Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, April 2024

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APRIL 2024 | @AtlantaSymphony | APRIL 2024 INTRODUCTIONS In Tune 2 Music Director 5 ASO Leadership ................... 6 ASO Musicians .................... 8 ASO's 80th Season 12 Education Support 16 Donor Profile 17 NOTES ON THE PROGRAM Written by Noel Morris April 4, 5 20 April 11, 13 28 April 18, 20 34 April 25, 26 ...................... 42 DEPARTMENTS ASO Support ..................... 52 Henry Sopkin Circle 56 ASO Staff 57 Woodruff Circle 59 Benefactor Circle ................. 60 Page 12 ASO's 80th Season Celebrates the Classical By Holly Hanchey | 1



The 2024/25 Season is coming—our 80th at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Music Director Nathalie Stutzmann has once again programmed a thrilling season full of masterworks.

I hope you will join us as we embark on a Beethoven Project that features his first eight symphonies.

Nathalie Stutzmann will also lead performances of his Missa solemnis with the ASO Chorus and the Triple Concerto featuring members of the Orchestra as soloists. The majestic Ninth Symphony will be performed early in the following season to complete the full cycle of his symphonic works.

We’ll welcome back Yo-Yo Ma to the stage and other treasured friends, including pianists Marc-André Hamelin, Kirill Gerstein and Inon Barnatan, as well as conductors Roderick Cox, Stéphane Denève and Peter Oundjian. Music Director Laureate Robert Spano will also return next spring.

Turning back to this season, I want to make sure that you’ve heard about this month’s German Romantics Festival. We’re working with arts partners around the city to celebrate the musicians and artists of the German Romantic movement, which was a dominant intellectual movement of German-speaking countries from the late 18th century well into the 19th.

From its beginnings with Ludwig van Beethoven through to its Last Songs with Richard Strauss, we’ll be featuring this movement in concerts, lectures and chamber music events with community partners to round out this deep dive into the mysterious and the sublime. We couldn’t do this without the generous support of The Halle Foundation and presented in partnership with the Goethe-Zentrum Atlanta.

With gratitude, | @AtlantaSymphony |
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Nathalie Stutzmann is the Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the second woman in history to lead a major American orchestra. She is also the Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

When Nathalie made her spectacular debut at the 2023 Bayreuth Festival leading Wagner’s Tannhäuser, BR Klassik observed having “never experienced such a standing ovation at a pit debut in Bayreuth.” Last season also saw her acclaimed debut at the Metropolitan Opera with productions of both Die Zauberflöte and Don Giovanni that The New York Times declared “the coup of the year.”

During the 23-24 season, she leads the Atlanta Symphony in a West Coast tour and twelve programs spanning some of her favorite core repertoire from Beethoven, Schumann, Brahms and Ravel through to the large symphonic forces of Mahler, Strauss and Tchaikovsky, along with a Bruckner festival marking the composer’s 200th anniversary. With The Philadelphia Orchestra, she returns to New York for her

Concerto Recording of the Year ” for her recording of Glière and Mosolov Harp concertos with Xavier de Maistre and WDR Sinfonieorchester. her 2022 recording of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos as “a brilliant collaboration that I urge you to not miss ” Nathalie Stutzmann is an exclusive recording artist for

As one of today’s most esteemed contraltos, she has made more than 80 recordings and received the most prestigious awards. Recognized for her significant contribution to the arts, Nathalie was named “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur,” France’s highest honor; and “Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French government.

Congratulations to Nathalie Stutzmann on winning Germany's OPER! AWARDS

"Best Conductor 2023"!

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ASO | LEADERSHIP | 2023/24

Board of Directors


Patrick Viguerie chair

Janine Brown

immediate past chair

Bert Mills treasurer

Angela Evans secretary


Phyllis Abramson

Keith Adams

Juliet M. Allan

Susan Antinori

Andrew Bailey

Jennifer Barlament*

Keith Barnett

Paul Blackney

Zachary Boeding*

Janine Brown

Benjamin Q. Brunt

Betsy Camp

S. Wright Caughman, M.D.

Lisa Chang

Susan Clare

Russell Currey

Sheila Lee Davies

Carlos del Rio, M.D. FIDSA

Lisa DiFrancesco, M.D.

Lynn Eden

Yelena Epova

Angela Evans

Craig Frankel

Sally Bogle Gable

Anne Game

Rod Garcia-Escudero

Sally Frost George

Robert Glustrom

Bonnie B. Harris

Charles Harrison

Tad Hutcheson, Jr.

Roya Irvani

Joia M. Johnson

Chris Kopecky

Randolph J. Koporc

Susan Antinori vice chair

Lynn Eden vice chair

Carrie Kurlander

Scott Lampert

James H. Landon

Donna Lee

Sukai Liu

Kevin Lyman

Deborah Marlowe

Shelley McGehee

Arthur Mills IV

Bert Mills

Molly Minnear

Hala Moddelmog*

Anne Morgan

Terence L. Neal

Galen Lee Oelkers

Dr. John Paddock

Margie Painter

Howard D. Palefsky

Doug Reid


Neil Berman

Rita Bloom

John W. Cooledge, M.D.

John R. Donnell, Jr.

Jere A. Drummond

Carla Fackler

Charles B. Ginden

John T. Glover

Dona Humphreys

Aaron J. Johnson, Jr.

James F. Kelley

Patricia Leake

Karole F. Lloyd

Meghan H. Magruder


Howell E. Adams, Jr.

Connie Calhoun

C. Merrell Calhoun

Azira G. Hill

Penelope McPhee

Patricia H. Reid

Joyce Schwob

John A Sibley, III

H. Hamilton Smith

G. Kimbrough Taylor, Jr.

Michael W. Trapp

James Rubright vice chair

James Rubright

William Schultz

Charles Sharbaugh

Fahim Siddiqui

W. Ross Singletary, II

John Sparrow

Elliott Tapp

Brett Tarver

Valerie Thadhani

Maria Todorova

S. Patrick Viguerie

Kathy Waller

Chris Webber

Richard S. White, Jr.

Mack Wilbourn

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

Ray Uttenhove

Chilton Varner

Adair M. White

Sue Sigmon Williams *Ex-Officio

Ben F. Johnson, III

John B. White, Jr. | @AtlantaSymphony |
Board Member | encore 6

ASO | 2023/24 Musician Roster

Nathalie Stutzmann

music director

The Robert Reid Topping Chair


David Coucheron concertmaster

The Mr. & Mrs. Howard R. Peevy Chair

Justin Bruns

associate concertmaster

The Charles McKenzie Taylor Chair


assistant concertmaster

Jun-Ching Lin

assistant concertmaster

Anastasia Agapova acting assistant concertmaster

Kevin Chen

Carolyn Toll Hancock

The Wells Fargo Chair

John Meisner

Christopher Pulgram

Juan R. Ramírez Hernández

Olga Shpitko

Kenn Wagner

Lisa Wiedman Yancich

Sissi Yuqing Zhang


Judith Cox

Raymond Leung

The Carolyn McClatchey Chair

Sanford Salzinger


Vacant principal

The Atlanta Symphony Associates Chair

Sou-Chun Su

acting / associate principal

The Frances Cheney Boggs Chair

Jay Christy

acting associate / assistant principal

Dae Hee Ahn

Robert Anemone

Noriko Konno Clift

David Dillard

Eun Young Jung

Eleanor Kosek

Yaxin Tan

Rachel Ostler


Zhenwei Shi principal

The Edus H. & Harriet H.

Warren Chair

Paul Murphy

associate principal

The Mary & Lawrence Gellerstedt Chair

Catherine Lynn

assistant principal

Marian Kent

Yang-Yoon Kim

Yiyin Li

Lachlan McBane

Jessica Oudin

Madeline Sharp


Vacant principal

The Miriam & John Conant Chair

Daniel Laufer

acting / associate principal

The Livingston Foundation Chair

Karen Freer

acting associate / assistant principal

Thomas Carpenter

Joel Dallow

The UPS Foundation Chair

Ray Kim

Isabel Kwon

Nathan Mo

Brad Ritchie

Denielle Wilson


Joseph McFadden


The Marcia & John Donnell Chair

Gloria Jones Allgood

associate principal

The Lucy R. & Gary Lee Jr. Chair

Karl Fenner

Michael Kenady

The Jane Little Chair

Michael Kurth

Nicholas Scholefield

Daniel Tosky


Christina Smith


The Jill Hertz Chair

The Mabel Dorn Reeder

Honorary Chair

Robert Cronin

associate principal

C. Todd Skitch

Gina Hughes


Gina Hughes


Elizabeth Koch Tiscione


The George M. & Corrie Hoyt Brown Chair | @AtlantaSymphony | Players in string sections are listed alphabetically
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William R. Langley associate conductor & atlanta symphony youth orchestra music director

The Zeist Foundation Chair

Zachary Boeding associate principal

The Kendeda Fund Chair

Samuel Nemec*

Jonathan Gentry

Emily Brebach


Emily Brebach


Jesse McCandless


The Robert Shaw Chair

Ted Gurch* associate principal

Marci Gurnow

acting associate principal

Julianna Darby

Alcides Rodriguez


Ted Gurch*


Alcides Rodriguez




The Abraham J. & Phyllis Katz Foundation Chair

Anthony Georgeson acting / associate principal

Laura Najarian

Juan de Gomar


Juan de Gomar

Norman Mackenzie director of choruses

The Frannie & Bill Graves Chair


Ryan Little


The Betty Sands Fuller Chair

Kimberly Gilman

Jack Bryant

Bruce Kenney




The Madeline & Howell

Adams Chair

Michael Tiscione

acting / associate principal

Mark Maliniak

acting / associate principal

Anthony Limoncelli*

William Cooper

Ian Mertes




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

Nathan Zgonc

acting / associate principal

The Home Depot Veterans Chair

Jason Patrick Robins


Chance Gompert

Jordan Milek Johnson



Michael Moore


The Delta Air Lines Chair '

Neil and Sue Williams Chair

Joshua Williams fellow

Zeist Foundation ASO Fellowship Chair


Mark Yancich


The Walter H. Bunzl Chair

Michael Stubbart assistant principal


Joseph Petrasek


The Julie & Arthur Montgomery Chair

Michael Jarrett

assistant principal

The William A. Schwartz Chair

Michael Stubbart

The Connie & Merrell Calhoun Chair


Elisabeth Remy Johnson


The Sally & Carl Gable Chair


The Hugh & Jessie Hodgson Memorial Chair

Peter Marshall †

Sharon Berenson †


Joshua Luty


The Marianna & Solon Patterson Chair

Sara Baguyos associate principal librarian


‡ Rotates between sections | * Leave of absence | † Regularly engaged musician
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Members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Advisory Council is a group of passionate & engaged individuals who act as both ambassadors & resources for the ASO Board & staff. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra extends heartfelt gratitude to the members

2023/24 CHAIRS

Jane Morrison advisory council chair

Justin Im

internal connections task force co-chair

Robert Lewis, Jr.

internal connections task force co-chair

Frances Root patron experience task force chair

Eleina Raines diversity & community connections task force co-chair

Otis Threatt diversity & community connections task force co-chair


Dr. Marshall & Stephanie Abes

Krystal Ahn

Paul & Melody Aldo

Kristi & Aadu Allpere

Evelyn Babey

Asad & Sakina Bashey

Herschel Beazley

Meredith W. Bell

John Blatz

Carol Brantley & David Webster

Johanna Brookner

Tracey Chu

Donald & Barbara Defoe

Paul & Susan Dimmick

Bernadette Drankoski

John & Catherine Dyer

Mary Ann Flinn

Bruce Flower

John Fuller

Alex Garcias

Dr. Paul Gilreath

Tucker Green

Mary Elizabeth Gump

Elizabeth Hendrick

Caroline Hofland

Justin Im

Baxter Jones & Jiong Yan

Lana Jordan

Jon Kamenear

Rosthema Kastin

Brian & Ann Kimsey

Jason & Michelle Kroh

Dr. Fulton Lewis III & Mr. Neal Rhoney

Robert Lewis, Jr.

Eunice Luke

Erin Marshall

Belinda Massafra

Doug and Kathrin Mattox

Ed and Linda McGinn

Erica McVicker

Berthe & Shapour Mobasser

Bert Mobley

Caroline & Phil Moïse

Sue Morgan

Jane Morrison

Gary Noble

Regina Olchowski

Bethani Oppenheimer

Chris Owes

Ralph Paulk

Fay & Ann Pearce

Eliza Quigley

Eleina Raines

Leonard Reed

Dr. Jay & Kimberley Rhee

Vicki Riedel

Felicia Rives

David Rock

Frances A. Root

Tiffany & Rich Rosetti

Thomas & Lynne Saylor

Beverly & Milton


Suzanne Shull

Baker Smith

Cindy Smith

Victoria Smith

Peter & Kristi Stathopoulos

Tom & Ani Steele

Kimberly Strong

Beth and Edward Sugarman

Stephen & Sonia Swartz

George & Amy Taylor

Bob & Dede Thompson

Otis Threatt Jr.

Cathy Toren

Roxanne Varzi

Robert & Amy Vassey

Juliana Vincenzino

Nanette Wenger

Christopher Wilbanks

Kiki Wilson

Taylor Winn

Camille Yow

For more information about becoming an Advisory Council member, please contact Cheri Snyder at or 404.733.4904. | @AtlantaSymphony |

ASO’s 80th Season Celebrates the Classical


Last month, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra announced the 2024/25 season, which is the Orchestra’s 80th year of making music. Those who have seen the season will notice it has a decidedly Classical thread running through the programming.

While almost everything the ASO plays can be considered classical music, in this case, the Orchestra is playing a “Capital C” Classical season—a distinct era of music from approximately the 1730s through early 1820s, when composers like Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven worked and flourished in and around Vienna. The piano became the instrument of choice, over the harpsichord, and the chamber music ensembles popular in the Baroque period gave way for the birth of the symphony.

It is a fitting theme for Music Director Nathalie Stutzmann’s third season on the podium in Symphony Hall. “With each year, the orchestra and I get to know one another more and more, and this season I am eager to dive into some of the cornerstones of the Classical period,” said Stutzmann. “Composers like Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven are familiar to us but also essential foundations of our repertoire. I often say that these composers are doctors and medicine for the orchestra’s soul.”

The Classical theme runs through the entire season, incorporating choices from both Stutzmann and guest conductors. According to the ASO’s Vice President of Artistic Planning, Gaetan Le Divelec, “This is repertoire that emphasizes a holistic orchestra sound, and focuses on how the musicians play together, developing a uniquely expressive sound, developing ‘muscles’ of being a cohesive orchestra.”

One of the highlights of the new season is Stutzmann’s Beethoven Project, a series of concert weekends in which the Orchestra appears without guest artists, playing the masterful composer’s first eight symphonies, though they are not necessarily played in order. Beginning in January of 2025, Stutzmann has paired the symphonies so that audiences can fully understand and follow Beethoven’s journey as a composer.

This season I am eager to dive into some of the cornerstones of the Classical period,” said Stutzmann. “Composers like Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven are familiar to us but also essential foundations of our repertoire. | 13

The Project begins in January when the Orchestra will play the First and Third Symphony; the first marking the beginning of his symphonic composition period, and the third the famous “Eroica” symphony, a more dramatic piece showing the composer’s developing style. The following weekend, Stutzmann conducts the Second Symphony, a lesser-known of the series, and the incredibly famous Fifth Symphony.

The Beethoven Project continues in February and March with a concert featuring Symphony Nos. 8 and 6, “Pastoral,” which is followed quickly with the final symphonies for this season—the Fourth and Seventh.

At the beginning of April, the Project turns from the symphonies to Beethoven’s Concerto for Violin, Cello, and Piano, commonly known as the Triple Concerto, featuring Concertmaster David Coucheron, Acting/Associate Principal Cello Daniel Laufer, and pianist Julie Coucheron.

The Beethoven Project would not be complete without an appearance from the world-renowned Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and concludes its 2024/25 season run with the gigantic Missa solemnis, a piece that biographer Jan Swafford called “the greatest piece never heard.” It is fiendishly difficult for both orchestra and chorus, but in the hands of Stutzmann, the ASO, and Chorus, along with four acclaimed opera singers, it is sure to be a magnificent experience.

This Classical season isn’t just about Beethoven. The Orchestra will play three Haydn symphonies that have not been heard in Symphony Hall since Robert Shaw | @AtlantaSymphony |
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was music director, including Symphony No. 104, “London,” conducted by Earl Lee who makes his ASO debut in October; Symphony No. 96 in November, conducted by Nicholas Carter; and Symphony No. 101, “The Clock,” conducted by Matthew Halls, who makes his debut in a program that also features the debut of the dazzling young cellist Sterling Elliott.

In addition to the composer’s symphonies, one of the best musicians in the world joins the ASO—acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma—joins the ASO to play Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 with guest conductor Eric Jacobsen, in a special one-night-only performance on December 5, 2024.

The ASO has not forgotten the third pillar of the Classical era, Mozart, whose works feature prominently in the 2024/25 season, beginning in November with three performances of an all-Mozart program, including his Symphony No. 40 and the Mass in C Minor. The Mass is a masterpiece of choral music, and will feature the ASO Chorus with soloists Olga Kulchynska, soprano; Julia Lezhneva, soprano; Lunga Eric Hallam, tenor; and Harold Wilson, bass.

Just two weeks later in November, violinist Geneva Lewis makes her ASO debut playing Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3, on the same program that includes Haydn’s Symphony No. 96, “The Miracle,” with Nicholas Carter conducting.

The Orchestra is looking forward to celebrating 80 years of music in Atlanta with a season that will put the full virtuosic power of the ASO on display throughout the year. Season tickets are available now online at | 15

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is grateful to the generous donors who support our Education & Community Engagement Initiatives. The following list represents gifts of $500 or more made since June 1, 2022 in support of the Talent Development Program & the Orchestra’s other education & community programs.



Paul M. Angell Family Foundation

The Molly Blank Fund

City of Atlanta Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs

The Coca-Cola Company


A Friend of the Symphony

John & Juliet Allan

Alston & Bird LLP

Mr. Keith Barnett


Cadence Bank Foundation

Costco Wholesale

Elaine & Erroll Davis

Ernst & Young


A Friend of the Symphony (2)

Azalea City Chapter of Links

George & Gloria Brooks

Jacqueline A. & Joseph E. Brown, Jr.

Ned Cone & Nadeen Green

Mrs. Nancy Cooke


Johnnie Booker

Castellini Foundation

Liz & Charlie Cohn

John L. Cromartie II

Mr. & Mrs. Reade Fahs

Sharon, Lindsay and Gordon Fisher

KS Ford

Shirley C. Franklin

Delta Air Lines

Lettie Pate Evans Foundation

Georgia Council for the Arts

Georgia Power

The Goizueta Foundation

Graphic Packaging

The Home Depot Foundation

Abraham J. & Phyllis Katz Foundation

Charles Loridans Foundation, Inc.

Amy W. Norman Charitable Foundation


The Zeist Foundation, Inc.

Fulton County Arts & Culture

Jeannette Guarner, MD & Carlos del Rio, MD

The Gable Foundation


The Livingston Foundation, Inc.

Norfolk Southern

Porsche Cars North America, Inc.

Publix Super Markets Charities

Mr. David L. Forbes

Azira G. Hill

International Women’s Forum

Cameron Jackson

Mona & Gilbert Kelly

Donna Lee & Howard Ehni

Ms. Helen Motamen and Mr. Deepak Shenoy

Mary C. Gramling

Charles Ginden

Mr. and Mrs. Mike Griffin

Mrs. Elice D. Haverty

Bill & Kathy Lamar

Ms. Malinda C. Logan

Alan and Amy Manno

John & Linda Matthews

Drs. Price & Jacqueline Michael

Ms. Sharon A. Pauli

The Mark & Evelyn Trammell Foundation

Thomas & Lynne Saylor

The Scott Hudgens Family Foundation

Slumgullion Charitable Fund

Universal Music Group-Task Force For Meaningful Change

Drs. Kevin & Kalinda Woods

Margaret H. Petersen

Ponce de Leon Music Store

Patty & Doug Reid

Cammie & John Rice

The Society, Inc.

TEGNA Foundation

Dr. Brenda G. Turner

Ms. Sonia Witkowski

John and Monica Pearson

Ms. Felicia Rives

Ms. Donata Russell Ross

Dr. La Tanya & Mr. Earl R. Sharpe

Ms. Fawn M. Shelton

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Stinson

Ms. Juliana Taylor

Ms. Mary A. Valdecanas | @AtlantaSymphony |
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Tireless and Indispensable Leadership

An army of generous volunteers makes it possible for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to perform. Over the years, Belinda Massafra has been one of the generals for that army. She and her husband, Gino, have been subscribers and donors for more than three decades.

Belinda, who grew up in Illinois, was a senior manager at BellSouth for many years, including a stint heading up their shareholder services. She later formed a consulting company but is now fully retired. Gino, originally from Connecticut, is an attorney with a practice in Marietta, where they live.

Belinda has long been active with Atlanta Symphony Associates, a volunteer group which has served the Orchestra for 75 years, and she was ASA president from 2010-2012. Belinda is also an active member of the Patron Partnership and Appassionato Leadership Committee (PALS), a unique hands-on donor organization which works directly with the ASO development team to raise money, and she chaired that group from 2015-2018. In 2019, Belinda chaired the ASO Gala, our premiere fundraising event. More recently, Belinda has joined the ASO Advisory Council, a group of passionate donors who are closely engaged with the Orchestra’s leadership.

As ASO Executive Director Jennifer Barlament put it: “Belinda is a powerhouse; she organizes galas and meetings, achieves important fundraising goals, and brings people together with relentless energy, all with her signature charm and constant smile. Among many indispensable volunteer leaders that the ASO has been blessed to have through the years, Belinda shines.”

About being donors Gino said: “I think of it as an investment: to introduce the beauty of classical music to kids and adults who’ve never heard it.” And Belinda added a quote from former ASO Board Chair Howard Palefsky: “Civilization is not free." If we think the arts are important for the civilization we want to live in, then we must support them. | 17

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

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Concerts of Thursday, April 4, 2024, at 8:00 PM

Friday, April 5, 2024, at 8:00 PM




Presented with generous support by

Thursday’s concert is dedicated to the amazing ASO musicians led by Nathalie Stutzmann, volunteers, Board, chorus, and the ASO staff led by Jennifer Barlament by BILL & RACHEL SCHULTZ.

Friday’s concert is dedicated to SUSIE & PATRICK VIGUERIE in honor of their extraordinary support of the 2022/23 Annual Fund.


Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a (1873)

Chorale St. Antoni: Andante

Variation I: Poco più animato

Variation II: Più vivace

Variation III: Con moto

Variation IV: Andante con moto

Variation V: Vivace

Variation VI: Vivace

Variation VII: Grazioso

Variation VIII: Presto non troppo

Finale: Andante



Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major for Violin and Viola, K. 364 [320d] (1779)


I. Allegro maestoso

II. Andante

III. Presto

David Coucheron, violin

Zhenwei Shi, viola



Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68 (1868)

I. Un poco sostenuto — Allegro

II. Andante sostenuto

III. Un poco Allegretto e grazioso



IV. Adagio — Più andante — Allegro non troppo, ma con brio

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 | | apr4/5

Variations on a Theme by Haydn, Op. 56a

Johannes Brahms had his critics, yet none was as cruel as Johannes Brahms. He had it in his head that he needed to write a symphony, and he labored for two decades through false starts and feedback sessions. He produced (and destroyed) many compositions but didn’t unveil a symphony until age 43.

First ASO performance:

November 22, 1955

Henry Sopkin, conductor

Most recent ASO performances:

September 21–23, 2000

Robert Spano, conductor

It’s hard to understand his lack of confidence. Apart from writing such great music, he premiered the First Piano Concerto, a massive, 50-minute piece, at 26. He produced his choral masterpiece, A German Requiem, at 35. So, why not a symphony?

In 1873, Brahms launched a trial balloon. In August, he presented a two-piano version of the Variations on a Theme by Haydn to the great pianist Clara Schumann. Side-by-side, the two friends played through the piece. That same summer, Brahms sought further advice. According to biographer Jan Swafford, he made several trips to see “conductor Hermann Levi in Munich, where the two presumably sat working through the scoring” of the Variations. Brahms had studied the Viennese masters his entire life. Although his family had no piano, he studied the instrument with a man whose teachers had personally known the 18thcentury masters Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. With their music firmly beneath his fingers, Brahms became a lifelong scholar and champion of bygone composers.

At some point, the librarian Carl Ferdinand Pohl showed him a piece for wind band, an outdoor partita titled Chorale St. Antoni, believing it to be the work of Haydn. (Today’s scholars suggest it might be a knockoff peddled by 18th-century publishers.)

The tune feels lopsided. It has five-bar phrases instead of the typical four, which is exactly what appealed to Brahms. He copied it and produced eight variations along with a finale, itself a set of variations based on the Baroque passacaglia. With that, Johannes Brahms put his stamp on the symphony orchestra, spinning a stunning phantasmagoria over a repeated five-bar bass line.

Brahms led the Vienna Philharmonic in the premiere of the Haydn Variations on November 2, 1873. He finished his First Symphony in 1876.


First ASO performances:

January 22–23, 1959

Henry Sopkin, conductor

Martin Sauser, violin

John Adams, viola

Most recent ASO performances:

October 3–5, 1997

Cecylia Arzewski, violin

Pinchas Zukerman, viola and conductor

Sinfonia concertante in E-flat Major for Violin and Viola, K. 364 [320d]

With a kick in the pants, the Archbishop of Salzburg severed ties with Mozart in 1781. It was terribly humiliating, and quite opportune for the young composer who desperately needed an excuse to leave home. His father, Leopold, had been a devoted parent and teacher but was also guilty of serious overreach. As biographer Maynard Solomon wrote, “Without significant exception, Leopold opposed or interfered with all of his son’s love affairs.”

Four years earlier, Leopold Mozart had sent his wife and son on a job-hunting tour of Germany and Paris. (Wolfgang’s mother was instructed to keep him away from women.) The young composer was out from under his father for the first time and quickly fell into a steamy romance with his cousin in Augsburg. The next stop was Mannheim, where he fell in love with the soprano Aloysia Weber (he’d later marry her sister). He informed his father of his intention to remain with Aloysia’s family, which prompted a fierce response: “Off with you to Paris!”

In general, the tour of 1777–1779 was a bust. Mozart’s mother died tragically, leaving the youth alone in a foreign city where he had to make funeral arrangements and notify the family. Professionally, many of the nobles who had marveled at the prodigy Mozart were less interested in the grown-up version. The Elector of Bavaria expressed reservations about handing a directorship to an untested 22-year-old.

With the passing of his mother, Mozart began to contemplate being his own boss. Anxious to break with Salzburg, he reasoned he could freelance in Germany and be near Aloysia. Leopold quashed the idea, giving him an ultimatum: return home or pay for all the trip’s expenses.

In January 1779, Mozart began his final chapter with the court of Salzburg. While in Paris, he had picked up on a popular

"We really wanted to play Mozart, but as you’re not worthy of it, we shall, for your punishment, play Brahms’s A Major [Sonata for Violin and Piano]."
—Johannes Brahms | @AtlantaSymphony |
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style of writing orchestral music with multiple soloists, something he continued when he got home. Not quite a concerto, not quite a symphony, the Sinfonia concertante for Violin and Viola from the summer of 1779 is widely considered a masterpiece. Because Mozart wrote the piece at home in Salzburg, he didn’t write letters about its composition, although we do know he loved to play the viola. (Possibly, he performed it himself.) The piece is written in the key of E-flat major—except for the viola part, which is scored in D major with instructions to tune up a semitone. A technique called “scordatura,” this alternate tuning gives an added sheen to the viola sound.

First ASO performance: April 30, 1949

Henry Sopkin, conductor

Most recent ASO performances:

December 2-4, 2021

Donald Runnicles, conductor

Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

Picture a seedy hole in the wall in Hamburg, 1848. Sailors, Hungarian immigrants, and prostitutes huddle around the bar. At a nearby piano, a blondeheaded boy with dreamy blue eyes plays dance tunes and songs on demand—Johannes Brahms had been working there since he was twelve.

Although formal education ended for him at 14, he was an avid reader and was said to keep his nose in a book as his fingers plinked at that piano. The son of a seamstress and a musician, little “Hannes” showed an early affinity for music. To pay for lessons, his parents made sacrifices and became the first in a series of people who went out of their way to open doors for him.

Sensing the boy was more talented than himself, his first music teacher petitioned for a better teacher. That person taught him at no charge. Others provided places for Brahms to practice. In 1853, a Hungarian violinist introduced him to the famous violin virtuoso Joseph Joachim.

“Never in the course of my artist’s life have I been so completely overwhelmed,” recalled Joachim. In the shy, 20-year-old Brahms, he saw something “noble and inspired.” He introduced him to Robert and Clara Schumann (Robert was a respected composer and critic; Clara was a famous pianist). Playing his Piano Sonata in C major, Brahms hit the Schumanns like a thunderbolt. Things unfolded rapidly after that; people declared him the heir to Beethoven. His new friends urged him to write a symphony (just as Beethoven had done). He wasn’t ready.

Brahms wrote a lot of piano music in those days but was eager to please. Seeing greater potential in his Two Piano Sonata in D minor, | @AtlantaSymphony |
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he attempted to refashion it as a symphony. After laboring through the summer of 1854, he showed his work to Joachim, who was impressed. Brahms scolded him.

“As usual, you have regarded the movement of my Symphony through a rose-colored glass,” the composer moaned. “I must alter and improve it all through.” That D-minor Symphony never materialized. We know its music today as the Piano Concerto No. 1.

There would be other false starts. In 1854, Brahms took a position as the director of the Court Concerts and Choral Society in LippeDetmold. A cushy job for a 21-year-old, it provided him free access to a fine orchestra. For that orchestra, he wrote two serenades, each approaching a symphony in scale. For a while, he made noise about expanding these works into symphonies but later abandoned the idea.

On July 1, 1862, eight years later, Clara wrote to Joachim: “Johannes sent me the other day—imagine my surprise!—the first movement of a symphony.” She went on to say it is “full of wonderful beauties” and copied down some of the music in the letter. From her sketch, we can recognize the first movement of Brahms’s First Symphony. But it would continue to percolate for another 14 years.

The next whiff of the First Symphony came in 1868. While vacationing in Switzerland with his father, the composer wrote a melody over the following words: “High on the mountain, deep in the valley, I greet you a thousandfold,” and sent it to Clara. Eight years later, that melody became a horn call in the Symphony’s finale.

