Atlanta Symphony Opens 2006-07 Season With New Jennifer Higdon Work and Beethoven's Ninth

Classic Arts News   Atlanta Symphony Opens 2006-07 Season With New Jennifer Higdon Work and Beethoven's Ninth
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its music director, Robert Spano, begin their sixth season together tonight with a special concert featuring the ASO's renowned chorus and chamber chorus.

Vocal soloists Jessica Rivera, Measha Brueggergosman, Kelley O'Connor, Thomas Studebaker and Nmon Ford join the Atlantans for an evening offering the Serenade to Music by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Dooryard Bloom, a 2005 work for baritone and orchestra by Jennifer Higdon setting poetry by Walt Whitman. The program, which will be repeated on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 23 and 24), closes with Beethoven's Symphony No. 9.

The Atlanta Symphony's 2006-07 season includes two premieres: Richard Danielpour's Pastime, a tribute to the African-American baseball greats Henry Aaron, Jackie Robinson and Josh Gibson, and John Harbison's Concerto for Double Bass, co-commissioned by a consortium of orchestras and the International Society of Bassists. Composer Michael Gandolfi will have a three-week residency with the ASO, to include performances of his The Garden of Cosmic Speculation in Atlanta and on the orchestra's February tour of Florida, and John Adams will conduct his 9/11/2001 memorial piece On the Transmigration of Souls, which has been showered with awards since its premiere in 2002.

Among the 11 programs Spano will conduct in Atlanta in 2006-07 are Bach's Passion According to St. John and a 60th-birthday celebration for pianist Andr_ Watts. Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles will lead four programs, including excerpts from Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and an all-British program with music by Britten, Elgar, Peter Maxwell Davies, Mark-Anthony Turnage and James MacMillan.

The Atlanta Symphony's guest conductors this season include Roberto Abbado, Nicholas McGegan and Itzhak Perlman; soloists include pianist Emanuel Ax and Garrick Ohlsson and violinists Midori and Gil Shaham.

The ASO continues the ambitious recording schedule that has made it a perennial winner at the Grammy Awards. Telarc, the orchestra's longtime partner, will record three CDs this season: one pairing Garden of Cosmic Speculation and Dooryard Bloom, another of Ralph Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and Symphony No. 5, and a third of Runnicles's all-British program. Meanwhile, the label will release ASO recordings made in 2005-06 of Wagner, Strauss and Sibelius.

Deutsche Grammophon will release this season two ASO discs made as part of the label's long-term project to record the music of Osvaldo Golijov: the world premiere recording of the opera Ainadamar and a CD featuring Oceana (sung by Luciana Souza), Three Songs (featuring Dawn Upshaw) and Last Round.

For more information on the Atlanta Symphony's concerts and recordings, visit

Recommended Reading: