Robert Spano will led the Atlanta Symphony Orchstra in four of thirteen "Behind the Curtain" concert this spring.[video frame capture / ASO ]

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra announces Spring 2021 Behind the Curtain series programming

EarRelevant Staff | 9 DEC 2020 @ 10:00am ET


This morning, the Grammy® Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra announced its plans to continue presenting concerts in its 2020/21 season via digital broadcast.

As it has done the fall of 2020, the “Behind the Curtain Series,” the 13 virtual concerts will continue to be recorded in Atlanta Symphony Hall without a live audience and will be available to view for current 2020/21 subscribers, new Virtual Members, or via pay-per-view access.

The ASO will make future decisions regarding in‑person concerts in Symphony Hall based on the health and safety of both musicians and patrons.

In addition to familiar classics, the spring BTC concerts feature works by nine living composers, including Tyshawn Sorey, Sarah Gibson, Missy Mazzoli, Michael Abels, Clarice Assad, Carlos Simon, Jimmy López, Gabriela Lena Frank and Aaron Zigman.

  • AD ECMSA 2023-24 season
  • AD AO 05
  • AD ASO CS13

Most of the spring BTC concerts through June 2021 will introduce at least one new work to the Orchestra’s repertoire, with 10 ASO premieres and a world premiere of The Book of Spells by Brazilian-American composer Clarice Assad, performed by The Merian Ensemble, a chamber music group dedicated to the exploration of works by women, composed of five female ASO musicians: Christina Smith, principal flute; Elisabeth Remy Johnson, principal harp; Emily Brebach, English horn; Marci Gurnow, clarinet; Jessica Oudin, viola.

Other first-time performancesd by the ASO include William Grant Still’s Wood Notes, Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Tyshawn Sorey’s For Roscoe Mitchell, Carlos Simon’s An Elegy: A Cry from the Grave and more.

  • AD SPI23_24-03-03 Atlanta Organists in Recital
  • GSO 02 Mozart & Brahms B Feb 24
  • AD ASO CS12

Four of the concerts will be conducted by music director Robert Spano and principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles will lead two programs. Guest conductors for the other seven concerts will be Maxim Emelyanychev, Gemma New, Nathalie Stutzmann, Hannu Lintu, Andrew Manze, James Gaffigan and Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

In addition to The Merian Ensemble, the ASO will also feature concertmaster David Coucheron as a soloist.

Featured guest artists include violinists Robert McDuffie, Randall Goosby, and Augustin Hadelich; cellist Seth Parker Woods; pianists Pedja Mužijević, Yefim Bronfman, Stephen Hough, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet; sopranos Talise Trevigne and Jessica Rivera; and mezzo-soprano and vocalists Irene Roberts.

A “Bach and Beyond” celebration will close out the season, with more details to be announced in the coming weeks.

2021 Spring Behind the Curtain Series full concert listing:

Thu, January 14, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Maxim Emelyanychev, conductor
    Seth Parker Woods, cello
  • VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
    Tyshawn SOREY: For Roscoe Mitchell
    HAYDN: Symphony No. 103
Thu, January 28, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Gemma New, conductor
    Randall Goosby, violin (ASO debut)
  • Sarah GIBSON: Warp and Weft
    BRUCH: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor
    MOZART: Symphony No. 38, “Prague”
Thu, February 4, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Robert Spano, music director
    Pedja Mužijević, piano
  • George WALKER: Lyric for Strings
    CHOPIN: Piano Concerto No. 2
    SHOSTAKOVICH: Chamber Symphony C minor
Thu, February 18, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
    David Coucheron, violin
  • Missy MAZZOLI: Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres) ‡
    MOZART: Violin Concerto No. 3
Thu, March 4, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Robert Spano, music director
    Yefim Bronfman, piano
    The Merian Ensemble, chamber music ensemble
  • Michael ABELS: Delights and Dances
    Clarice ASSAD: The Book of Spells (World Premiere)
    BRITTEN: Sinfonietta, Op. 1
    BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 3
Thu, April 1, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Donald Runnicles, conductor and piano
    Irene Roberts, mezzo-soprano
  • Carlos SIMON: An Elegy: A Cry From The Grave
    DEBUSSY: Chansons de Bilitis
    BRITTEN: Variations on a Theme by Frank Bridge
    WAGNER: Wesendonck Lieder (arr. Henze)
Thu, April 8, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Donald Runnicles, conductor and piano
    Talise Trevigne, soprano
    Christina Smith, flute
    Elisabeth Remy Johnson, harp
  • MOZART: Concerto for Flute and Harp
    Alma MAHLER: Selected Songs
    BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 4
Thu, April 29, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Robert Spano, music director
    Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Robert McDuffie, violin
  • BRAHMS: Violin Concerto
    BRAHMS: Serenade No. 2 in A major
Thu, May 13, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Hannu Lintu, conductor
    Stephen Hough, piano
  • Fanny MENDELSSOHN-HENSEL: Overture in C major
    MENDELSSOHN: Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor
    SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 1 in D major
Thu, May 20, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Andrew Manze, conductor
    Augustin Hadelich, violin
  • IBERT: Divertissement
    BOLOGNE: Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 2, No. 5
    R. STRAUSS: Le bourgeois gentilhomme
Thu, May 27, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    James Gaffigan, Conductor
  • DVOŘÁK: Serenade for Strings in E major, Op. 22
    STILL: Wood Notes
    DVOŘÁK: Serenade for Wind Instruments in D minor, Op. 44
Thu, June 3, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Miguel Harth-Bedoya, conductor
    Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
  • Jimmy LÓPEZ: Fiesta!
    Gabriela Lena FRANK: Elegía Andina
    Aaron ZIGMAN: Tango Manos, Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
Thu, June 10, 2021 8:00 PM
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
    Robert Spano, music director
    Jessica Rivera, sopranos
  • BARBER: Knoxville: Summer of 1915
    MAHLER: Symphony No. 4 (chamber version)

Virtual Memberships & Ticket Info

Virtual Memberships to the Behind the Curtain Series may be purchased for the full spring season or as a Compose Your Own membership made up of of three or more concerts. Pay-per-view access to any single concert is also available. More information about purchasing Virtual Memberships or single tickets is available at, or by contact the ASO’s Subscription Team  y e-mail at or by phone at 404.733.4800.

This spring, Virtual Members will enjoy extended viewing windows for one month after each premiere, access to the ASO Tech Squad for concierge service to walk you through account set-up and virtual concert viewing assistance, and privileges to exchange into other concerts within the spring series.  ■