Although writing symphonies eluded Brahms for years, he was far from unproductive. Becoming one of Europe’s most famous composers, he wrote songs, choral works, chamber works, his German Requiem, and the Haydn Variations.

The final symphonic push came in the summer of 1876 between swims off the Isle of Rügen; Brahms committed much of his Symphony No. 1 to paper there. He added the finishing touches in Lichtental. At the premiere in November, conductor Hans von Bülow noted echoes of Beethoven’s Ninth, to which Brahms snapped, “Any jackass can see that!” | 25



David Coucheron joined the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as Concertmaster in September 2010. At the time, he was the youngest concertmaster in any major U.S. orchestra. Throughout his career, Coucheron has worked with conductors Robert Spano, Michael Tilson Thomas, Simon Rattle, Mstislav Rostropovich and Charles Dutoit, among others. He has performed as soloist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Sendai Symphony Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra.

Coucheron has given solo recitals at Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center and the Olympic Winter Games (Salt Lake City, Utah), as well as in Beograd, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Serbia, Singapore and Shanghai. His chamber music performances have included appearances at Suntory Hall as well as Wigmore Hall and Alice Tully Hall. Coucheron serves as the Artistic Director for the Kon Tiki Chamber Music Festival in his hometown of Oslo, Norway. He is also on the artist-faculty for the Aspen Music Festival and Brevard Music Festival.

An active recording artist, recordings with sister and pianist Julie Coucheron include “David and Julie” (Naxos/Mudi) and “Debut” (Naxos). He is also the featured soloist on the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, which was released on ASO Media in Fall 2014.

Coucheron began playing the violin at age three. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music, his Master of Music from The Juilliard School and his Master of Musical Performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying with teachers including Igor Ozim, Aaron Rosand, Lewis Kaplan and David Takeno. Coucheron plays a 1725 Stradivarius, on kind loan from Anders Sveaas Charitable Trust. | @AtlantaSymphony | |


Zhenwei Shi was appointed principal violist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2019 at the age of twenty-three.

He received first prize in the 2010 International String Players Competition in Hong Kong and third prize in the 2014 Johansen International Young String Players Competition in the U.S.A. He was also awarded the Special Jury Prize from the 2016 XII Lionel Tertis Viola International Competition and the Regent’s Award from the Duchess of Gloucester of British Royalty and Royal Academy of Music.

As a Drake Calleja Trust and ABRSM scholar in the U.K. since 2016, Mr. Shi has performed as a solo violist and chamber musician at prestigious venues such as Buckingham Palace, Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Shanghai Concert Hall, and on the BBC’s In Tune broadcast.

Since 2018, he has been a frequent guest player with the San Francisco Symphony and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Shi has performed with the Georgian Chamber Players since 2019. He was invited to be an artist-faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival and School in 2020.

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Concerts of Thursday, April 11, 2024, at 8:00 PM

Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 8:00 PM




Sextet from Capriccio, Op. 85 (1941) 11 MINS

Vier letzte Lieder (Four Last Songs) (1948)

I. Frühling (Spring)

II. September

Presented with generous support by


III. Beim Schlafengehen (At Bedtime)

IV. Im Abendrot (At Sunset)

Renée Fleming, soprano



Four Orchestral Songs

“Waldseligkeit,” Op. 49, No. 1 (1901, orch. 1918)

“Muttertändelei,” Op. 43, No. 2 (1899, orch. 1900)



“Traum durch die Dämmerung,” Op. 29, No. 1 (1895, orch. Robert Heger)

“Zueignung,” Op. 10, No. 1 (1885, orch. Robert Heger)

Renée Fleming, soprano

Suite from Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59 (1909–1910, arr. 1944)

25 MINS | @AtlantaSymphony |
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.
28 | apr11/13

Strauss was an exceptional child. Composing his first song at the age of six, he couldn't yet command his fingers to print letters small enough to write words between the staves, so he asked for his mother’s help.

Young Strauss grew up around the lions of 19th-century music. His father, Franz, was a famous French horn player at the Munich Court Opera. Richard described him as “vehement, irascible, tyrannical.” A militant musical conservative, Franz Strauss railed against the modern sounds coming from the pens of Wagner and Liszt and schooled his son on the virtues of Haydn and Beethoven. Young Richard learned the piano, followed his father to opera rehearsals, and wrote pages and pages of music in the classical model.

“[Franz] Strauss is a detestable fellow,” quipped Richard Wagner. “But when he plays the horn, you can't be angry with him.” Ironically, the elder Strauss fathered a giant of modernism.

“I still remember very well how, at around 17 years of age, I almost feverishly swallowed the score of [Wagner's] Tristan and fell into a frenzy of enthusiasm,” he wrote.

The Munich Court Opera was the perfect incubator for a future opera composer. Year after year, Richard Strauss heard the greatest singers of his day, witnessed landmark productions, and developed a keen sense of storytelling through music. He learned his way around an orchestra and won his first conducting job at 21. At 22, he became the third conductor at his father’s opera company.

Over the coming decades, Strauss became one of the most successful composers alive. His symphonic poems instantly entered the repertoire. So popular was his opera Der Rosenkavalier that additional trains had to be scheduled to ferry audiences into Dresden. When Kaiser Wilhelm II suggested that Strauss’ scandalous opera Salome had damaged his reputation, Strauss laughed: “That damage paid for my villa in Garmisch.”


Capriccio is the last of Strauss’ 15 operas, written during the ravages of World War II. A throwback to a simpler age, the story seems frivolous or, at least, oddly detached from the events of the time. Its languid characters lounge

First and most recent ASO performances: February 5-7, 2009, Donald Runnicles, conductor

notesontheprogram |

around a French chateau as a composer and a poet compete for the affections of a young countess. Each man offers expansive testimonials arguing for the superiority of his respective art form (words vs. music), giving the opera’s subtitle, “A Conversation Piece for Music,” an almost academic spin. Nevertheless, the music is marvelous. Capriccio takes the form of an opera-within-an-opera, with the lush Sextet serving as both an overture and a composition by the character Flamand. In the end, after much peacocking, the Countess praises the union of words and music and chooses not to choose.

First ASO performances:

January 30–31, 1958, Henry Sopkin, conductor, Lisa Della Casa, soprano

Most recent ASO performances: December 2-4, 2021, Donald Runnicles, conductor, Jacquelyn Stucker, soprano

Four Last Songs

World War II clouded Strauss’ later years. In 1933, he was 70 years old when Hitler came to power. Consistently an apolitical man, Strauss defied the Third Reich and continued to work with his Jewish librettist, Stefan Zweig. At the same time, he complied with party officials, conducting concerts and writing music on demand. Soon he ran afoul of both Zweig and the Nazis. The latter took dramatic steps to isolate him and nearly robbed him of his family (his beloved daughter-in-law, Alice, and grandchildren were Jewish). As it happened, Strauss retained just enough influence to save them, but Alice lost her extended family. By war’s end, the touchstones of his career— the bejeweled opera houses of Berlin, Vienna, Dresden, and Munich—fell to allied bombs. And the composer was a broken man.

Now in his eighties, post-war Strauss became a different composer. His bold and experimental writing style grew nostalgic, reflective and autumnal. In the spring of 1848, he wrote a song on a poem by Joseph von Eichendorff about a couple in the twilight of life, “Im Abendrot.”

In it, he makes a passing reference to his 1890 tone poem Death and Transfiguration. Over the summer, he composed another three songs based on poems by Hermann Hesse. A year later, Strauss died. Pauline passed eight months after that.

Soon after the composer’s death, Ernst Roth, chief editor at the publisher Boosey & Hawkes, bundled the songs into a cycle called Four Last Songs.

These are the first ASO performances.

Four Orchestral Songs

Strauss was lucky in life and lucky in love. In 1894, he was in the throes of a chaotic and heated rehearsal when his | @AtlantaSymphony |
| encore 30

star soprano, Pauline de Ahne, hurled her score at him and stormed off the stage. The maestro followed her, leaving the musicians and singers confused and embarrassed. After a while, Strauss returned to the podium and announced his engagement to Pauline. From then on, hers was the sound that filled his head. Over his lifetime, Strauss wrote 16 operas and more than 200 songs. Incredibly, he wrote songs in every decade of his life.

“Zueignung” is the earliest of this set, written when the composer was 21 years old. It’s easy to think of these as autobiographical: He composed the love song “Traum durch die Dämmerung” a year after he married Pauline. He wrote the 1899 song “Muttertändelei” (Mother Chatter) as two-year-old Franz toddled at his feet. “Waldseligkeit,” another love song, followed in 1901.

Suite from Der Rosenkavalier

By 1903, Strauss had issued two operas without success. He turned to the scandalous play Salomé by Oscar Wilde for his next effort. Strauss’ Salome premiered in Dresden at the end of 1905 and reportedly drew 38 curtain calls. Within two years, some 50 other productions popped up across Europe, giving the composer a fat bank account. He followed Salome with another horror show, the opera Elektra (1909), and then made a hard turn away from things dark and gruesome.

First ASO performance:

March 8–11, 1973, Jacques Houtmann, conductor

Most recent ASO performances:

February 16–19, 2012, Roberto Minczuk, conductor

Der Rosenkavalier, the Knight of the Rose, presents an idealized Vienna. It takes place in the 18th century, with its imperial palaces, powdered wigs, and puffy gowns but with the magic and nostalgia of the Viennese waltz (which came along a hundred years later). Completing the opera in 1911, Strauss melded bygone eras to produce a lush opera that dazzles the eyes and ears with sumptuousness, comedy, bittersweetness and social commentary.

The story features a love triangle using three women’s voices (one of these is a “pants role”). Over the course of the opera, the “aging” Marschallin (she’s only 32) wistfully acquiesces to the march of time and nudges her young lover into the arms of his beloved.

Der Rosenkavalier became one of the most successful operas of all time. In 1945, American soldiers selected Strauss’ villa in Garmisch as a military headquarters. When they entered the house to oust its occupants, the white-haired Strauss announced, “I am Richard Strauss, composer of Der Rosenkavalier and Salome.” The soldiers left the house untouched.

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32 | meettheartists

Renée Fleming appears by arrangement with IMG Artists,

Ms. Fleming is an exclusive recording artist for Decca and Mercury Records (UK). Ms. Fleming’s jewelry is by Ann Ziff for Tamsen Z.


Renée Fleming is one of the most highly acclaimed singers of our time, performing on the stages of the world’s great opera houses and concert halls. Honored with five Grammy® awards and the US National Medal of Arts, she has sung for momentous occasions from the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony to the Super Bowl. A Goodwill Ambassador for Arts and Health for the World Health Organization, in December she was awarded the prestigious Kennedy Center Honor.

Renée’s new anthology, Music and Mind: Harnessing the Arts for Health and Wellness, will be published by Penguin Random House on April 9, 2024. A prominent advocate for research at the intersection of arts, health, and neuroscience, as Artistic Advisor to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Renée launched the first ongoing collaboration between America’s national cultural center and the National Institutes of Health. She created her own program called Music and the Mind, which she has presented in more than fifty cities around the world.

Renée’s current concert calendar includes appearances in Paris, Milan, Vienna, and at Carnegie Hall. Recent opera performances include starring in the world premiere staging of The Hours, a new opera based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and award-winning film, at the Metropolitan Opera, and a role debut as Pat Nixon in a new production of Nixon in China at the Opéra de Paris.

In 2023, Decca released a special double-length album of live recordings from Renée’s iconic performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Renée Fleming: Greatest Moments at the Met. Renée has recorded everything from complete operas and song recitals to indie rock and jazz. She earned a Tony award nomination for her performance in Carousel on Broadway, and her voice is featured in two Best Picture Oscar-winning films.

In addition to directing SongStudio at Carnegie Hall, Renée is CoArtistic Director of the Aspen Opera Theater and VocalARTS at the Aspen Music Festival and School and Advisor for Special Projects at the Los Angeles Opera. Other awards include the 2023 Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum, the Fulbright Lifetime Achievement Medal, and the Order of Merit from Germany. She holds honorary doctorates from eight leading universities. | @AtlantaSymphony |

Concerts of Thursday, April 18, 2024, at 8:00 PM

Saturday, April 20, 2024, at 8:00 PM




Overture, The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave), Op. 26 (1830–1832)


Presented with generous support by


Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58 (1806)

I. Allegro moderato

II. Andante con moto

III. Rondo: Vivace

Maria João Pires, piano



Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120 (1841, rev. 1851)

I. Ziemlich langsam — Lebhaft

II. Romanze: Ziemlich langsam

III. Scherzo: Lebhaft

IV. Langsam — Lebhaft

Thursday’s concert is dedicated to BETTY AND BOB EDGE in gratitude for their endless support of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, contributions to the Atlanta music community and for the scholarly education we have gained from Bob’s revered music lectures.

use of cameras or recording devices




Thursday’s concert is dedicated to PATTY & DOUG REID in honor of their extraordinary support of the 2022/23 Annual Fund.

Saturday’s concert is dedicated to JUNE & JOHN SCOTT in honor of their extraordinary support of the 2022/23 Annual Fund.

concert is strictly prohibited. Please be kind to those around you and silence your mobile phone and other hand-held devices.

The during the
34 | apr18/20


Overture, The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave), Op. 26

Once upon a time, a Grand Tour signaled the coming of age for a young gentleman. Following a course through France, Italy and Germany, the young traveler visited a list of must-see sites, antiquities, and works of art. But young Felix Mendelssohn was not the typical young traveler.

First ASO performance: March 2, 1950

Henry Sopkin, conductor

Most recent ASO performances: February 27–March 1, 2014

Thierry Fischer, conductor

“The boy was born on a lucky day,” said the poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Mendelssohn was just 16 when he composed his first masterpiece. The son of a banker, Mendelssohn received the best instruction available, excelling in literature, languages, geography, math and drawing. His parents cultivated a home life that was the envy of Europe, a gathering place for famous poets, scientists, writers, musicians, artists and thinkers in Berlin—a host of celebrities who came and marveled at the two Mendelssohn prodigies (Felix and his sister, Fanny). These musical siblings could dazzle the room with their performances. On quieter evenings, the family read aloud, sometimes acting out favorite adventures by Sir Walter Scott. When the 21-year-old Felix embarked upon his Grand Tour, he was already an authority on many of Europe’s treasures and customized his trip accordingly.

“Next August, I am going to Scotland, with a rake for folksongs, an ear for lovely fragrant countryside, and a heart for the bare legs of the natives,” he wrote to a friend in March of 1829. “Klingemann, you must join me; we may lead a merry life!” And they did. On August 8, they boarded the steamer Ben Lomond to sail around the Hebrides (pron. HEH bri DEEZ), an island chain off the northwest coast known for its striking, cathedral-like rock formations, aquamarine waters, and verdant, wind-swept hills. The boys lucked into calm weather and went ashore at Fingal’s Cave.

“We were put out in boats and lifted by the hissing sea up the pillar stumps,” wrote Klingemann. “A greener roar of waves never rushed into a stranger cavern—its many pillars making it look like the inside of an immense organ.”

The almost man-made-looking rock formations especially impressed young Mendelssohn, who wrote home to Berlin, “In order to make you understand how extraordinarily the Hebrides affected me, the following came into my mind there.” And he wrote 20 bars of music, the opening of his Hebrides Overture.


He left further clues about the roiling, haunting atmosphere of the Overture in his artwork, which shows heavy cloud cover and dramatic landscapes rising from misty waters.

After the British Isles, Mendelssohn went on to sunny Italy, where he began his famous “Italian” Symphony. He finished the first draft of the Hebrides Overture on his father’s birthday, December 11, 1830.

First ASO performance:

March 21, 1951

Henry Sopkin, conductor

Claudio Arrau, piano

Most recent ASO performances:

January 12–15, 2023

Kazem Abdullah, conductor

Tom Borrow, piano

Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58

“Inspirational bedlam,” wrote biographer Edmund Morris. That’s how he described Beethoven’s sketchbooks. Between 1803 and 1804, Beethoven was a fountain of ideas; he jotted down hundreds of sketches and bound them into a 192-page book. About half of these went into the “Eroica” Symphony. Other fragments found their way into the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, the opera Fidelio, his Triple Concerto and his Fourth Piano Concerto.

At the turn of the century, Beethoven was the most famous pianist in Vienna. Excelling on an instrument that had only recently become widespread, he was, for all practical purposes, a first-generation player. (Consider that Mozart, who was only 15 years older, began life as a harpsichordist.) Unlike Mozart, Beethoven spent his youth practicing on this new invention and had a different sense of its dramatic potential. The noble houses of Vienna happily opened their doors to the temperamental Beethoven. And he wrote music to show off his skills.

At that point, the audience knew the concerto formula: The orchestra would play some tunes. Then, the pianist would play them. With the Fourth Piano Concerto, Beethoven surprised listeners by opening with the piano alone. Marked by exquisite serenity, the music grows from a four-note figure that forms the glue for the entire movement, shifting and flowing through varying shades and colors. (It’s no coincidence that the raging Fifth Symphony also grows from that four-note figure; the opening music of each piece appears side-byside in Beethoven’s sketchbook.)

Sadly, the bedlam described by Edmund Morris was not limited to Beethoven’s sketchbooks. In the year 1806, the composer suffered chronic illness and profound hearing loss. He had a spat with his theater manager and withdrew his opera. He quarreled with his brother and his publisher. He lost his stipend after an argument | @AtlantaSymphony |
36 | encore

with his patron. Despite all this, Beethoven produced one landmark piece after another, including quartets, the Fourth Symphony, and the Violin Concerto. He also worked on his Fifth Symphony and finished his Fourth Piano Concerto. The Concerto had its public premiere on a bone-chilling night in 1808. In what was a legendary fiasco, Beethoven drew an audience into an unheated hall for what turned out to be a whopping four-hour concert. Leading a disgruntled and under-rehearsed orchestra, he presided over a series of misfires as he premiered the Fourth Piano Concerto, the Fifth Symphony, the Sixth Symphony, and the Choral Fantasy. After its chilly debut, the Fourth Piano Concerto languished until 1836 (nearly a decade after Beethoven’s death) when Felix Mendelssohn revived the piece.

Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120

In May of 1841, Robert Schumann was riding high. He had recently married the love of his life; he had a baby on the way, and his First Symphony was a resounding success. He could look back on a journey of self-discovery, which started with a pivot from studying law to studying piano at the age of 20.

First ASO performances:

November 20–22, 1969

James Levine, conductor

Most recent ASO performances:

October 21–24, 2021

Juanjo Mena, conductor

In 1830, he quit university and moved in with his piano teacher, Friedrich Wieck, where he became one of two star piano students— the other was Wieck’s 9-year-old daughter, Clara, a child prodigy. As months turned into years, Clara grew on Robert. By age 15, her father felt he needed to run interference and keep her away from the temperamental young man. Now a formidable virtuoso, Clara went on a series of concert tours that practically drove her into Robert’s arms. They set up a secret system to exchange letters, and their love blossomed.

In September 1840, the day before her 21st birthday, Clara and Robert exchanged wedding vows. By then, Robert had shifted his focus toward composition and music journalism. That same year, with his head filled with love and romance, he wrote more than 150 songs.

In January 1841, Schumann turned his focus to the orchestra, completing a draft of his First Symphony in just four days. Two months later, Felix Mendelssohn conducted the premiere, and | 37

Schumann immediately found a publisher. Continuing at a dizzying pace, Schumann wrote the Overture, Scherzo and Finale, and the first movement of what became the Piano Concerto—all before the fall.

For her part, Clara treated her husband’s composition career like a family business.

“Robert’s mind is very creative now, and he began a symphony yesterday which is to consist of one movement, but with an Adagio and finale,” she wrote toward the end of May. “I have heard nothing of it yet, but from seeing Robert’s doings and D minor echoing wildly in the distance, I know in advance that this will be another work emerging from the depths of his soul.” This time, Robert aspired to create something different: instead of writing a symphony in which each movement is effectively a unique piece of music (which, for the most part, was the norm up until that point), he fashioned a far more integrated work, building each movement out of material from the symphony’s opening bars.

The premiere took place on December 6, 1841. This time, Mendelssohn was unavailable to conduct, so Clara stepped in as a headliner alongside piano superstar Franz Liszt. They played a duet together, and Schumann’s D-minor symphony received its first performance. The piece elicited mixed reactions. Schumann’s publisher declined to take it on, and he set it aside.

After taking a break from the symphonic form, Schumann wrote the piece now known as Symphony No. 2 in 1845 and followed it with the Symphony No. 3 in 1850.

Around that time (1850), Schumann accepted a position as music director of the orchestra and choral society in Düsseldorf. It was for the Lower Rhenish Music Festival that he returned to his D-minor Symphony. Reworking whole sections, adding transitions, and thickening the orchestration, he reissued the D minor Symphony at the festival in 1853. It came to be known as Symphony No. 4. | @AtlantaSymphony |
38 | encore



Born in 1944 in Lisbon, Maria João Pires gave her first public performance at the age of 4 and began her studies of music and piano with Campos Coelho and Francine Benoît, continuing later in Germany, with Rosl Schmid and Karl Engel. In addition to her concerts, she has made recordings for Erato for fifteen years and Deutsche Grammophon for twenty years.

Since the 1970s, she has devoted herself to reflecting the influence of art in life, community, and education, trying to discover new ways of establishing this way of thinking in society. She has searched for new ways which, respecting the development of individuals and cultures, encourage the sharing of ideas.

In 1999, she created the Belgais Centre for the Study of the Arts in Portugal. Maria João Pires regularly offers interdisciplinary workshops for professional musicians and music lovers. In the Belgais concert hall concerts and recordings regularly take place. In future, these will be shared with the international digital community (pay and non-pay).

In 2012, in Belgium, she initiated two complementary projects; the Partitura Choirs, a project which creates and develops choirs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds as in Belgium the Hesperos Choir, and the Partitura Workshops. All of the Partitura projects aim to create an altruistic dynamic between artists of different generations by proposing an alternative in a world too often focused on competitiveness. This philosophy is being spread worldwide at Partitura projects and workshops. | @AtlantaSymphony |

Concerts of Thursday, April 25, 2024, at 8:00 PM

Friday, April 26, 2024, at 8:00 PM



To See the Sky is an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Co-Commission with the American Composers Forum, New York Philharmonic, Aspen Music Festival and School, and Bravo! Vail Music Festival.


Kauyumari (Blue Deer) (2021)



Rhapsody in Blue (1924, orch. 1926 by F. Grofé) 17 MINS Cédric Tiberghien, piano


To See the Sky (2024)





This week’s concerts are dedicated to ANGELA EVANS in honor of her extraordinary support of the 2022/23 Annual Fund.

Walkabout, Concerto for Orchestra (2016) 30 MINS

I. Soliloquio Serrano

II. Huaracas

III. Haillí

IV. Tarqueada


Danzón No. 2 (1994)


Commissions of new works are made possible by THE ROBERT SPANO FUND FOR NEW MUSIC, established with a lead gift from The Antinori Foundation.

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.

42 | apr25/26

Kauyumari (Blue Deer)

Born to a musical family, Gabriela Ortiz has always felt she didn’t choose music—music chose her. Her parents were founding members of the group Los Folkloristas, a renowned music ensemble dedicated to performing Latin American folk music. Growing up in the cosmopolitan thriving metropolis of Mexico City, Ortiz’s music education was multifaceted. While playing charango and guitar with her parents’ group, she was also learning classical piano. Ortiz began her composition studies under the mentorship of renowned Mexican composers Mario Lavista, Julio Estrada, Federico Ibarra, and Daniel Catán. Later, she continued her studies in Europe, earning a doctorate in composition and electronic music from London’s City University under the guidance of Simon Emmerson.

These are the first ASO performances.

Ortiz’s music incorporates seemingly disparate musical worlds, from traditional and popular idioms to avant-garde techniques and multimedia works. This is, perhaps, the most salient characteristic of her oeuvre: an ingenious merging of distinct sonic worlds. While Ortiz continues to draw inspiration from Mexican subjects, she is interested in composing music that speaks to international audiences.

Ortiz currently teaches composition at Mexico’s National Autonomous University. Her music is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

From the composer:

Among the Huichol people of Mexico, Kauyumari means "blue deer." The blue deer represents a spiritual guide, one that is transformed through an extended pilgrimage into a hallucinogenic cactus called peyote. It allows the Huichol to communicate with their ancestors, do their bidding, and take on their role as guardians of the planet. Each year, these Native Mexicans embark on a symbolic journey to "hunt" the blue deer, making offerings in gratitude for having been granted access to the invisible world, through which they also are able to heal the wounds of the soul.

When I received the commission from the Los Angeles Philharmonic to compose a piece that would reflect on our return to the stage following the pandemic, I immediately thought of the blue deer and its power to enter the world of the intangible as akin to a celebration of the reopening of live music. Specifically, I thought of a Huichol melody sung by the De La Cruz family—dedicated to recording ancestral folklore—that I used for the final movement


of my piece, Altar de Muertos (Altar of the Dead), commissioned by the Kronos String Quartet in 1997. I used this material within the orchestral context and elaborated on the construction and progressive development of the melody and its accompaniment in such a way that it would symbolize the blue deer. This in turn was transformed into an orchestral texture which gradually evolves into a complex rhythm pattern, to such a degree that the melody itself becomes unrecognizable (the imaginary effect of peyote and our awareness of the invisible realm), giving rise to a choral wind section while maintaining an incisive rhythmic accompaniment as a form of reassurance that the world will naturally follow its course.

Rhapsody in Blue

It was the post-holiday hangover.

First ASO performance:

January 29, 1950, Henry Sopkin, conductor, Oscar Levant, piano

George Gershwin, his brother Ira, and Buddy De Sylva were shooting pool in the wee hours of January 3, 1924, when Ira noticed a newspaper article: “Paul Whiteman is giving a concert of experimental music next month … Jazz! Classical music! … Married together!” It went on to say that George Gershwin would play a new piano concerto. That’s when George learned he had just over a month to write the piece.

Most recent ASO performances:

May 10-12, 2012, Robert Spano, conductor, Leon Bates, piano

Paul Whiteman was one of the most popular bandleaders of the Prohibition era, performing “sweet jazz,” a style characterized by square rhythms and sentimental melodies (as opposed to the “hot jazz” coming from artists like Duke Ellington). With his “Experiment in Modern Music,” Whiteman aspired to make the case for jazz to a broader audience.

George Gershwin was a child of New York’s Lower East Side, a cultural and musical mosaic (roughly a third of New York was foreignborn). The son of Russian immigrants, Gershwin, née Gershowitz, spent a happy childhood roaming the streets of the Yiddish Theater District. Live music was in the air, and when jazz became a fixture in Harlem, young Gershwin lapped it up.

If New York City gave him the musical vocabulary for Rhapsody in Blue, a trip to Boston gave him the inspiration. “It was on that train,” he said, “with its steely rhythms, its rattlety-bang that is so often stimulating to a composer … I suddenly heard—and even saw on | @AtlantaSymphony |
44 | encore

paper—the complete construction of the rhapsody from beginning to end.”

Five weeks before the premiere, Gershwin disappeared into the back room of his parents’ apartment and began. He opened the piece with a trill in the solo clarinet moving into a rising scale. In rehearsal, clarinetist Ross Grossman was clowning around and played the scale as one long, sassy glissando. Gershwin wrote it down.

On February 12, 1924—100 years ago—New Yorkers crowded into Aeolian Hall. Imagine this audience: Fred and Adele Astaire, Igor Stravinsky, Jascha Heifetz, Fritz Kreisler, Sergei Rachmaninov, Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Olin Downes and John Philip Sousa—they were all there. George played the solo piano. Brother Ira, the genius wordsmith, came up with the title. George had suggested “An American Rhapsody,” but Ira said, “No—Rhapsody in Blue.”

To See the Sky Notes on the Program

JThese are the first ASO performances.

oel Thompson, currently the inaugural Composer-in-Residence at Houston Grand Opera, has a special affinity for working with voices. “The world would be so much better if everyone sang in a chorus,” he says in earnest. “I really do. Call me idealistic and naive, but it's one of the few spaces in which people can come together, sync up their heart rates, and seek beauty together.”

A choral conductor by training, Thompson most often writes topical compositions that engage in racial and social justice issues. His bestknown work, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed for men’s chorus, parallels the liturgical structure of Haydn’s The Seven Last Words of Christ, powerfully setting the final words of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Kenneth Chamberlain, Amadou Diallo, and John Crawford, all unarmed Black men who died at the hands of law enforcement. The piece received the Hermitage Prize at the Aspen Music Festival in 2017, where Thompson was then studying as a Composition Fellow with Stephen Hartke and Christopher Theofanidis, and the 2018 American Prize in Choral Composition.

The Snowy Day, Thompson’s opera based on the Caldecott Medalwinning children’s book by Ezra Jack Keats, follows its young black protagonist Peter into a magically transformed urban landscape. Thompson has composed music for voices on the topic of bus

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boycotts, on poetry written by incarcerated people in Michigan’s prisons, and on the texts of Black authors such as Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Joseph Seamon Cotter, Jr., and James Baldwin. Even Thompson’s first orchestral work, Act of Resistance, features voices, giving members of the orchestra the option of putting down their instruments to stand up and sing the word “love.”

“That's the whole point,” he explains. “I wanted to create a situation in which the musician has to embody what love feels like. It can be perceived as cheesy, but it requires them to stop everything that they have been trained to do and be as vulnerable as possible with the voice that they have been given.”

Although there will not be any singing in tonight’s performance of Thompson’s newest orchestral work, To See the Sky, the piece was inspired by the line from a song that has personal meaning to him: “Thunderclouds” by MacArthur award-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant. “She's probably my favorite artist alive right now,” Thompson says. “I'm obsessed with her.” Buoyed by an aspiration to live beyond his experiences of Black trauma, Thompson has given the musicians soaring melodies layered with percussion lines full of rhythmic play, a language that is at once the descendent of late 19th century Romanticism and traditions of the African diaspora. His previous work for the New York Philharmonic, “The Places We Leave” for countertenor, written for Anthony Roth Costanza with text by United States Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, premiered in 2022.

“I feel like I'm writing for my own little communities,” Thompson says. “I know what they would want to hear. And I'm writing for 7-year-old me, who wanted to know if it is possible for classical music to sound a little bit like what I was familiar with.”

Thompson was born in the Bahamas to Jamaican parents. His father was a physics professor, and his mother a school principal and teacher. The music with which Thompson was familiar as a boy included local Bahamian junkanoo, popular music from his parents’ Jamaican home and their Nat “King” Cole records, plus gospel, which was largely an American import. But it was Time Life’s collection 100 Classical Masterpieces that Thompson “wore out.” He studied piano from the age of 7, through his family’s relocation to Houston when he was ten, and then Atlanta three years later.

