Oudin

Gina Hughes

Madeline Sharp

Players in string sections are listed alphabetically | @AtlantaSymphony |

Robert Spano

co-artistic advisor

The Robert Reid Topping Chair

Sir Donald Runnicles principal guest conductor co-artistic advisor

The Neil & Sue Williams Chair

Jerry Hou

Norman Mackenzie

associate conductor;

director of choruses

music director of the atlanta symphony youth orchestra

The Frannie & Bill Graves Chair

The Zeist Foundation Chair




Gina Hughes

Juan de Gomar

Mark Yancich



Elizabeth Koch Tiscione

Jaclyn Rainey



The George M. and Corrie Hoyt Brown Chair

The Betty Sands Fuller Chair

Zachary Boeding

associate principal

Joseph Petrasek

Kimberly Gilman


associate principal

The Kendeda Fund Chair

Samuel Nemec Emily Brebach ENGLISH HORN Emily Brebach CLARINET Laura Ardan principal

The Robert Shaw Chair The Mabel Dorn Reeder Honorary Chair

Ted Gurch associate principal

Marci Gurnow Alcides Rodriguez E-FLAT CLARINET Ted Gurch BASS CLARINET Alcides Rodriguez BASSOON


The Walter H. Bunzl Chair

Michael Stubbart

Susan Welty

assistant principal


Chelsea McFarland**

The Julie and Arthur Montgomery Chair

Bruce Kenney

William Wilder


assistant principal

Stuart Stephenson principal

The Madeline and Howell Adams Chair

The William A. Schwartz Chair

Michael Stubbart The Connie and Merrell Calhoun Chair

Michael Tiscione


associate principal

Elisabeth Remy Johnson

Anthony Limoncelli Mark Maliniak

The Sally and Carl Gable Chair



The Hugh and Jessie Hodgson Memorial Chair

Vacant principal

The Terence L. Neal Chair, Honoring his dedication and service to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Nathan Zgonc acting / associate



Jeremy Buckler**

Peter Marshall † Sharon Berenson LIBRARY Katie Klich principal

Brian Hecht*

The Marianna & Solon Patterson Chair

Luke Sieve•**

Holly Matthews



assistant principal librarian

The Abraham J. & Phyllis Katz Foundation Chair

Brian Hecht*

Anthony Georgeson

Luke Sieve•**

Andrew Brady

associate principal

Laura Najarian Juan de Gomar

The Home Depot Veterans Chair

TUBA Michael Moore principal

The Delta Air Lines Chair

Hannah Davis asyo / assistant


‡ Rotates between sections * Leave of absence † Regularly engaged musician • New this season ** One-year appointment

10 | encore | @AtlantaSymphony |

JESSIE MONTGOMERY: Records from a Vanishing City SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished” JOSEF STRAUSS: Music of the Spheres

PIAZZOLLA: Aconcagua Carlos Kalmar conductor KSENIJA SIDOROVA accordion

FEB 3/5


Dmitry Sinkovsky

conductor, violin & countertenor HANDEL & MOZART: Selected Arias

FEB 10/12/13 JAMES WILSON: The Green Fuse MENDELSSOHN: Symphony No. 3, “Scottish”

WALTON: Viola Concerto Donald Runnicles conductor ZHENWEI SHI Principal Viola

Programs, artists and prices are subject to change. Season presented by

On Sale Now

FEB 24/26

12 | encore

A Conversation with Composer Sarah Gibson by Michael Kurth


-based composer and pianist Sarah Gibson regularly collaborates with some of the music world’s brightest stars, including the L.A. Philharmonic, where she serves as Lead Teaching Artist for the orchestra’s Composer Fellowship Program, superstar violinist Jennifer Koh, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and many others. But trace her roots back a few years, and you’ll find a high-school girl sitting behind a Steinway grand, playing piano for the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra (ASYO). From there, a chance meeting with Atlanta School of Composers mainstay Jennifer Higdon set Gibson on her path out West, where she’s quickly making a name for herself. I corresponded with Gibson after the ASO recorded her piece “Sweeping the Floor” for an upcoming Concert for Young People under the baton of Jerry Hou. I found her music to be fresh and captivating, with a rhythmic energy and appealing orchestrational colors, and quite fun to play. | @AtlantaSymphony |

MK: Tell me about your jobs at USC and the L.A. Phil. SG: I’m currently in my third year as an Assistant Teaching Professor in music composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. I teach individual composition, lead seminars, and direct the Ensemble for Contemporary Music there. I’m also Lead Teaching Artist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Composer Fellowship Program where I teach composition to L.A. area high schoolers. I love both jobs and am very passionate about teaching composition. As a composer, I work with many new music groups around the country and am always excited to work with performers. MK: And you continue to perform as a pianist as well? SG: I have a new music piano duo called HOCKET, dedicated to who is broadening the definition of a piano duo. I co-founded this duo with Thomas Kotcheff, a fellow composer/pianist, and we both write for the group and also commission new pieces by today’s most exciting composers. We’re also Core Artists in the L.A. series called Piano Spheres.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will premiere Sarah Gibson's warp & weft on the JAN 20/22 program.

14 | encore MK: And when did you move to L.A.? SG: I’ve been in L.A. since 2008 and absolutely love the new music scene here. I live just north of downtown with my husband, Aaron Fullerton (a screenwriter) and our dog, Barley. MK: What’s on the horizon? SG: I am really excited about two new projects HOCKET has this coming spring. The first is a project with the Seattle Symphony. During the summer of 2020, HOCKET started a project called #What2020SoundsLike where we commissioned 50 composers to write miniatures for our duo which responded to the year 2020. We made videos of each piece to post on social media and then later recorded these pieces for an album. Seattle Symphony picked up the project and is having us perform two concerts with them in February 2022. For these concerts, they’ve commissioned three of our composers from the original project to write new pieces for us and four of the composers to write new pieces for us and Seattle Symphony members (including a new piece by myself). They’re calling this concert #What2022SoundsLike. Then, in April 2022, HOCKET is performing John Cage’s Three Dances for Two Prepared Pianos and I will be writing a new piece for piano duo with the same preparation that John Cage uses. It should be a wild ride, very challenging, and very fun! MK: How close are you to what you thought you’d be doing back when you were in the ASYO?

Jennifer Higdon has SG: I think quite close! ASYO opened up a whole world for been a long-time collaborator with Robert me as a performer and composer. As a composer, getting to Spano and the Atlanta sit in the middle of the orchestra and really immerse myself Symphony Orchestra.

in the mechanics of the orchestra was life changing. Also, the first living composer I ever met was Jennifer Higdon when she was a guest speaker at ASYO. I left that session telling my parents I wanted to major in composition. And as a pianist, I played chamber music with so many of the members of ASYO and wrote for a lot them in high school. It made me realize how much I love chamber music and how exciting it is to work intimately with other musicians. | @AtlantaSymphony |

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I always knew I wanted to do both performance and composition, ASYO helped me grow and mature in both. MK: How have your artistic goals evolved since then? SG: There was a time where I wondered if I wanted to be an orchestral pianist, because I loved playing in ASYO so much (and I was also an orchestral pianist in college). But, since ASYO, I’ve focused much more on new music. I find it very exciting that new music performers can really make a statement and have a powerful point of view on the music they’re performing. Beethoven Sonatas have a million recordings, but if you’re premiering a piece, you have autonomy and can say something extremely important with your voice. It’s your job as the performer to make your own statement, do your own research, and discover why this piece needs a performance. I find that very exciting. And of course, focusing on new music as a performer inevitably feeds my voice as a composer. It’s very exciting to play music by current composers and digest and process the music as a composer as well. Performance and Composition feed each other and it really keeps me motivated and creatively inspired around the clock. MK: Describe how your ASYO years helped shape you. SG: ASYO truly confirmed to me that I wanted to be a composer and performer and that I could continue to pursue these passions as my career. (Former ASYO Music Director) Jere Flint was so encouraging, inspiring and motivating as a conductor. I learned so much from him as both a performer and composer. ASYO believes in each of their members 100% and that confidence is so palpable for a young musician. To be immersed in the music, have access to every ASO concert (which I went to basically every weekend), and to be coached by the world-class ASO members was so phenomenal. ASYO truly is one of my favorite and most important groups I have ever been a part of. It has so much to do with the musician I am today.

See the next generation of music this season at an Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra Concert. Tickets are free and these performances are great for the whole family. ASYO CRESCENDO Concert FEB 27, 2022, 3pm RAVEL: Pavane pour une infante défunte HUANG RUO: Folk Songs for Orchestra DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 8 ASYO FINALE Concert MAY 14, 2022, 3pm SHIH-HUI CHEN: Ascending Waves (Concerto Competition Winner) SCOTT LEE: Drawn Under (ASYO Commission) MUSSORGSKY: Pictures at an Exhibition [orch. Ravel]


ASO | SEASON SPONSORS We are deeply grateful to the following leadership donors whose generous support has made the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's season possible.

A Friend of the Symphony

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The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra gives special thanks to the following donors for their extraordinary support of the Orchestra’s Stability Fund. Created at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stability Fund helps mitigate the enormous challenges of the pandemic and allows the Orchestra to continue performing and sharing music with our community. A Friend of the Symphony (4) The Antinori Foundation The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association Jennifer Barlament & Kenneth Potsic Janine Brown & Alex J. Simmons, Jr. The John and Rosemary Brown Family Foundation

Thalia & Michael C. Carlos Advised Fund Marcia & John Donnell In loving memory of Catherine W. Dukehart The Estate of Geoffrey G. Eichholz Angela Evans James H. Landon Bert & Carmen Mills Lynn & Galen Oelkers

Sally & Pete Parsonson Patty & Doug Reid Mr. John A. Sibley, III Ross & Sally Singletary Slumgullion Charitable Fund Kathy Waller & Kenneth Goggins Adair & Dick White The Estate of Hubert H. Whitlow, Jr. Kiki Wilson

This list recognizes donors who have made contributions to the ASO Stability Fund since March 2020.

18 | jan13/15 Concerts of Thursday, January 13, 2022, 8:00 p.m. Saturday, January 15, 2022, 8:00 p.m. KAZUKI YAMADA, conductor

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756–1791) Overture to Idomeneo, K. 366 (1781) 5 MINS CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921) Concerto No. 4 in C Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 44 (1875) 25 MINS I. Allegro moderato — Andante II. Allegro vivace — Andante sostenuto — Allegro Stephen Hough, piano INTERMISSION


TŌRU TAKEMITSU (1930–1996) Requiem for Strings (1957)

Thursday’s concert is

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797–1828) Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D. 485 (1816) I. Allegro II. Andante con moto III. Menuetto: Allegro molto IV. Allegro vivace

dedicated to Connie & Merrell Calhoun in honor of their extraordinary support of the 2020/21 Annual Fund.

The use of cameras or recording devices during the concert is strictly prohibited. Please be kind to those around you and silence your mobile phone and other hand-held devices. | @AtlantaSymphony |




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by Noel Morris Program Annotator

Overture to Idomeneo

First & Most Recent

Overture to Idomeneo is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, timpani and strings.

ASO Performances:


ho would believe that such great things could be hidden in such a small head?” This was the question posed by the snarky Elector of Bavaria as he studied the man Mozart; it happened during a rehearsal of Idomeneo in 1780. Now 24 years old, Mozart, the one-time child star, was struggling to reinvent himself as a mature composer. “What annoys me most of all here is that these stupid Frenchmen seem to think I am still seven years old,” moaned Mozart in 1778. At just 5’ 4”, his physical stature didn’t help. By his late teens, he was serving with his father in the court of the Archbishop of Salzburg—a job he couldn’t stand. His boss was cruel, obstructive and haughty. And after having spent his childhood dazzling the high nobility of Europe, Mozart felt like a caged bear. “Salzburg is no place for my talent,” he groaned. “In the first place, professional musicians there are not held in much consideration; and, secondly, one hears nothing, there is no theater, no opera; and even if they really wanted one, who is there to sing?” Idomeneo had been a lucky break for young Mozart; a musician friend had persuaded the Elector of Bavaria that the former prodigy had the goods to write an opera for the carnival season. Receiving a commission in the fall of 1780, Mozart started work in October. By early November, he negotiated six weeks leave to travel to Munich to supervise the production. There, he connected with friends, attended performances and reveled in city life. Though his new opera was a success, it failed to secure for him a better job. Weeks after its premiere, the Archbishop summoned him to Vienna where the two locked horns for the last time. The Archbishop fired Mozart, dismissing him with a kick in the pants. Defying his father’s wishes, Mozart lived out his days as a freelance musician in Vienna.

January 26–28, 2006 Laura Jackson, conductor

20 | encore The opera Idomeneo comes from a French lyric tragedy by Antoine Danchet. It takes place at the end of the Trojan War on the island of Crete. In the overture, a great storm tosses the ship of the Trojan captives, which includes Princess Priam, daughter of the Trojan king. Idamante, the son of her father’s enemy, pulls her ashore. Concerto No. 4 in C Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 44 First ASO Performances: January 15–17, 1976 Robert Shaw, conductor Edith Kraft, piano

In addition to the solo piano, Concerto No. 4 is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani and strings.


amille Saint-Saëns came of age during the reign of Napoléon III—nephew of the man who had January 25–27, 1996 conquered half of Europe. He then lived to see the dawn Sian Edwards, conductor of the Jazz Age. Over his 86 years, the automobile Awadagin Pratt, piano replaced the horse and buggy; electric lighting replaced gas, and the modernists moved into the concert hall— an artistic movement he largely rejected. Yet the enduring popularity of his works, including Carnival of the Animals, Danse Macabre and Sampson and Delilah, speaks for itself. Most Recent

ASO Performances:

A child prodigy with astonishing abilities, he began composing at age four and made his public debut as a pianist at age ten. He excelled in Latin, Greek, and mathematics and actively pursued interests in philosophy, archeology and astronomy. By all accounts, he was a phenomenal sight-reader—Richard Wagner marveled at his ability to play from opera scores while taking special care to simulate Wagner’s orchestral effects. Once, when Saint-Saëns was to perform a two-piano version of Liszt’s Les Preludes, his recital partner cancelled at the last minute, so he propped both scores on his stand and performed a combined version. At twenty-two, Saint-Saëns was appointed organist at the church of La Madeleine, the official church of the Second Empire. In that same year, 1858, he wrote his First Piano Concerto. Composing five in all, he produced his Fourth Piano Concerto in 1875. Interestingly, a pile of unpublished manuscripts yielded a discovery years later: In his late teens, while still a student | @AtlantaSymphony |

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at the Paris Conservatory, Saint-Saëns had started and abandoned a symphony. Thematic material from that student piece turned up in the Fourth Piano Concerto, two decades later. Saint-Saëns himself played the solo piano at the premiere which took place at the Théâtre du Châtelet on October 31, 1875. Requiem for Strings head of a 1965 New York Philharmonic performance, composer Tōru Takemitsu received a request for information about Requiem for Strings. He responded with a hand-written letter apologizing for his English: “I’m very sorry to write English. Your imagination may be overstrained to read this letter. Thank you very much.” His letter provided valuable context for his piece. “It is my first piece for instruments,” he explained. Until that point, Takemitsu had primarily created music using a technique called “musique concrète,” which involved manipulating natural sounds with the use of a tape machine. (George Martin used this technique in the Beatles songs “Revolution 9” and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” among others.) Born in Tokyo, Takemitsu was not quite fifteen when mushroom clouds exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For a Japanese musician at the end of World War II, writing a requiem could not have seemed more foreign. “I’m not a Catholic,” acknowledged Takemitsu. Yet the requiem—traditionally the Roman Catholic mass for the dead—seemed to him the perfect vehicle for his feelings. Still writing in English, he explained: “We are a bereaved people in the war—not only Japanese, our world. I think music must be a form of prayer.” The composer went on to say, “I’m very happy that I have not a specific religion. My god is everywhere in the thicket of trees, in the people, and in a coca-cola [sic] bottle.” The war years had been traumatic for the young composer. Pressed into military service at 14, Takemitsu served as a forced laborer, helping to build and occupy a network of underground encampments beneath the mountains west of Tokyo. Living under an oppressive regime, he described

First & Most Recent ASO Performances: October 26–28, 1978 Hiroyuki Iwaki, conductor



22 | encore this period as “extremely bitter.” His trauma worsened in 1945 when B29s unloaded incendiary bombs over his hometown in the deadliest air raid in human history. In spite of the hardship of his teenage years, there was one memory he cherished until the end of his life: while living in the underground encampment, a kind-hearted officer had secretly played for him a record of the French song “Parlezmoi d’amour.” It gave Takemitsu a window into Western music—something that was strictly forbidden. After the end of hostilities, the United States military arrived making that window permanent. “My first teacher was the radio,” he recalled. Glued to Armed Forces Radio, the 16-year-old Takemitsu spent hours listening to concerts from the Hollywood Bowl. Vowing to become a composer, he managed to find a local music teacher, although he is largely self-taught. He wrote his Requiem for Strings in 1957. The Requiem Mass The earliest surviving polyphonic requiem was written by Johannes Ockegham in the 15th century. Traditionally speaking, the form follows the Roman Catholic mass for the dead. Across the centuries, composers have applied themselves to this fixed Latin text, producing what has become a long line of seminal works, including requiems by Mozart, Berlioz, Bruckner, Dvořák, Verdi, Fauré and Duruflé. Other composers have felt inspired to write requiems but have chosen to depart from the Roman Catholic text. Famously, Johannes Brahms premiered his German Requiem in 1869. Takemitsu’s Requiem departs even further, dispensing with the use of chorus. Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, D. 485 Symphony No. 5 is scored for one flute, two oboes, two bassoons, two horns, and strings. First ASO Performances: November 6–9, 1969 Robert Shaw, conductor Most Recent ASO Performances: January 24–29, 2021 Peter Oundjian, conductor


n 1816, 19-year-old Franz Schubert was writing music and was a much-loved member of a musical ecosystem that buoyed people like Beethoven and Rossini to stardom. This is not to say he made a living at it. Schubert was one of fourteen children born to Franz and Elisabeth Schubert. Only five survived infancy. An amateur cellist and schoolmaster, Schubert’s father | @AtlantaSymphony |

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As a youth, Schubert sang in the famed Vienna Boys Choirs where he received schooling at the Academic Grammar Gymnasium. An exceptional talent, he played in and conducted an orchestra, and received music lessons, meals and a roof over his head. One of his most nurturing teachers was Antonio Salieri, the man maligned in Broadway’s Amadeus (perhaps unjustly). When Schubert’s voice changed, he was out of a job and lost interest in academics. With a head full of music, he dropped out of school and returned home, hoping to become a full-time musician. His father did not approve. Forced to earn his keep, 17-year-old Schubert taught for a short time at his father’s school— work he found unbearable. Soon he was out of a job and out of a home. Quickly, he fell into a society of musicians, poets, writers, and intellectuals. Drinking into the night, Schubert and friends haunted local taverns, discussing the art and politics of Imperial Austria. They danced, made music and read aloud. Referring to themselves as the pub crawlers, this group became an essential support system to the composer. Sustaining his short life, they found pianos for him to play upon, shared in his compositions and offered places to sleep. Nineteen-year-old Schubert wrote his Symphony No. 5 in September and October of 1816. At the time, he played viola in a pickup orchestra of mostly amateur musicians. Among the professional players was violinist Otto Hatwig, a member of the Burgtheater orchestra. In the fall of 1816, this ad hoc ensemble gathered in Hatwig’s home to read through Schubert’s Symphony No. 5. Franz Schubert died on November 19, 1828, at the age of 31. The public premiere of his Symphony No. 5 took place in 1841.


made music the focus of family life. By his teens, young Franz was the violist in his family string quartet, and it was for this group that he wrote some of his earliest known compositions—some sixteen quartets by the age of 19.

24 | meettheartists KAZUKI YAMADA, CONDUCTOR



azuki Yamada is Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, and Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In Japan he also serves as the Permanent Conductor of Japan Philharmonic, Principal Guest Conductor of Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Music Director and Chairman of The Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo as well as Music Director of Yokohama Sinfonietta, an ensemble he founded while still a student. Yamada appears as a guest conductor with such orchestras as Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, MDRSinfonieorchester Leipzig, Orchestre de Paris, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra. Orchestras he will work with in the future include St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic and Tonkünstler-Orchester at the Vienna Musikverein. Among the soloists with whom he enjoys working are Emmanuel Ax, Boris Berezovsky, Håkan Hardenberger, Martin Helmchen, Nobuko Imai, Daishin Kashimoto, Alexander Kniazev, Steven Osborne, Francesco Piemontesi, Vadim Repin, Baiba Skride, Arabella Steinbacher, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Frank Peter Zimmermann. Now a resident of Berlin, Yamada was born in Kanagawa, Japan, in 1979. In 2009 he was the winner of the 51st Besançon International Competition for young conductors. | @AtlantaSymphony |

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STEPHEN HOUGH, PIANO ince taking first prize at the 1983 Naumburg Competition in New York, pianist Stephen Hough has performed with many of the world’s major orchestras, including the Czech, London and New York Philharmonics, the Chicago, Atlanta and Toronto Symphonies, and the Philadelphia, Minnesota, Budapest Festival and Russian National Orchestras. Hough was the first classical performer to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001. Hough has composed works for orchestra, choir, chamber ensemble and solo piano. His “Mass of Innocence and Experience” and “Missa Mirabilis” were respectively commissioned by and performed at London’s Westminster Abbey and Westminster Cathedral. He has also been commissioned by musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Gilmore Foundation, The Genesis Foundation, the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, London’s National Gallery, Wigmore Hall, Le Musée de Louvre and Musica Viva Australia, among others. Many of his of over 60 albums have garnered international prizes including the Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, Diapason d’Or, Monde de la Musique, several Grammy® nominations, eight Gramophone Magazine Awards including “Record of the Year” in 1996 and 2003, and the Gramophone “Gold Disc” Award in 2008, which named his complete SaintSaëns Piano Concertos as the best recording of the past 30 years. Hough resides in London, where he serves as the International Chair of Piano Studies at his alma mater, the Royal Northern College in Manchester. He is also a faculty member at The Juilliard School.



26 | jan20/22 Concerts of Thursday, January 20, 2022 8:00 p.m. Saturday, January 22, 2022 8:00 p.m. GEMMA NEW, conductor MILOŠ KARADAGLIĆ, guitar

This weekend’s concerts are dedicated to Gary Lee in honor of his extraordinary support of the

SARAH GIBSON (b. 1987) warp & weft (2019)


JOBY TALBOT (b. 1971) Ink Dark Moon, Guitar Concerto (2018) 24 MINS I. Andante espansivo — Allegro energico — II. Largo flessiblile — III. Allegro vigoroso — Presto vigoroso Miloš Karadaglić, guitar INTERMISSION SERGEI RACHMANINOV (1873–1943) Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 (1915)


JEAN SIBELIUS (1865–1957) Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 82 (1915, rev. 1916, 1919) 33 MINS I. Tempo molto moderato — Allegro moderato — Presto II. Andante mosso, quasi allegretto III. Allegro molto — Misterioso

2020/21 Annual Fund.

The use of cameras or recording devices during the concert is strictly prohibited. Please be kind to those around you and silence your mobile phone and other hand-held devices. | @AtlantaSymphony |


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by Noel Morris Program Annotator

warp & weft

These are ASO

warp & weft is scored for two flutes (both doubling piccolo), two oboes (one doubling English horn), two clarinets (one doubling bass clarinet), two bassoons (one doubling contrabassoon), two horns, two trumpets, timpani, percussion, piano and strings.

premiere performances.


arah Gibson is a Los Angeles-based composer and pianist whose works draw on her breadth of experience as a collaborative performer with a deep interest in the creative process across various artistic mediums. She has received honors and recognitions such as the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Sound Investment composer, American Composers Orchestra Underwood New Music Readings, Copland House Residency, Victor Herbert ASCAP award, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and a Chamber Music America Grant. She has received commissions from the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center, Arco Collaborative, Aspen Summer Music Festival & School and Seattle Symphony, among others. Gibson’s music has been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Jennifer Koh, Departure Duo, HOCKET and at various venues across the United States and in Europe. As a pianist, Gibson has performed with many of these ensembles as well as with Wild Up, the Bang on a Can All-Stars, and the Atlanta Symphony where she debuted under the direction of Sir Donald Runnicles in 2005. Gibson is co-founder of the new music piano duo, HOCKET, which has been lauded as “brilliant” by the LA Times’ Mark Swed, and is a core artist for the inimitable Los Angeles Series, Piano Spheres. HOCKET has held residences at Avaloch Farm Music Institute and received grants from the Earle Brown Music Foundation and the Presser Foundation. HOCKET has performed at such festivals as the MATA Festival, the L.A. Philharmonic›s Noon to Midnight, Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, and the Other Minds Festival. Gibson received degrees in Piano and Composition from Indiana University and the University of Southern California. Alongside Artistic Director Andrew Norman,

28 | encore she is the Lead-Teaching Artist for the esteemed Nancy and Barry Sanders Los Angeles Philharmonic Composer Fellowship Program. Gibson is Assistant Teaching Professor in Composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the College of Creative Studies and Music Department where she is the director of the Ensemble for Contemporary Music. warp & weft was commissioned by Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Sound Investment in 2019. From the composer: "Inspired by the trailblazing work of artist Miriam Schapiro, warp & weft is a celebration of the creative process and specifically the Schapiro-coined term “femmage.” Femmage, or feminist collage, defines any activity practiced by women using traditional women’s techniques to achieve their art—collage, decoupage, and weaving, just to name a few. Schapiro used the term to elevate the significance of women’s crafting in the home which was historically denigrated as “decorative” art compared to predominantly male artists whose pieces were classified as “high” art. The form and content of warp & weft is particularly inspired by the art of weaving. I visualized a loom and the act of weaving while composing, where the weft (horizontal axis of the loom) is represented by sections dedicated to gradually developing melodies, and the warp (vertical axis of the loom) depicts the sections identified by strong vertical chords. Throughout the piece, I imagine Schapiro’s studio, full of color, various materials, and ideas, swirling around in a fantastical way as she moves from medium to medium celebrating the history and artistic viewpoints of women past, present, and future." —Sarah Gibson Ink Dark Moon, Guitar Concerto These are ASO premiere performances

In addition to the solo guitar, Ink Dark Moon is scored for two flutes (one doubling piccolo), two oboes (one doubling English horn), two clarinets, two bassoons (one doubling contrabassoon), two horns, two trumpets, tenor trombone, bass trombone, timpani, percussion, harp, piano, celeste and strings. | @AtlantaSymphony |


oby Talbot was born in London in 1971. He studied composition privately with Brian Elias and at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, before completing a Master of Music (Composition) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Simon Bainbridge. Talbot’s diverse catalogue includes the narrative ballets Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2011) and The Winter’s Tale (2014), both collaborations with choreographer Christopher Wheeldon for The Royal Ballet and National Ballet of Canada that have since entered the repertory of companies worldwide; the choral Path of Miracles (2005), a 60-minute a cappella journey along the Camino de Santiago commissioned by Nigel Short’s Tenebrae and performed regularly by international ensembles; arrangements of songs by Detroit rock duo The White Stripes alongside Talbot’s original works for choreographer Wayne McGregor’s unparalleled Chroma (The Royal Ballet, 2006); Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity (2012), an additional movement to Holst’s The Planets for the Philharmonia Orchestra’s interactive digital installation, Universe of Sound under Esa-Pekka Salonen; Genus Quartet (2013) for Los Angeles’ acclaimed Calder Quartet, premiered as part of the Barbican’s weekend of new music curated by Nico Muhly; and the hugely popular animated feature Sing (Garth Jennings, 2016) for Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Minions). For the BBC Proms, Talbot has written The Wishing Tree (The King’s Singers, 2002); Sneaker Wave (BBC National Orchestra of Wales, 2004); and an arrangement of Purcell’s Chacony in G Minor (BBC Symphony Orchestra, 2011). Talbot has considerable experience writing for the screen, including classic BBC comedy series The League of Gentlemen and feature films The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Garth Jennings, 2005) and Closed Circuit (John Crowley, 2013); and has been twice commissioned by the British Film Institute, to re-score silent films The Lodger (1999) and The Dying Swan (2002). A new score to Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1932 Vampyr for LA Opera’s Off Grand season at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles was presented on 27 October 2018. Joby Talbot’s guitar concerto, Ink Dark Moon, premiered

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30 | encore as part of the BBC Proms on August 2, 2018, at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The following are the program notes for the premiere, reproduced here by kind permission of the author, Nick Breckenfield: Co-commissioned for the ever-enthusiastic Miloš Karadaglić by the BBC and Borusan Istanbul, Joby Talbot’s guitar concerto acquired its title during the process of composition. Anyone who has followed Talbot’s career will recognize his penchant for titles: his previous two concertos are also individually named. His 1998 percussion concerto Incandescence was followed in 2006 by his trumpet concerto Desolation Wilderness. The latter was inspired by Northern California’s high Sierra Nevada (particularly the contrasts between bright sunlight and the icy chill in shadows), and there is an American landscape that partially inspired Ink Dark Moon. On the back of two full-length narrative ballets for the Royal Ballet and National Ballet of Canada—Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and The Winter’s Tale—as well as his first opera commission, Everest, from Dallas Opera, Talbot—as is his wont—sought the relative seclusion of Oregon’s epic forested landscape. Getting away far from anywhere he communed especially with nature’s nocturnal beauty, heavy with scent and owls hooting at each other, with the promise of something to happen. His thoughts turned to the problem of concerto form—what do you do with it? Make it a conversation, like Mozart; or a tussle, like Tchaikovsky or Brahms? Talbot was intrigued by Michael Nyman’s Trombone Concerto, casting the solo instrument as a medieval miscreant followed by an ensemble playing “rough music” as his punishment. But whereas the trombone is an instrument that can carry over a full orchestra, how do you successfully treat the guitar as a concertante instrument? Talbot turned to the way an electric guitar, with its modern effects pedal and looping techniques, can amplify motifs and build a multi-layered soundscape. He came up with the idea of the orchestra, no larger than required for Copland’s Appalachian Spring (with the sole addition of a third percussionist), becoming the guitar’s sounding board. Everything is generated by the soloist, and the idea | @AtlantaSymphony |

of echoing refrains from various parts of the orchestra recurs over and over, helping to overcome the challenge of the guitar being “the village in front of the city,” getting obscured by the colorful backdrop. The nocturnal atmosphere Talbot soaked up in Oregon chimes with the traditional idea of the guitar as a serenading instrument, and there is certainly a Spanish feel to much of the music. But the name Ink Dark Moon is taken, with permission, from a collection of medieval Japanese love poetry, as titled by its translator, American poet Jane Hirshfield. Talbot subsequently set some of Hirshfield’s translations of sacred poetry by woman for a choral cycle, equally evocatively titled A Sheen of Dew on Flowers, premièred in April 2019 at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Ink Dark Moon was premièred at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 2 August 2018 as part of the BBC Proms, with Miloš Karadaglić accompanied by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Alexander Vedernikov. The Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra, as co-commissioners, presented the Turkish première on 28 November and 1 December 2019, conducted by Diego Matheuz, at Istanbul Lütfi Kırdar. Cast in three “movements” played without break, Ink Dark Moon opens with the soloist alone pursuing a refrain that gets gentle string underpinning, then a more regular pulse before dissolving into a quasi cadenza which leads into the main Allegro molto energico, again with the soloist taking the rhythmic lead, with clarinet and flute in echoing mode and the world of Alice not far away. This incident-packed dance-like fervor suddenly opens out into a slow, atmospheric central plateau, with celeste, harp and crotales enhancing the guitar’s delicate pinging, before a return to the energetic music and, in turn, a quietening to reintroduce the gentle opening refrain. A short improvisatory lento with solo natural harmonics over a bed of strings melts into the slow “movement,” which moves through a series of themes, following the Molto flessibile introduction, culminating in a contemplative strumming at the movement’s centre, before reviewing themes and leading to an Adagio musing that is interrupted by the opening of the finale.

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32 | encore Marked Allegro vigoroso and in jagged time signatures, the finale settles into a more regular meter, for the soloist’s “intense” opening gambit, swathed in atmospheric nocturnal rustling, functioning as a double introduction to the rhythmic intricacy of the main theme, where chattering wind, then trumpet, echo the guitar. More single-minded than the previous two “movements,” the individual sections here build cumulatively, ever faster, to the pounding final pages and the sudden release that marks the end: guitar, percussion and basses quite literally having the final note. © Nick Breckenfield, 2020 Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 Vocalise is scored for two flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns and strings. First ASO Performances: January 30–31, 1958 Henry Sopkin, conductor Most Recent ASO Performances: April 6–7, 2017 Robert Spano, conductor


here was a time when Sergei Rachmaninov was best known as a pianist. Even today, hardcore piano lovers consider him one of the greatest ever. Yet, in spite of having fast cars and a Beverly Hills home, he would certainly have traded it all for the life he had had in pre-Soviet Russia. There, he was a respected conductor and composer of opera and orchestral music. He had a beautiful rural estate in the country that he loved; and he had agency over his career. In the West, he was an exile. In December of 1917, two months after the Bolsheviks came to power, Rachmaninov crossed into Finland with his family, traveling part of the way in open sledge. He never went back. Landing in New York in 1918, he found himself in a world occupied by a brand of modernism that was alien to the lush Romantic sounds coming from his pen. Less interested in his compositions, Western presenters coaxed him into a piano career, and there he remained. To put it into perspective, he defected at the age of forty-four, living another twenty-six years, and wrote only six major compositions after his arrival in America. Most egregiously, the 1954 Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians (the go-to encyclopedia on classical music) wrote of Rachmaninov: composer of “artificial and gushing tunes . . . not likely to last.” It was a bad call. Since that time, his reputation as a composer has steadily replaced the memory of his piano performances. Today, his works are among the | @AtlantaSymphony |

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most performed, best loved of all the Russian composers. Rachmaninov is, in fact, a modernist; his economy of form, the distinctiveness of his orchestral colors and the richness of his harmonies place him in firmly in the modern age; he simply did it without completely forsaking his ability to write a good tune. Among the casualties of Rachmaninov’s jump to the West are his songs. In the first half of his life, he wrote some eighty songs using poems by such writers as Tolstoy, Goethe, Heine, Pushkin and Chekov. Today, people outside Russia hardly remember them at all, in part because Western singers are trained in Latin, French, Italian and German— the Russian language is barrier. The one exception is the Vocalise, a song without words. Written in 1915 for the coloratura Antonina Nezhdanova, Vocalise is to be sung on “Ah,” a nod to the extraordinary expressive abilities of its original singer. True to form, Rachmaninov builds his tune off a theme he used over and over again in his life; a piece of plainchant from the Latin Mass for the Dead called Dies Irae (“Day of Wrath”). Whereas many of his works, present this theme as a cry in the wilderness, the Vocalise serves it up as a sultry and mournful melody. Symphony No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 82 Symphony No. 5 is scored for two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, timpani and strings.


or most people, fiftieth birthdays are a big deal, a time for celebration and perhaps reflection. For Jean Sibelius, it was a reason to write a symphony.

First ASO Performances:

Throughout his childhood, his people, the Finns, had been under the thumb of the Russian czar. Using compositions inspired by nature and Finnish folklore, Sibelius stirred in them a new level of patriotic fervor. By his fiftieth birthday, he was a national hero.

Most Recent

Curiously, the composer’s first language was Swedish (there is a population of Swedish-speaking Finns), but he attended Finnish-speaking schools and eventually fell for the daughter of General Alexander Järnefelt, governor of

November 21–24, 1979 Louis Lane, conductor ASO Performances: September 22–24, 2016 Robert Spano, conductor

34 | encore Vaasa. With wedding bells on the horizon, Sibelius switched to speaking Finnish in the home. Together, he and the general’s daughter, Aino, had six daughters, and eventually built a cottage in the country, which the composer named Ainola, “Aino’s Place.” In a 65-year marriage, Jean and Aino were not without their sorrows. In 1900, their daughter Kirtsi died of typhoid fever, and Sibelius took to spending long stretches away from the family. Staying in Helsinki, he enjoyed the night life: drinking, dining and running up bills. He loved to smoke cigars, which led to a bout of throat cancer in 1907. For a time, he quit drinking and smoking, which fostered some healing in the marriage. Sadly, with the outbreak of war in 1914, he lost much of his income and slid back into substance abuse. Money problems aside, Sibelius contemplated the Fifth Symphony over several years, doing much of the writing at Ainola. In April of 1915, he wrote in his journal: “In the evening, working on the symphony. This important task which strangely enchants me. As if God the Father had thrown down pieces of a mosaic from the floor of heaven and asked me to work out the pattern.” And that’s what you get in the Fifth: fragments of themes that knit themselves together into a greater whole. In honor of the composer’s fiftieth birthday, Finnish authorities declared a national holiday, planning a great celebration that would culminate in the world premiere of the Fifth Symphony. Sibelius, himself, conducted that concert on his birthday, December 8, 1915. Over the next several years, he put the piece through several revisions until it took its final form. The finale is striking in its originality and came to him (as many musical ideas had) through an encounter with nature. “Today at 10 minutes to 11, I saw 16 swans,” he wrote. “Lord God, what beauty! They circled over us for a long time. Disappeared into the solar haze like a gleaming silver ribbon. Their call is the same woodwind type as that of cranes but without tremolo . . . Nature-mysticism and life’s angst. The Fifth Symphony’s finale theme.” | @AtlantaSymphony |




ikolaj Szeps-Znaider inaugurated his first season as Music Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon in September 2021. He conducted the Orchestra’s 2019/20 season opening concerts and together they toured Russia in February 2020. Szeps-Znaider is a regular guest conductor of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Bamberg Symphony and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Following an outstandingly successful debut conducting The Magic Flute at the Dresden Semperoper, Szeps-Znaider was immediately re-invited to conduct Der Rosenkavalier at the House in Autumn 2019. This season he returns to Dresden Semperoper for a revival of Der Rosenkavalier and makes his debut at the Royal Danish Opera conducting a new production of The Magic Flute. Also a virtuoso violinist, Szeps-Znaider maintains his reputation as one of the world’s leading exponents of the instrument with a busy calendar of concerto and recital engagements. During the 19/20 season he appeared as soloist with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France and Konzerthausorcheter Berlin, and performed the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas with Rudolf Buchbinder in Vienna’s Musikverein. Szeps-Znaider is passionate about supporting the next generation of musical talent, and is President of the Nielsen Competition, which takes place every three years in Odense, Denmark. He plays the “Kreisler” Guarnerius “del Gesu” 1741 on extended loan to him by The Royal Danish Theater through the generosity of the VELUX Foundations, the Villum Fonden and the Knud Højgaard Foundation. | @AtlantaSymphony |

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A dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, Ashkar will perform a series of recitals this season in Copenhagen and Milan exploring the early, middle and late sonatas of Beethoven alongside other composers that were influenced by him. Other recent and future recital appearances include the Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls in London, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Musikverein Vienna. Ashkar is Artistic Director of the Galilee Chamber Orchestra, formed of students and young professionals to encourage collaboration between the Arab and Jewish communities in Israel. This orchestra has grown out of the Polyphony Foundation, founded by his brother. Saleem works with them as both conductor and soloist and recent engagements have included a tour in Germany. He is closely involved in several other education projects, including the Al-Farabi Music Academy in Berlin which he co-founded, and which works with young people who don’t have access to a musical education. Saleem’s most recent recordings have been for Decca Records. They have released the Mendelssohn Piano Concertos with the Leipzig Gewandhaus and Chailly and two Beethoven Concertos with the NDR Elbphilharmonie and Ivor Bolton. Saleem is also recording the complete Beethoven Piano Sonata cycle for Decca, the first three discs of which are already released.


aleem Ashkar made his Carnegie Hall debut at the age of 22 and has since gone on to establish an international career. Recent and future concerto highlights include the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Konzerthausorchester Berlin and the St Louis, Vancouver and Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestras.

38 | jan29/30 Concerts of Saturday, January 29, 2022 8:00 p.m.

LILI BOULANGER (1893–1918) D’un matin de printemps (Of a Spring Morning) (1918)


EDVARD GRIEG (1843–1907) Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A Minor, Op. 16 (1868) 31 MINS I. Allegro molto moderato NIKOLAJ SZEPS-ZNAIDER, II. Adagio III. Allegro moderato molto e marcato conductor Saleem Ashkar, piano SALEEM ASHKAR, INTERMISSION 20 MINS piano PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840–1893) Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 (“Pathétique”) (1893) 47 MINS I. Adagio — Allegro non troppo II. Allegro con grazia Saturday’s concert III. Allegro molto vivace is dedicated to IV. Finale: Adagio lamentoso Mary & Jim Rubright Sunday, January 30, 2022 3:00 p.m.

in honor of their extraordinary support of the 2020/21 Annual Fund.

The use of cameras or recording devices during the concert is strictly prohibited. Please be kind to those around you and silence your mobile phone and other hand-held devices. | @AtlantaSymphony |


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by Noel Morris Program Annotator

D’un matin de printemps D’un matin de printemps is scored for piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, bass clarinet, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, percussion, harp, celeste and strings.


any of us can remember a time when women composers were practically unheard of. British composer Judith Weir, Master of the Queens Music quipped: “When I started having music performed in the mid-1970s, I was invariably the only woman on the program or in the class photo. It made even me feel that I was behaving strangely by insisting that I was a composer.” Historically, for women of higher social standing, publishing music was considered improper behavior. At the conservatory level, female students were denied access to counterpoint and more advanced theory classes—the fundamentals of composition. For centuries, they struggled against academics who questioned their very ability to handle the intellectual rigors of composition. Lili Boulanger offers a case study in what happens when access meets breathtaking talent. Born in 1893, she was the daughter of a prestigious composition professor at the Paris Conservatoire. When she was two years old the composer Gabriel Fauré noticed she possessed perfect pitch. That same year, Lili contracted bronchial pneumonia and nearly died—an episode that had a lasting impact on her health. Nevertheless, she showed an uncanny ability for music, learning to sing, play piano, harp, violin, cello and organ. Initially, Lili Boulanger was eclipsed by her older sister, Nadia, who was six years her senior. Nadia entered the Conservatoire at age ten and kept baby sister in tow. As the girls matured, Nadia became a serious contender for the Prix de Rome, a composition prize that had been awarded to Hector Berlioz, Charles Gounod, Georges Bizet and Claude Debussy (no woman had ever won). In 1908, she claimed second place in the competition which must have been a bitter accomplishment—her composition had secured the most votes, but the panel declined to award a first prize. As medical issues dogged the life of the younger sibling,

These are ASO premiere performances.

40 | encore she continued to develop musically. In 1913, Lili Boulanger entered and won the Prix de Rome. Six years younger than the next youngest competitor, she made international headlines. Now brandishing one of music’s highest honors, the two sisters traveled to Rome to claim Lili’s prize, a residency at the Villa Medici. Sadly, her term was cut short by the outbreak of war. By 1917, her life was at an end. Bedridden at 23, she worked on an opera and wrote two pieces: Of a Sad Evening and Of a Spring Morning. Too weak to write her last piece, Pie Jesu, she dictated the music to her sister. Lili Boulanger died of Crohn’s Disease at 24 on March 15, 1918. After her death, Nadia Boulanger quit writing music and went on to become a legendary composition teacher. Her students include Aaron Copland, Astor Piazzolla, Philip Glass and Quincy Jones. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A Minor, Op. 16 First ASO Performance: January 30, 1949 Margarethe Parrott, piano Henry Sopkin, conductor Most Recent

In addition to the solo piano, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A Minor is scored for two flutes (one doubling piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani and strings.


lexander Grieg was a successful merchant in Bergen, Norway, and served as British vice-consul. Håvard Gimse, piano, When his son John was born, the future seemed set: he Thomas Søndergård, would send the boy to a fine school and groom him as conductor his successor. This was a good thing for his second son, Edvard, who was turning out to be a poor student. ASO Performances:

February 26–29, 2020

“Why not begin,” Edvard later recalled, “by remembering the wonderful, mystical satisfaction of stretching one’s arms up to the piano and bringing forth—not a melody. Far from it! No, it had to be a chord. First a third, then a fifth, then a seventh. And finally, both hands helping—Oh joy!” The mother of Edvard Grieg taught piano, and soon recognized the artist’s spirit living within her younger son and began to teach him. At school, the kids nicknamed him “Mozak” (they couldn’t quite remember the name Mozart). If this tale has a fairy godmother, it came in the form of Uncle Ole—the violin virtuoso Ole Bull, who visited the family in 1858. After having heard the 15-year-old Edvard | @AtlantaSymphony |

