The ASO on GPB


GPB is your ticket to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s 75th anniversary season! This 2020–21 concert series celebrates the orchestra and chorus’s proud legacy to date and the hopeful trajectory ahead. Hear their performances recorded live at the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown Atlanta and meet conductors and soloists through behind-the-scenes chats as Sarah Zaslaw hosts a star-studded, celebratory season of The ASO on GPB.

The ASO on GPB airs Thursday and Sunday at 10 p.m.





July 2 & 5, 2020

Violin Sensation Joshua Bell Returns 

WAGNER: Prelude to Act I of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg;  
JENNIFER HIGDON: Concerto for Orchestra; WIENIAWSKI: Violin Concerto No. 2; SARASATE:  

Robert Spano, conductor; Joshua Bell, violin; Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

July 9 & 12, 2020

Tengku Irfan Makes his ASO Debut with Bartók

WAGNER: Preludes to Acts I & III of Lohengrin
BARTÓK: Piano Concerto No. 2
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1

Robert Spano, conductor
Tengku Irfan, piano
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

July 16 & 19, 2020

Edo de Waart Conducts Ein Heldenleben

MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 22
STRAUSS: Ein Heldenleben

Edo de Waart, conductor
Ronald Brautigam, piano
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

July 23 & 26, 2020

Donald Runnicles Conducts Bruckner

WAGNER: Orchestral excerpts from Parsifal
KORNGOLD:Lieder des Abschieds
BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 4

Donald Runnicles, conductor
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

July 30 & Aug. 2, 2020

James Ehnes and the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 15
TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto

Donald Runnicles, conductor
James Ehnes, violin
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

Aug. 6 & 9, 2020

An All-Star Cast Sings Mahler’s “Symphony of a Thousand”

MAHLER: Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand"

Robert Spano, conductor
Evelina Dobračeva, Erin Wall & Nicole Cabell, sopranos; Michelle DeYoung & Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-sopranos; Toby Spence, tenor; Russell Braun, baritone; Morris Robinson, bass
Morehouse College Glee Club, Spelman College Glee Club, Gwinnett Young Singers

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

Aug. 13 & 16, 2020

Emanuel Ax Plays Brahms

BRIAN NABORS (Rapido! winner): Onward    
COPLAND: Appalachian Spring
BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1

Robert Spano, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

Aug. 20 & 23, 2020

Jorge Federico Osorio Returns for de Falla

de FALLA: Nights in the Gardens of Spain
PROKOFIEV Selections from Romeo and Juliet

Robert Spano, conductor
Jorge Federico Osorio, piano
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

Aug. 27 & 30, 2020

Beethoven at 250: The Violin Concerto

KNUSSEN: Two Organa
LUTOSŁAWSKI: Concerto for Orchestra
BEETHOVEN: Violin Concerto 

Robert Spano, conductor
David Coucheron, violin
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

Sept. 3 & 6, 2020

Elizabeth Koch Tiscione Performs Vaughan Williams

BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 1
STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks

James Gaffigan, conductor
Elizabeth Koch Tiscione, oboe
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

Sept. 10 & 13, 2020

 Shostakovich’s Fifth and Berg

BEETHOVEN: Leonore Overture No. 3
BERG: Violin Concerto
SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Karina Canellakis, conductor
Itamar Zorman, violin
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

Sept. 17 & 20, 2020

Robert Spano Conducts Vaughan Williams

VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Serenade to Music
BACH: Cantata No. 29 “Wir danken dir, Gott”

Robert Spano, conductor
Maria Valdes, soprano; David Walton, tenor
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chamber Chorus

Sept. 24 & 27, 2020

Northern Lights Part 1: The Sibelius Violin Concerto 

SIBELIUS: Finlandia, Violin Concerto, Symphonies No. 6 & 7 

Thomas Søndergård, conductor
Blake Pouliot, violin
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Oct. 1 & 4, 2020

Northern Lights Part 2: The Grieg Piano Concerto

ALFVÉN : Suite from Bergakungen (The Mountain King)
GRIEG: Piano Concerto
STENHAMMAR: Florez and Blanzeflor, song
NIELSEN: Symphony No. 3, “Espansiva”

Thomas Søndergård, conductor
Håvard Gimse, piano
Sherri Seiden, soprano; Andreas Landin, baritone
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

Oct. 8 & 11, 2020

The In-Laws: Wagner and Liszt

WAGNER: Siegfried Idyll
LISZT: Piano Concerto No. 1
SAINT-SAËNS: Symphony No. 3, “Organ”

Emmanuel Villaume, conductor
Andrew von Oeyen, piano
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

Oct. 15 & 18, 2020

A Special Evening with Conductor Yoel Levi

VERDI: Overture to La forza del destino
BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1
MAHLER: Symphony No. 1, “Titan”

Yoel Levi, conductor 
Itzhak Perlman, violin
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 

Oct. 22 & 25, 2020

Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra

BEETHOVEN: Coriolan Overture; SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5

Stephen Mulligan, conductor

Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra

(c) Brian Raphael Nabors

What a banner year for composer Brian Raphael Nabors. The 28-year-old Birmingham native just finished up his doctorate in Cincinnati, acted as a composing fellow at three organizations across the country and is about to head to Australia on a Fulbright scholarship. Also in 2019, as winner of the national Rapido! Composition Competition, he was commissioned to write a new piece for the Atlanta Symphony to premiere this week, “Onward.” Nabors sat down with GPB’s Sarah Zaslaw to talk about this time of growth.

Grammy­-winning violinist James Ehnes is in Georgia to perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with the Atlanta Symphony and Donald Runnicles November 7–9. Ehnes grew up in Canada and now lives in Florida with his wife and kids. He sat down with GPB’s Sarah Zaslaw to chat about family, coincidences, collaborators, recording – and the greatness of Tchaikovsky.

Jet-set conductor Donald Runnicles is all over the map, literally. In Berlin, he’s music director of the German Opera. In Wyoming, he heads the Grand Teton Music Festival. And he often visits Georgia as principal guest conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

It all began in Scotland, where Runnicles grew up the son of a church choirmaster and an amateur pianist. In May, between weekends of Debussy and Beethoven with the ASO, he sat down with GPB’s Sarah Zaslaw. She asked about his earliest musical experience.

ASO Media

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra released a new album of music from one of its own, Michael Kurth. Among the pieces on Everything Lasts Forever: music inspired by Atlanta graffiti, travel—and betrayal, in his choral work Miserere.

Kurth joined Sarah Zaslaw of GPB's Nightcap and Atlanta Symphony broadcasts to discuss Miserere.

Angela Morris

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra unveils its lineup for the 2019/2020 season today. Sarah Zaslaw, who hosts “The ASO on GPB” and “Nightcap,” brings "On Second Thought" this preview of what’s to come with ASO music director Robert Spano.

Jeff Roffman

Even professional musicians haven’t heard of him. But Russian violinist and composer Julius Conus did exist, and in 1896 he wrote a Violin Concerto in E minor. Years later, Jascha Heifetz recorded the piece, in which form it reached the ears of a Norwegian boy who would grow up to become the concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Now David Coucheron is excited to perform the Conus Violin Concerto for the first time himself March 7 and 9 with his colleagues in Atlanta. He spoke with GPB’s Sarah Zaslaw about this obscure but “surprisingly beautiful” work.

Jeff Roffman

Broken string? Tumbling shoulder rest? Nothing stands between Justin Bruns – second chair violinist of the Atlanta Symphony – and Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons.” 

In May 2018, his solo in those four concertos anchored the ASO’s debut performance at Spivey Hall in Morrow. That concert airs at 10 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday, February 7 and 10, 2019 on The ASO on GPB.

Bruns spoke with GPB’s Sarah Zaslaw about Vivaldi and birds, roles and nerves.

“Utility conductor” isn’t his real title, but it might as well be. Officially, Stephen Mulligan is assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and music director of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. That means he conducts educational and other community performances, leads the ASYO, studies all the ASO’s main concert repertoire, attends all rehearsals, and stands ready to jump onstage at a moment’s notice if a scheduled conductor falls ill.

JD Scott

Elizabeth Tiscione was just 21 when she won the position of principal oboist in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Jeff Roffman

You’ll usually find Alcides Rodriguez in the woodwind section of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. This weekend, though, he’s putting down his clarinet and picking up percussion – as the soloist in Ricardo Lorenz’s Concerto for Venezuelan Maracas and Orchestra. Does the idea of a maracas concerto sound preposterous? GPB’s Sarah Zaslaw asked Alcides Rodriguez how a pair of shakers can hold the audience’s interest for a quarter hour.

Interview Highlights

On the tricky technique