Nathalie Stutzmann begins her tenure as music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with the 2022/23 season. (credit: Raftermen)

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Announces 2022/23 Season

The new season marks Nathalie Stutzmann’s first as Music Director and Sir Donald Runnicles’ final as Principal Guest Conductor

Mark Gresham | 23 MAR 2022

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will make history this fall when Nathalie Stutzmann becomes its fifth music director. Stutzmann and the ASO have planned a 2022/23 season combining audience favorites with rediscovered gems and works from 13 living composers.

Here’s EarRelevant’s compilation of the essential season info, from conductors to soloists, and a complete chronological schedule of the ASO’s 2022/23 classical concerts.


Jump to: The Conductors · The Soloists · A Critic’s Notes · 2022/23 Season Schedule


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The Conductors

In her inaugural season as music director, Stutzmann will conduct eight programs.

Sir Donald Runnicles (donaldrunnicles.org)

Sir Donald Runnicles (donaldrunnicles.org)

Sir Donald Runnicles will conduct three programs in his final season as principal guest conductor of the ASO, a post which he first assumed in 2001.

Associate conductor Jerry Hou will conduct one of the classical subscriptions concerts. Concertmaster David Couchron will lead a single conductorless performance of music by Vivaldi and Bach. The ASO’s director of choruses, Norman Mackenzie, will direct two traditional holiday programs with the ASO Chorus.

Guest conductors will lead the remaining dozen concerts.

Returning to the ASO podium are Peter Oundjian (who opens the season), Stéphane Denève, Hannu Lintu, John Storgårds, and former ASO associate conductor Stephen Mulligan.

Seven more conductors will be making their ASO debuts in the new season: Kazem Abdullah, Ryan Bancroft, Nicholas Carter, Elim Chan, Han-Na Chang, Andrew Manze, and Petr Popelka.


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The Soloists

Esteemed instrumental soloists returning to the Symphony Hall stage in 2022/23 are pianists Emanuel Ax, Inon Barnatan, Jonathan Biss, Conrad Tao, Awadagin Pratt, Lise de la Salle, and duo pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton; Violinists Augustin Hadelich, Hilary Hahn, Leila Josefowicz, Gil Shaham, and Sayaka Shoji; and cellist Johannes Moser.

Three instrumental soloists will be making their debuts: pianist Tom Borrow, violinist Daniel Lozakovich, and saxophonist Timothy McAllister.

Featured soloists from the members of the ASO are concertmaster David Coucheron and principal oboist Elizabeth Koch Tiscione.

The season’s 13 scheduled vocal soloists (*=ASO debut) are sopranos Nicole Cabell, Heidi Stober*, Camilla Tilling*, and Talise Trevigne; mezzo-sopranos Patricia Bardon*, Jennifer Johnson Cano, and Irene Roberts*; tenors Kenneth Tarver, and Robin Tritschler*; baritones Justin Austin*, Russell Braun, and Lucas Meachem*; and bass Leon Košavić*.


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A Critic’s Notes

A few items caught my eye (which tends to veer off the beaten path) while looking over the ASO’s 2022/23 season offerings,

