The funds will support three ASO initiatives: the Atlanta School of Composers, Theatre of a Concert, and the orchestra's recording activities.
Committed to living American composers, the ASO and music director Robert Spano have commissioned Jennifer Higdon, Michael Gandolfi, Christopher Theofanidis and Osvaldo Golijov, among others, through the Atlanta School of Composers. In June, ASCAP awarded the orchestra its top Adventurous Programming Award, the John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music.
Theatre of a Concert uses video interviews of composers, artwork, theatrical costumes, sets and web presence to enhance the orchestra's concert experience.
One of few American orchestras to maintain an ongoing relationship with a major record label (Telarc), the ASO has released over 100 recordings and received 26 Grammy Awards.
In May 2008, the orchestra will open Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta, GA, making it the only U.S. orchestra to operate simultaneously two amphitheatres.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's Performing Arts Program provides multiÔ_year grants on an invitation-only basis to leading orchestras, theater companies, opera companies, modern dance companies, and dance-specific presenters based in the U.S.