play his own compositions, Ole declared: “You are going to Leipzig to become an artist.” Bull was well established among Europe’s musical elite. He had known Robert Schumann; he had known Felix Mendelssohn, who founded the Leipzig Conservatory. Bull enrolled his nephew at the Conservatory, and the young composer began to make his way. In those days, few pianists were more famous than Clara Schumann (Robert’s widow). A single mother of seven, she supported her family by touring and using her husband’s concerto as her signature piece. Because she had initially declined to publish the score, anyone wanting to hear Robert’s concerto had to attend one of her concerts, which Grieg did in 1858. Toward the end of his life, he recalled his impressions of the Schumann Piano Concerto. “Inspired from beginning to end, it stands unparalleled in music literature and astonishes us as much by its originality as by its noble disdaining of an ‘extravert, virtuoso style,’” he wrote in 1903. “It is beloved by all, played by many, played well by few, and comprehended in accordance with its basic ideas by still fewer—indeed, perhaps by just one person—his wife.” In his essay titled “My First Success,” he described getting his hands on a handwritten score of the Schumann concerto from another student at the Conservatory. “‘I will give you my score of Schumann’s Concerto,’ he said to me one day, ‘if you will give me your quartet.’ It was impossible for me to resist,” wrote the composer. Young Grieg had swapped his own string quartet for the Schumann score. The quartet is now lost. Inspired by Schumann’s piece, Grieg began composing his own piano concerto ten years later, and it bears some similarity to the earlier work. Both concertos are in A minor. They both begin with an explosive flourish before landing on a hushed woodwind theme, and they share a likeness in spirit. Similarities aside, Grieg presents a clear and original voice in his concerto, echoing sounds that were popular in Norwegian folksong. With its premiere in April of 1869, Grieg’s Piano Concerto became an instant success. Making its way into recording

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42 | encore history in 1909, the piece is now heard in film, television, comedy and video gaming. Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Op. 74 (“Pathétique”) Symphony No. 6 is scored for three flutes (one doubling piccolo), two oboes, two clarinets (one doubling bass clarinet), two bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion and strings. First ASO Performance: April 25, 1948 Henry Sopkin, conductor Most Recent ASO Performances: December 1–3, 2016 Laura Jackson, conductor


n November 6, 1893, Pyotr Tchaikovsky died, succumbing to cholera only nine days after conducting the first performance of his Symphony No. 6. The public’s response to the new piece had been tepid. Who knew, only days later, tens of thousands of mourners would flood the streets of St. Petersburg?

News of the composer’s passing hit Russia like a thunderbolt. Within a week, a second performance of the Sixth Symphony was scheduled. Black drapery and a copy of his death mask adorned the hall, and concertgoers marveled at the symphony called “pathetic.” Today, we’re more likely to associate that word with inadequacy or cause for derision. But it was the other, less common definition that applies to this piece: marked by sorrow or melancholy and having the capacity to move one to compassionate pity. In a letter to his nephew Vladimir “Bob” Davidov, to whom the symphony is dedicated, Tchaikovsky confessed the piece was personal: “The idea of another symphony visited me, this time programmatic, but with the program [story] that will remain a riddle for everybody—let them guess it who can. . . .Of all my programs, this is the one most imbued with subjectivity. During my journey, while composing it in my mind, I frequently wept.” In 1893, the 53-year-old composer was a major celebrity. He toured, attended performances, and drew crowds at train stations. He wrote the symphony at white heat between February and June. That same June, he received an honorary doctorate at Cambridge University. It was the shock and suddenness of his passing that kicked up a flurry of speculation, fueled, in part, by the deathlike | @AtlantaSymphony |

finality of his last musical statement (low strings hold a B minor chord until it seems to sink into the abyss—it’s marked pppp). Given the work’s somber conclusion, some wondered: did he anticipate his own death? Indeed, as recently as the 1980s, a scholar advanced the theory that Tchaikovsky had been ordered by a tribunal to commit suicide over a homosexual liaison. This theory was widely circulated but has not to stood up to scrutiny (for one thing, homosexuality was broadly overlooked among the Russian elite). Exhaustive examination of his death has yielded little more than an unfortunate glass of unboiled water, and a man’s stubborn refusal to see a doctor. Without question, Tchaikovsky had a delicate spirit. His frequent shifts between joy and melancholy are on full display in the Sixth Symphony. Yet, for all the crushing despair expressed in its closing bars, the composer found it deeply gratifying: “To me it would be typical and unsurprising if this symphony were torn to pieces or little appreciated, for it wouldn’t be for the first time that had happened. But I absolutely consider it to be the best, and in particular, the most sincere of all my creations. I love it as I have never loved any of my other musical offspring.” It seems Tchaikovsky did contemplate death in his mysterious program. He even quoted the Orthodox Mass for the Dead in the first movement. But days after the premiere, he also affirmed life: “It will not come to snatch us off just yet,” he said. “I feel I shall live a long time.”

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emma New is Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. New is the recipient of the prestigious 2021 Sir George Solti Conducting Award. She previously served as the Music Director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Resident Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. The 2020/21 season saw Gemma New make notable debuts with Seattle Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Basque National Orchestra of Spain. She led three subscription programs with Dallas Symphony Orchestra in her second season as Principal Guest Conductor. Over the course of the season, Gemma returned to her home country to conduct three programs with New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, including Handel’s Messiah on a global IDAGIO livestream. This summer, New also led the New York Philharmonic’s 29th Annual Memorial Day Concert at St. John the Divine in a free performance livestreamed to the public. She made her debut at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and at the Aspen Music Festival and Grand Teton Music Festival.




ove at first listen” is how Miloš Karadaglić describes the moment when, as a child in Montenegro, he first picked up the old guitar that was lying around his childhood home gathering dust. Montenegro in the early 1990s was not an obvious gateway to classical music, hence his family were cautiously supportive when, aged 14, Miloš decided to go to the prestigious Royal Academy of Music. He has appeared in some of the most important concert halls and at major festivals around the world, while continuously topping music charts with his best-selling recordings. One of the highlights of that period was his solo guitar recital at the Royal Albert Hall to a full house, which was the first of its kind and much lauded by the critics. After a two-year hiatus due to injury Miloš made a triumphant return to the stage in August 2018. In front | @AtlantaSymphony |

of 6000 people at the BBC Proms, he performed the world premiere of Joby Talbot’s guitar concerto, Ink Dark Moon with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Committed to commissioning new repertoire for the guitar, Miloš joined the NAC Ottawa in May 2019 to perform another concerto written especially for him, The Forest by Howard Shore. Taking every opportunity to promote classical music to the widest possible audience, Miloš often finds himself in the role of a radio and TV presenter. He is a passionate supporter of music education and acts as a Patron of the Mayor of London Fund for Young Musicians and the Awards for Young Musicians. Miloš records exclusively for Decca Classics. He lives in London and performs on a 2007 Greg Smallman guitar.

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50 | encore H E N RY S O P K I N CIRCLE

Jill* & Jennings* Hertz Mr. Albert L. Hibbard Richard E. Hodges Named for the Atlanta Symphony Mr.* & Mrs. Charles K. Holmes, Jr. Orchestra’s founding Music Mr.* & Mrs. Director, the HENRY SOPKIN CIRCLE Fred A. Hoyt, Jr. Jim* & Barbara Hund celebrates cherished individuals and Clayton F. Jackson families who have made a planned gift Mary B. James to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Calvert Johnson & Mr. Kenneth Dutter These special donors preserve deForest F. Jurkiewicz* the Orchestra’s foundation and Herb* & Hazel Karp ensure success for future Anne Morgan & generations. Jim Kelley Bob Kinsey James W.* & Mary Ellen* A Friend of the Bob* & Verdery* Kitchell Symphony (22) Cunningham Paul Kniepkamp, Jr. Madeline* & Howell E. John R. Donnell Miss Florence Kopleff* Adams, Jr. Dixon W. Driggs* Mr. Robert Lamy Mr.* & Mrs.* Pamela Johnson Drummond James H. Landon John E. Aderhold Mrs. Kathryn E. Duggleby Ouida Hayes Lanier Mr. & Mrs. Catherine Warren Dukehart* Lucy Russell Lee* & Ronald R. Antinori Ms. Diane Durgin Gary Lee, Jr. Dr. & Mrs. William Bauer Mr. Richard H. Delay & Dr. Ione & John Lee Mr. Charles D. Belcher* Francine D. Dykes Mr. Larry M. LeMaster Neil H. Berman Arnold & Sylvia Eaves Mr.* & Mrs.* Susan & Jack Bertram Mr. & Mrs. William C. Lester Mr.* & Mrs.* Robert G. Edge Liz & Jay* Levine Karl A. Bevins Geoffrey G. Eichholz* Robert M. Lewis, Jr. The Estate of Donald S. & Elizabeth Etoll Carroll & Ruth Liller Joyce Bickers Mr. Doyle Faler Ms. Joanne Lincoln* Ms. Page Bishop Brien P. Faucett Jane Little* Mr.* & Mrs. Sol Blaine Dr. Emile T. Fisher* Mrs. J. Erskine Love, Jr.* Rita & Herschel Bloom Moniqua N Fladger Nell Galt & Will D. Magruder The Estate of Mrs. Mr. & Mrs. Bruce W. Flower Gilbert H. Boggs, Jr. K Maier A. D. Frazier, Jr. W. Moses Bond John W. Markham Nola Frink Mr.* & Mrs. Mrs. Ann B. Martin Betty & Drew* Fuller Robert C. Boozer Linda & John Matthews Sally & Carl Gable Elinor A. Breman* Mr. Michael A. William & Carolyn Gaik James C. Buggs* McDowell, Jr. Dr. John W. Gamwell* Mr. & Mrs.* Dr. Michael S. McGarry Mr.* & Mrs.* Richard H. Burgin Richard & Shirley McGinnis L.L. Gellerstedt, Jr. Hugh W. Burke* John & Clodagh Miller Ruth Gershon & Mr. & Mrs. William Buss Ms. Vera Milner Sandy Cohn Wilber W. Caldwell Mrs. Gene Morse* Micheline & Bob Gerson Mr. & Mrs. C. Merrell Calhoun Ms. Janice Murphy* Max Gilstrap Cynthia & Donald Carson Mr. & Mrs. Mr. & Mrs. John T. Glover Mrs. Jane Celler* Stephen L. Naman Mrs. David Goldwasser Lenore Cicchese* Mr. & Mrs. Bertil D. Nordin Robert Hall Gunn, Jr. Fund Margie & Pierce Cline Mrs. Amy W. Norman* Billie & Sig Guthman Dr. & Mrs. Grady S. Galen Oelkers Betty G.* & Clinkscales, Jr. Roger B. Orloff Joseph* F. Haas Robert Boston Colgin Dr. Bernard* & James & Virginia Hale Mrs. Mary Frances Sandra Palay Ms. Alice Ann Hamilton Evans Comstock* Sally & Pete Parsonson Dr. Charles H. Hamilton* Miriam* & John A.* Conant James L. Paulk Sally & Paul* Hawkins Dr. John W. Cooledge Ralph & Kay* Paulk John & Martha Head Mr. & Mrs. William R. Dan R. Payne Ms. Jeannie Hearn* Cummickel Bill Perkins Barbara & John Henigbaum Mrs. Lela May Perry* | @AtlantaSymphony |

Mr.* & Mrs. Rezin E. Pidgeon, Jr. Janet M. Pierce* Reverend Neal P. Ponder, Jr. William L.* & Lucia Fairlie* Pulgram Ms. Judy L. Reed* Carl J. Reith* Mr. Philip A. Rhodes Vicki J. & Joe A. Riedel Helen & John Rieser Dr. Shirley E. Rivers* David F. & Maxine A.* Rock Tiffany & Richard Rosetti Mr.* & Mrs.* Martin H. Sauser Mr. Paul S. Scharff & Ms. Polly G. Fraser Dr. Barbara S. Schlefman Bill & Rachel Schultz Mrs. Joan C. Schweitzer June & John Scott Edward G. Scruggs* Dr. & Mrs. George P. Sessions Mr. W. G. Shaefer, Jr. Charles H. Siegel* Mr. & Mrs. H. Hamilton Smith Mrs. Lessie B. Smithgall* Ms. Margo Sommers Elliott Sopkin Elizabeth Morgan Spiegel Mr. Daniel D. Stanley Gail & Loren Starr Peter James Stelling* Ms. Barbara Stewart C. Mack* & Mary Rose* Taylor Jennings Thompson IV Margaret* & Randolph* Thrower Kenneth & Kathleen Tice Mr. H. Burton Trimble, Jr. Mr. Steven R. Tunnell Mr. & Mrs. John B. Uttenhove Mary E. Van Valkenburgh Mrs. Anise C. Wallace Mr. Robert Wardle, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. John B. White, Jr. Adair & Dick White Mr. Hubert H. Whitlow, Jr.* Sue & Neil* Williams Mrs. Frank L. Wilson, Jr. Mrs. Elin M. Winn Ms. Joni Winston George & Camille Wright Mr.* & Mrs.* Charles R. Yates *Deceased

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Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs

Major support is provided by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs.

Major funding is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. | @AtlantaSymphony |

This program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.


54 | encore | @AtlantaSymphony |


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Woodruff Circle members have contributed more than $250,000 annually to support the arts and education work of the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and High Museum of Art. We are deeply grateful to these partners who lead our efforts to help create opportunities for enhanced access to the work.


A Friend of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

$500,000+ A Friend of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra A Friend of the Woodruff Arts Center Bank of America Chick-fil-A Foundation | Rhonda & Dan Cathy The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta Georgia Power Foundation, Inc. The Douglas J. Hertz Family The Home Depot Foundation Sarah and Jim Kennedy SunTrust Trusteed Foundations

$250,000+ A Friend of the Woodruff Arts Center Farideh & Al Azadi Foundation The Molly Blank Fund Helen Gurley Brown Foundation Cathy Cousins Foundation In Loving Memory of Catherine W. Dukehart The Goizueta Foundation Estate of Burton M. Gold Invesco The Marcus Foundation, Inc. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation PNC The Rich Foundation, Inc. UPS WarnerMedia and AT&T Foundation The Zeist Foundation, Inc.

THE BENEFACTOR CIRCLE Benefactor Circle members have contributed more than $100,000 annually to support the arts and education work of the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and High Museum of Art. We are deeply grateful to these partners who lead our efforts to help create opportunities for enhanced access to the work.

$100,000+ 1180 Peachtree Alston & Bird American Academy of Arts and Letters The Antinori Foundation Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Atlantic Station The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation The John and Rosemary Brown Family Foundation The Estate of Mr. Hugh W. Burke Thalia and Michael C. Carlos Advised Fund City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs Eversheds Sutherland Forward Arts Foundation The Fraser-Parker Foundation Georgia Natural Gas Georgia-Pacific Louise S. Sams and Jerome Grilhot The Halle Foundation Mr. and Mrs. Hilton H. Howell, Jr. The Imlay Foundation, Inc. Institute of Museum & Library Services Jones Day Foundation & Employees

Kaiser Permanente King & Spalding , Partners & Employees Knobloch Family Foundation The Charles Loridans Foundation, Inc. The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc. Morris Manning & Martin LLP National Endowment for the Arts Amy W. Norman Charitable Foundation Northside Hospital Novelis Victoria & Howard Palefsky Patty and Doug Reid The Sartain Lanier Family Foundation The Shubert Foundation Carol & Ramon Tomé Family Fund Triad Foundation The Estate of Mrs. Mary F. Trembath Wells Fargo Rod Westmoreland WestRock Company wish Foundation The David, Helen & Marian Woodward Fund

C4 | encore | @AtlantaSymphony | | @AtlantaSymphony | @AtlantaSymphony |

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