Thompson pursued pre-med coursework as an undergraduate at Emory University, striking a deal with his father that medical | @AtlantaSymphony |
46 | encore

school could wait until he had finished his master’s degree in choral conducting at that same institution. Thompson has never looked back. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the composition program at the Yale School of Music.

Walkabout, Concerto for Orchestra

IThese are the first ASO performances.

ncluded in the Washington Post’s list of the 35 most significant women composers in history (August 2017), identity has always been at the center of composer/pianist Gabriela Lena Frank’s music. Born in Berkeley, California (September, 1972), to a mother of mixed Peruvian/Chinese ancestry and a father of Lithuanian/Jewish descent, Frank explores her multicultural heritage most ardently through her compositions. Inspired by the works of Bela Bartók and Alberto Ginastera, Frank is something of a musical anthropologist. She has traveled extensively throughout South America and her pieces often reflect and refract her studies of Latin American folklore, incorporating poetry, mythology, and native musical styles into a Western classical framework that is uniquely her own.

From the composer:

Walkabout: Concerto for Orchestra is inspired by my travels in Perú, my mother’s homeland. Born in the States, I did not begin these fateful trips until my time as a graduate student at the University of Michigan where my teachers encouraged me to answer questions of identity that long persisted for me: What does it mean to be American born yet with such a motley crew of forbearers hailing from Lithuania, China, and Andean South America? For more than 20 years, I’ve been answering this question, with each piece raising yet more to address.

In four movements, Walkabout uses both musical and extra-musical influences. The first movement, Soliloquio Serrano, features our string principles prominently in an introspective yet lyrical “mountain soliloquy.” The second movement is lively and bold, a portrait of “huaracas,” the slingshot weapons favored by the soldiers employed during the 16th century in the dominant Inca empire. “Haillí,” the Quechua word for “prayer,” is our third movement and is both lyrical and passionate. The last movement, “Tarqueada” portrays, after a mysterious opening, one of my favorite scenes of Perú: A great parade of “tarka” flutists who can number up to a hundred at once. These musicians also blow whistles and beat a variety of different

| 47

drums, creating a sonic effect of controlled chaos that never stops building.

These are the first ASO performances.

Danzón No. 2

The city of Veracruz sits along the eastern coast of Mexico, where 19th-century immigrants brought an Afro-Cuban dance called the danzón. The Veracruzanos made the dance their own (think cha-cha-cha). To this day, folks gather at the Zócalo, where a small orchestra accompanies twirling couples amid sidewalk cafes, palm trees, and a white-washed cathedral.

Arturo Márquez studied music in Mexico and California before falling in love with the traditional music of his native Mexico.

From the composer:

The idea of writing the Danzón No. 2 originated in 1993 during a trip to Malinalco with the painter Andrés Fonseca and the dancer Irene Martínez, both of whom are experts in salon dances with a special passion for the danzón, which they were able to transmit to me from the beginning, and also during later trips to Veracruz and visits to the Colonia Salon in Mexico City. From these experiences onward, I started to learn the danzón’s rhythms, its form, its melodic outline, and to listen to the old recordings by Acerina and his Danzonera Orchestra. I was fascinated and I started to understand that the apparent lightness of the danzón is only like a visiting card for a type of music full of sensuality and qualitative seriousness, a genre which old Mexican people continue to dance with a touch of nostalgia and a jubilant escape towards their own emotional world; we can fortunately still see this in the embrace between music and dance that occurs in the State of Veracruz and in the dance parlors of Mexico City.

The Danzón No. 2 is a tribute to the environment that nourishes the genre. It endeavors to get as close as possible to the dance, to its nostalgic melodies, to its wild rhythms, and although it violates its intimacy, its form and its harmonic language. It is a very personal way of paying my respects and expressing my emotions towards truly popular music. Danzón No. 2 was written on a commission by the Department of Musical Activities at Mexico’s National Autonomous University and is dedicated to my daughter Lily. | @AtlantaSymphony |
48 | encore



Colombian-American Lina Gonzalez-Granados has distinguished herself nationally and internationally as a singularly talented young conductor. Her powerful interpretations of the symphonic and operatic repertoire, as well as her dedication to highlighting new and unknown works by Latin-American composers, have earned her international recognition, most recently being named part of Bloomberg Línea’s 100 Influential Latinos of 2022. She is also the recipient of the 2021 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, the Third Prize and ECHO Special Award (European Concert Hall Organization) of La Maestra Competition, as well as the 2020 and 2021 Solti Foundation US Career Assistance Award.

After winning the Fourth Chicago Symphony Orchestra Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition, Lina was named the Solti Conducting Apprentice, and served as the assistant to Maestro Riccardo Muti, from February 2020 through June 2023. Last season, she was appointed Resident Conductor by the LA Opera, a post she will hold through June 2025. She has also previously held positions as the Inaugural Conducting Fellow of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Conducting fellow of the Seattle Symphony.

Lina’s 2023-24 season has her leading performances across the globe, including debuts with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico, I Musici de Montreal, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège, Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, New World Symphony, Euskadio Orkestra, and the San Antonio Philharmonic.

Her 2022-23 season highlights included debuts with Opera Philadelphia, the Orchestre Metropolitain, Indianapolis Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Aalborg Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, as well as leading a highly-acclaimed production of Britten’s Rape of Lucretia with LA Opera.

Born and raised in Cali, Colombia, Lina made her conducting debut in 2008 with the Youth Orchestra of Bellas Artes. She holds a Master’s Degree in Conducting with Charles Peltz, a Graduate Diploma in Choral Conducting from New England Conservatory with Erica Washburn, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting from Boston University. Her principal mentors include Riccardo Muti, Yannick Nézet- Séguin, Bernard Haitink, Bramwell Tovey, and Marin Alsop. | @AtlantaSymphony |


Cédric Tiberghien is a French pianist who has established a truly international career. He has been particularly applauded for his versatility, as demonstrated by his wideranging repertoire, interesting programming, openness to explore innovative concert formats, and his dynamic chamber music partnerships.

Concerto appearances in the 2023-24 season include his debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as well as re-invitations to the London Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Orchestre National de Lyon. His solo and chamber appearances, the later with Alina Ibragimova and the Chiaroscuro Quartet, include performances in London, Brussels and Berlin. Cédric has a long association with the Wigmore Hall in London, where he is currently performing a complete Beethoven variation cycle, juxtaposed with works by other composers, illustrating the evolution of the genre.

Last season Cédric performed Messiaen’s Turangalila Symphony with both the Berliner Philharmoniker and Orchestre National de France. Other recent collaborations have included the Boston Symphony, Cleveland, London Symphony, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestras and at the BBC Proms with Les Siècles.

Cédric’s most recent recording is volume one of a complete Beethoven variation cycle, repertoire which he is also performing at the Wigmore Hall. This is released by Harmonia Mundi for whom Cédric has also recorded the Ravel Concertos with Les Siècles/ Roth, which has attracted superlative critical acclaim, including the accolade of ‘Editor’s Choice’ in Gramophone Magazine. Cédric has previously recorded works by Bach, Beethoven, Brahms and Debussy for Harmonia Mundi. He has been awarded five Diapason d’Or, for his solo and duo recordings on Hyperion; his most recent solo project being a three-volume exploration of Bartok’s piano works.

As a dedicated chamber musician, Cédric’s regular partners include violinist Alina Ibragimova, violist Antoine Tamestit and baritone Stéphane Degout, with all of whom he has made several recordings as well as performing in concert.

51 |


The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra continues to prosper thanks to the support of our generous patrons. The list below recognizes the donors who have made contributions since June 1, 2022. Their extraordinary generosity provides the foundation for this worldclass institution.



A Friend of the Symphony

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| encore 52


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Leadership Council

We salute these extraordinary donors who have signed pledge commitments to continue their support for three years or more.

For information about giving to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Annual Fund, please contact William Keene at 404.733.4839 or william.keene@

°We are grateful to these donors for taking the extra time to acquire matching gifts from their employers. *Deceased | 53

ASO | SUPPORT (cont.)

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| encore 54


A Friend of the Symphony(2)

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Mr. Denis Ng & Ms. Mary

Jane Panzeri

Gary R. Noble, MD & Joanne Heckman

Donald S. Orr & Marcia K. Knight

Mr. & Mrs. Solon P. Patterson

Mr. & Mrs.

Jonathan K. Peterson

The Piedmont National Family Foundation

Ponce de Leon Music Store

Mr. & Ms. Douglas R. Powell

Ms. Patricia U. Rich

Mr. and Mrs. Douglas G. Riffey, Jr.

Sharon & David Schachter°

Drs. Bess Schoen & Andrew Muir

Alan and Marion Shoenig

Drs. Lawrence & Rachel Schonberger

Dick Schweitzer

Mr. David C. Shih

Nick & Annie Shreiber

Helga Hazelrig Siegel

Diana Silverman

Silvey James and Rev.

Jeanne Simpson

The Society, Inc

The Alex & Betty Smith Donor-Advised Endowment Fund

Ms. Lara Smith-Sitton

Anne-Marie Sparrow

Peggy & Jerry Stapleton

James & Shari Steinberg

Richard M. Stormont*

Dr. & Mrs.

John P. Straetmans

Kay R Summers

TEGNA Foundation

Ms. Linda F. Terry

Dr. Brenda G. Turner

Wayne & Lee Harper Vason

Vogel Family Foundation

Dr. James L. Waits

Mr. Charles D. Wattles & Ms. Rosemary C. Willey

David & Martha West

Russell F. Winch & Mark B. Elberfeld

Mrs. Lynne M. Winship

Zaban Foundation, Inc.

Herbert* & Grace Zwerner

Patron Leadership (PAL) Committee

We give special thanks to this dedicated group of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra donorvolunteers for their commitment to each year’s annual support initiatives:

Linda Matthews chair

Kristi Allpere

Helga Beam

Bill Buss

Pat Buss

Kristen Fowks

Deedee Hamburger

Judy Hellriegel

Nancy Janet

Belinda Massafra

Sally Parsonson

June Scott

Milt Shlapak

Jonne Walter

Marcia Watt

Azy Lotfi
& Max
| 55


Named for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s founding Music Director, the HENRY SOPKIN CIRCLE celebrates cherished individuals and families who have made a planned gift to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. These special donors preserve the Orchestra’s foundation and ensure success for future generations.

Jill* & Jennings* Hertz

Mr. Albert L. Hibbard

Richard E. Hodges

Mr.* & Mrs. Charles K. Holmes, Jr.

Mr.* & Mrs.* Fred A. Hoyt, Jr.

Jim* & Barbara Hund

Clayton F. Jackson

Mary B. James

Nancy Janet

Mr. Calvert Johnson & Mr. Kenneth Dutter

Joia M. Johnson

Deforest F. Jurkiewicz*

Herb* & Hazel Karp

Anne Morgan & Jim Kelley

Bob Kinsey

A Friend of the Symphony (22)

Madeline* & Howell E. Adams, Jr.

Mr.* & Mrs.* John E. Aderhold

Paul & Melody Aldo

Mr. & Mrs. Ronald R. Antinori

Dr. & Mrs. William Bauer

Helga Beam

Mr. Charles D. Belcher*

Neil H. Berman

Susan & Jack Bertram

Mr.* & Mrs.* Karl A. Bevins

The Estate of Donald S. & Joyce Bickers

Ms. Page Bishop*

Mr.* & Mrs.* Sol Blaine

John Blatz

Rita & Herschel Bloom

The Estate of Mrs. Gilbert H. Boggs, Jr.

W. Moses Bond

Mr.* & Mrs. Robert C. Boozer

Elinor A. Breman*

Carol J. Brown

James C. Buggs*

Mr. & Mrs.* Richard H. Burgin

Hugh W. Burke*

Mr. & Mrs. William Buss

Wilber W. Caldwell

Mr. & Mrs. C. Merrell Calhoun

Cynthia & Donald Carson

Mrs. Jane Celler*

Lenore Cicchese*

Margie & Pierce Cline

Dr. & Mrs. Grady S. Clinkscales, Jr.

Suzanne W. Cole Sullivan

Robert Boston Colgin

Mrs. Mary Frances

Evans Comstock*

Miriam* & John A.* Conant

Dr. John W. Cooledge

Janie Cowan

Mr. & Mrs. William R. Cummickel

Bob* & Verdery* Cunningham

Mr. Richard H. Delay & Dr. Francine D. Dykes

John R. Donnell

Dixon W. Driggs*

Pamela Johnson Drummond

Mrs. Kathryn E. Duggleby

Catherine Warren Dukehart*

Ms. Diane Durgin

Arnold & Sylvia Eaves

Mr. & Mrs. Robert G. Edge

Geoffrey G. Eichholz*

Elizabeth Etoll

Mr. Doyle Faler

Brien P. Faucett

Dr. Emile T. Fisher*

Moniqua N Fladger

Mr. & Mrs. Bruce W. Flower

A. D. Frazier, Jr.

Nola Frink*

Betty* & Drew* Fuller

Sally & Carl Gable

William & Carolyn Gaik

Dr. John W. Gamwell*

Mr.* & Mrs.* L.L. Gellerstedt, Jr.

Ruth Gershon & Sandy Cohn

Micheline & Bob Gerson

Max Gilstrap

Mr. & Mrs. John T. Glover

Mrs. David Goldwasser

Robert Hall Gunn, Jr. Fund

Billie & Sig Guthman

Betty G.* & Joseph* F. Haas

James & Virginia Hale

Ms. Alice Ann Hamilton

Dr. Charles H. Hamilton*

Sally & Paul* Hawkins

John* & Martha Head

Ms. Jeannie Hearn*

Barbara & John Henigbaum

Mrs. Lela May Perry*

Mr.* & Mrs. Rezin E. Pidgeon, Jr.

Janet M. Pierce*

Reverend Neal P. Ponder, Jr.

Dr. John B. Pugh

William L.* & Lucia Fairlie*


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

Glen Rogerson*

Tiffany & Richard Rosetti

Mr.* & Mrs.* Martin H. Sauser

James W.* & Mary Ellen* Kitchell

Paul Kniepkamp, Jr.

Vivian & Peter de Kok

Miss Florence Kopleff*

Mr. Robert Lamy

James H. Landon

Ouida Hayes Lanier

Lucy Russell Lee* & Gary Lee, Jr.

Ione & John Lee

Mr. Larry M. LeMaster

Mr.* & Mrs.* William C. Lester

Liz & Jay* Levine

Robert M. Lewis, Jr.

Carroll & Ruth Liller

Ms. Joanne Lincoln*

Jane Little*

Mrs. J. Erskine Love, Jr.*

Nell Galt & Will D. Magruder

K Maier

John W. Markham*

Mrs. Ann B. Martin

Linda & John Matthews

Mr. Michael A. McDowell, Jr.

Dr. Michael S. McGarry

Richard & Shirley McGinnis

John & Clodagh Miller

Ms. Vera Milner

Mrs. Gene Morse*

Ms. Janice Murphy*

Mr. & Mrs. Bertil D. Nordin

Mrs. Amy W. Norman*

Galen Oelkers

Roger B. Orloff

Barbara D. Orloff

Dr. Bernard* & Sandra Palay

Sally & Pete Parsonson

James L. Paulk

Ralph & Kay* Paulk

Dan R. Payne

Bill Perkins

Bob & Mary Martha Scarr

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

Beth & Edward Sugarman

C. Mack* & Mary Rose* Taylor

Isabel Thomson*

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 | @AtlantaSymphony |
| encore 56



Jennifer Barlament executive director

Alvinetta Cooksey executive & finance assistant

Emily Fritz-Endres executive management fellow


Gaetan Le Divelec vice president, artistic planning

Hannah Davis choral and artistic manager

RaSheed Lemon aso artist liaison

Ebner Sobalvarro artistic administrator


Sarah Grant senior director of education

Ryan Walks talent development program manager

Elena Gagon coordinator of education & community engagement

Elizabeth Graiser manager of operations & asyo OPERATIONS

Emily Liao Master vice president & general manager

Carrie Marcantonio interim director of orchestra personnel

Renee Hagelberg manager of orchestra personnel

Kelly Edwards director of operations

Paul Barrett

senior production stage manager

Richard Carvlin stage manager

Joshua Luty principal librarian

Sara Baguyos associate principal librarian


Ashley Mirakian vice president, marketing & communications

Delle Beganie content & production manager

Leah Branstetter director of digital content

Meredith Chapple marketing coordinator

Adam Fenton director of multimedia technology

Will Strawn director of marketing, live Caitlin Buckers marketing manager, live

Lisa Eng creative services manager, live

Mia Jones-Walker marketing manager

Camille McClain director of marketing & communications

Whitney Hendrix creative services manager, aso

Sean David video editor

Bob Scarr

archivist & research coordinator


Russell Wheeler

vice president, sales & revenue management

Nancy James

front of house supervisor

Erin Jones

director of sales & audience development

Jesse Pace senior manager of ticketing & patron experience

Dennis Quinlan manager, business insights & analytics

Robin Smith patron services & season ticket associate

Jake Van Valkenburg sales coordinator

Milo McGehee guest services coordinator

Anna Caldwell guest services associate


Nicole Panunti vice president, atlanta symphony hall live

Michelle Hannaford associate director of events & hospitality

Christine Lawrence associate director of guest services

Jessi Lestelle event manager

Dan Nesspor ticketing manager, atlanta symphony hall live

Liza Palmer event manager

Nicole Jurovics booking & contract manager

Shamon Newsome booking & contract associate


Susan Ambo

executive vice president & cfo

Kimberly Hielsberg vice president of finance

April Satterfield controller

Brandi Reed staff accountant


Grace Sipusic vice president of development

Cheri Snyder senior director of development

William Keene director of annual giving

James Paulk

senior annual giving officer

Renee Contreras director of foundation and corporate relations

Esther Kim development associate, major gifts

Dana Parness manager of individual giving & prospect research

Sharveace Cameron senior development associate

Sarah Wilson manager of development operations

Renee Corriveau donor stewardship & events coordinator

Jenny Ricke foundation & corporate giving associate | 57
ASO | CORPORATE & GOVERNMENT SUPPORT This program is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Major funding is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. Major support is provided by the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. | encore 58


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 Anonymous*

Elizabeth Armstrong*

Around the Table Foundation*

Douglas J. Hertz Family Foundation*

Patty & Doug Reid*

A Friend of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The Antinori Foundation Bank of America*

Chick-fil-A Foundation | Rhonda & Dan Cathy

Emerald Gate Charitable Trust*

The Home Depot Foundation

Sarah & Jim Kennedy

Suzy Wilner*


AT&T Foundation

Farideh & Al Azadi Foundation

The Molly Blank Fund

The Halle Foundation

Invesco QQQ

Novelis, Inc.

The Rich’s Foundation

The Shubert Foundation

Truist Trusteed Foundations: Walter H. and Marjory M. Rich Memorial Fund and Truist Trusteed Foundations: The Greene-Sawtell Foundation



$1,000,000+ $500,000+ $250,000+ * * * * * F O U N D A T I O N T H E IML AY * *
| 59


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.


1180 Peachtree

A Friend of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

ACT Foundation

Alston & Bird


Atlantic Station

The Helen Gurley Brown Foundation

Cadence Bank

City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

Cousins Foundation

Ann & Jeff Cramer*

Sheila Lee Davies & Jon Davies

Reade & Katie Fahs*

Barney M. Franklin & Hugh W. Burke

Charitable Fund

Fulton County Board of Commissioners

Georgia Council for the Arts


Estate of Burton M. Gold


Graphic Packaging International, Inc.

John H. & Wilhelmina D. Harland

Charitable Foundation

Mr. & Mrs. Hilton H. Howell, Jr.

Jocelyn J. Hunter*

Jones Day Foundation & Employees

Kaiser Permanente

Abraham J. & Phyllis Katz Foundation

King & Spalding, Partners & Employees

The Sartain Lanier Family Foundation*

Charles Loridans Foundation, Inc.


The Marcus Foundation, Inc.

The Sara Giles Moore Foundation

National Endowment for the Arts

Amy W. Norman Charitable Foundation

Northside Hospital

Bob & Margaret Reiser*

Southern Company Gas

Carol & Ramon Tomé Family Fund

Warner Bros. Discovery

Kelly & Rod Westmoreland

Ann Marie & John B. White, Jr.

wish Foundation

portion or entirety designated to Capital and/or Endowment commitments | @AtlantaSymphony | | encore 60
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