  • In a somewhat unorthodox move, the season opener will be led by a guest conductor, Peter Oundjian. The program’s headline attraction is a longtime ASO friend, pianist Emanuel Ax, who will perform Mozart’s Piano Concert No. 18. But the concert opener is To Awaken the Sleeper, composed by Atlanta native Joel Thompson. Based on the writings of James Baldwin, it will be receiving its second-ever performance – with some post-premiere revisions, according to his publisher’s website. Combined with Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances, it will be interesting to hear how this program comes off as a season-opener. (Sept. 22 & 24, 2022).
  • In her first concert as music director, Stutzmann will conduct the only world premiere in the 2022/23 season: a new choral work by Hilary Purrington, Words for Departure by New England. It will share the program with George Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Lilacs and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Oct. 6, 8 & 9, 2022). The season will also include U.S. premieres of works by Tyshawn Sorey (Saxophone Concerto, March 16 & 18), Lera Auerbach (Icarus, April 27 & 29, 2023), and Helen Grime (Violin Concerto, June 8 & 10, 2023).
  • ASO audiences rarely (if ever?) get to hear music by that quintessential American composer Charles Ives, but conductor Kazem Abdullah and the ASO will treat us to his Symphony No. 2 (Jan. 12 & 14, 2023). Older audience members will remember that Robert Shaw championed the music of Ives and would get into trouble over it. But we are long overdue for a chance to revisit and celebrate the iconoclastic Ives.
  • The season’s most monumental project, in my personal opinion, is when Stutzmann will conduct Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (March 30, April 1 & 2, 2023). That will be a crowning achievement and another marker for the ASO Chorus and its relationship with the new musical landscape of the Stutzmann era.
  • Czech conductor Petr Popelka will lead an all-Czech program with duo pianists Christina and Michelle Naughton performing Bohuslav Martinů’s Concerto for Two Pianos, which I consider a significant attraction. If you don’t know the music of Martinů’s close colleague Vítezslava Kaprálová, here’s your opportunity to hear her Military Sinfonietta. They share the program with Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 (May 18 & 20)

The complete list of 2022/23 Season programs follows.


The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: 2022/23 Season Schedule

* ASO debut
† World premiere
± US premiere
‡ ASO premiere

Fall 2022

  • Sept. 22 & 24, 2022
    Peter Oundjian, conductor
    Emanuel Ax, piano

    Joel THOMPSON: To Awaken the Sleeper
    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 18
    RACHMANINOV: Symphonic Dances
  • Oct. 6, 8 & 9
    Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
    Talise Trevigne, soprano
    Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano
    Robin Tritschler, tenor *
    Leon Košavić, bass *
    ASO Chorus

    Hilary PURRINGTON: Words for Departure
    WALKER: Lilacs
    BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 9
  • Oct. 14 & 15
    Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
    BRAHMS: Symphony No. 3
    FRANCK: Le chasseur maudit
    SCHOENBERG: Verklärte Nacht
  • Nov. 10 & 12
    Hannu Lintu, conductor
    Gil Shaham, violin

    SIBELIUS: The Oceanides
    KORNGOLD: Violin Concerto
    Jennifer HIGDON: Concerto for Orchestra
  • Nov. 17 & 19
    John Storgårds, conductor
    Inon Barnatan, piano

    Outi TARKIAINEN: Midnight Sun Variations
    RACHMANINOV: Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini
    CHOPIN/Stravinsky: Nocturne and Grand Waltz
    SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 5
  • Dec. 1 & 3
    Elim Chan, conductor *
    Hilary Hahn, violin

    TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto
    SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 10
  • Dec. 8, 10 & 11
    Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
    BIZET: Carmen Prelude
    BIZET: Symphony in C Major
    TCHAIKOVSKY: Selections from The Nutcracker

December Holiday Classics

  • Dec. 15, 16 & 18
    Norman Mackenzie, conductor
    ASO Chorus

    Christmas with the ASO
  • Dec. 22
    Norman Mackenzie, conductor
    ASO Chamber Chorus

    HANDEL: Messiah, Pt I

Winter-Spring 2023

  • Jan. 4, 2023
    David Coucheron, violin
    VIVALDI: The Four Seasons
    BACH: Select Brandenburg Concertos
  • Jan. 12 & 14
    Kazem Abdullah, conductor *
    Tom Borrow, piano *

    IVES: Symphony No. 2
    BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 4
  • Jan. 19 & 21
    Sir Donald Runnicles, conductor
    Jonathan Biss, piano

    MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 20
    BRUCKNER: Symphony No. 8
  • Jan. 26 & 28
    Sir Donald Runnicles, conductor
    Heidi Stober, soprano *
    Russell Braun, baritone
    ASO Chorus

