Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Grant Blankenship / GPB

Two legendary rock musicians and an innovative classical violinist join On Second Thought to talk about how they are mashing up their respective disciplines. Along with original compositions, these musicians use songs from Georgia’s most beloved musicians and bands and adapt them for an orchestra.


“A Night of Georgia Music” continues a collaboration between Mike Mills, bassist songwriter and co-founder of R.E.M.; Chuck Leavell, former member of The Allman Brothers Band, now the music director and keyboardist for The Rolling Stones; and Robert McDuffie, violinist and founder of the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University.

They will be performing at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on Sept. 29, but first they stopped by On Second Thought.


The Youth Climate Strike will take place Friday in Georgia, other U.S. states and about 150 countries. High school and college students are skipping class to demand action on climate change, and they are timing the strike for right before Monday’s UN Climate Action Summit. On Second Thought hears from Andrea Manning and Zeena Abdulkarim, two of the Atlanta organizers and Dr. Kim Cobb, a climate science professor.


donaldrunnicles.org

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.


Today's show featured conversations on disaster relief for Georgia communities, a new release from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and a recap of bills moving through the state legislature.

Since Hurricane Michael, On Second Thought has heard from Georgia farmers whose crops were devastated by the storm. Their 2018 farm loans are coming due and yet the promised federal disaster funds they need to balance their books isn't here. Sen. David Perdue joined On Second Thought to provide an update on these funds.


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.


atlantaga.gov

  • Kemp Resignation Calls Grow Louder
  • GA State Employee Health Benefit Costs To Stay Flat In 2019
  • ASO Diversity Program Marks 25th Year

“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

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Bassist Jane Little of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra died Sunday. Little collapsed during a performance and was rushed to the hospital. She died shortly after.

 

In a statement posted on the Atlanta Symphony Musicians Facebook, the group mourned Little's passing. "We are deeply saddened to report that bassist Jane Little passed away earlier this evening. She was a gem, a firecracker, and a pioneer for women in American symphony orchestras, and will be sorely missed."

Robert Shaw: Man of Many Voices

When you talk about classical music in Atlanta, the one name you're likely to come across is Robert Shaw.  The former conductor and music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra was known as a "choral giant." A new documentary called “Robert Shaw: Man of Many Voices,” tells his story. Filmmaker Kiki Wilson reflects on Shaw's storied career with Nick Jones, the ASO's former program annotator.