ASO announces its first season with Stutzmann at the helm
“Music is my whole life, so I’m never happier than when I’m making music,” she said. In 2023, she will also direct two productions at the Metropolitan Opera. When she took the job in Atlanta, Stutzmann said she canceled scheduled appearances to spend more time in the city.
“I say no to big projects at least two or three times a week,” she added.
Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles, who has held the position since former musical director Robert Spano arrived in Atlanta, will end his role at the end of the season. During his tenure, he enjoyed a unique collaboration with Spano. “A conductor invited elsewhere very often takes over the repertoire that the musical director does not wish to conduct, does not have the time to conduct. … From the start here, it was very clear that it was very different,” Runnicles said. He will conduct the orchestra three times next season, including a concert featuring the ASO Chorus and Brahms’ “A German Requiem”.
When planning his appearances, Stutzmann looked for unfamiliar juxtapositions. Referring to her recent performance pairing Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ with Strauss, she said she enjoys “combining two pieces that no one will necessarily think of combining.”
His concerts should signal to Atlanta audiences the importance of grassroots repertoire. But when programming, Stutzmann also takes into account the meaning of the compositions and the path of the composers as much as the music itself. The reaction the music elicits in the audience may be the most important criterion of all.
“Every gig is about the kind of emotion we can bring to people,” she said. “And if you’re not emotional at some point in the concert, I haven’t achieved my goal with the orchestra.”
The other major component of Stutzmann’s choral lineup is the 3.5-hour multiple choir “St. Matthew Passion. Last performed here in 2012 in a semi-stage arrangement, Bach’s masterpiece is due out in March. Placing the piece in its first season underscores its importance to his musical life.
“I think it should be the basis of any musician’s life, and perhaps the basis of any human’s, because it’s a symbol of what it is to be a human,” said- she said, adding that it’s “not comparable to anything else”. .”
Here are the concerts not to be missed planned for the next season of the orchestra:
6, 8-9 Oct.
Musical Director Nathalie Stutzmann’s first concert as leader of the ASO is a vocal performance anchored by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Also on the program is Purrington’s “Words for Departure”, a rumination on the end of relationships based on poems by Louise Bogan. Also on the program is George Walker’s ode to Walt Whitman, “Lilacs for Voice and Orchestra”, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1996.
December 1 and 3
Conductor Elim Chan comes to Atlanta for the first time from her perch at the helm of the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra to conduct the ASO and guest violinist Hilary Hahn in Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and the Tenth Symphony by Shostakovich. (Jonathon Heyward conducted the ASO in the composer’s Ninth Symphony last March.)
January 12 and 14
For the ASO’s first-ever performance at Carnegie Hall, Robert Shaw programmed Charles Ives’ “Washington’s Birthday.” The composer has been heard through the lens of the ASO sparingly ever since. ASO newcomer Kazem Abdullah, one of four new-to-Atlanta conductors debuting this season, brings Ives’ Symphony No. 2 to the Woodruff. Pianist Tom Burrow comes to Atlanta for the first time to play Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto.
concerto for saxophone
March 16 and 18
The chance to hear alto saxophonist Timothy McAllister, in his ASO debut, conducted by former ASO assistant conductor Stephen Mulligan, is a treat. The fact that the work is the American premiere of a composition by drummer Tyshawn Sorey, who has made a name for himself as a forward-looking classical composer after reigning as a go-to jazz drummer for decades, means that this concert can simply not be missed. Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2 and Weber’s overture “Der Freischutz” complete the program.
May 4 and 6
Runnicles has now been aligned with the ASO longer than Robert Spano, so saying goodbye to the main guest is as important as saying goodbye to Spano. While Runnicles appears with the ASO in three programs, this one will be special. He will be joined for his last performance by mezzo-soprano Irene Roberts, on her ASO debut, for three excerpts from Berg’s “Wozzeck”. Runnicles’ tenure ends with one of his specialties, Mahler’s Symphony No. 5.