    Adolphus HAILSTORK: Epitaph for a Man Who Dreamed
    BRAHMS: A German Requiem
  • Feb. 2 & 3
    Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
    Johannes Moser, cello

    PROKOFIEV: Sinfonia concertante
    SHOSTAKOVICH: Symphony No. 5
  • Feb. 9 & 11
    Han-Na Chang, conductor *
    Sayaka Shoji, violin

    ANNA CLYNE: This Midnight Hour
    PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1
    MUSSORGSKY/Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition
  • Feb. 23 & 24
    Ryan Bancroft, conductor *
    Conrad Tao, piano

    KODÁLY: Háry János Suite
    RAVEL: Piano Concerto in G
    DAWSON: Negro Folk Symphony
  • March 2 & 4
    Jerry Hou, conductor
    Awadagin Pratt, piano

    Joan TOWER: 1920/2019
    Jessie MONTGOMERY: Rounds
    BARTÓK: Concerto for Orchestra
  • March 16 & 18
    Stephen Mulligan, conductor
    Timothy McAllister, saxophone *

    WEBER: Der Freischütz Overture
    Tyshawn SOREY: Saxophone Concerto ±
    SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 2
  • March 23 & 25
    Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
    David Coucheron, violin
    Elizabeth Koch Tiscione, oboe

    HANDEL/VIVALDI: Selections
    BACH: Concerto for Oboe & Violin
  • March 30, April 1 & 2
    Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
    Camilla Tilling, soprano *
    Patricia Bardon, mezzo-soprano *
    Kenneth Tarver, tenor
    Leon Košavić, bass
    Justin Austin, Jesus *
    Robin Tritschler, Evangelist
    ASO Chamber Chorus

    BACH: St. Matthew Passion
  • April 13 & 15
    Stéphane Denève, conductor
    Augustin Hadelich, violin

    Carlos SIMON: Fate Now Conquers
    BRITTEN: Violin Concerto
    BERLIOZ: Symphonie fantastique
  • April 20 & 21
    Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
    Daniel Lozakovich, violin *

    MOZART: The Magic Flute Overture
    MENDELSSOHN: Violin Concerto
    SCHUBERT: Symphony No. 9 in C Major
  • April 27 & 29
    Nicholas Carter, conductor *
    Nicole Cabell, soprano
    Lucas Meachem, baritone *
    ASO Chorus

    Lera AUERBACH: Icarus ±
    WAGNER: “Dawn” and “Siegfried’s Rhine Journey” from Götterdämmerung
    Vaughan WILLIAMS: A Sea Symphony
  • May 4 & 6
    Sir Donald Runnicles, conductor
    Irene Roberts, mezzo-soprano *

    BERG: Three Excerpts from Wozzeck
    MAHLER: Symphony No. 5
  • May 18 & 20
    Petr Popelka, conductor *
    Christina Naughton, piano
    Michelle Naughton, piano

    KAPRÁLOVÁ: Military Sinfonietta
    MARTINŮ: Concerto for Two Pianos
    DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 8
  • June 8 & 10
    Andrew Manze, conductor *
    Leila Josefowicz, violin

    MUSSORGSKY: Night on Bald Mountain
    Helen GRIME: Violin Concerto ±
    RACHMANINOV: Symphony No. 3
  • June 15, 17 & 18
    Nathalie Stutzmann, conductor
    Lise de la Salle, piano

    WAGNER: Tannhäuser Overture
    BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 3
    RAVEL: Le tombeau de Couperin
    RAVEL: Boléro
* ASO debut
† World premiere
± US premiere
‡ ASO premiere

Mark Gresham

Mark Gresham is publisher and principal writer of EarRelevant. he began writing as a music journalist over 30 years ago, but has been a composer of music much longer than that. He was the winner of an ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award for music journalism in 2003.