This orchestra was established by the teacher and conductor Henry Sopkin in 1945 and first performed under the name of Atlanta Youth Symphony. In 1947 he changed it’s name to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and it wouldn’t be long before soloists that included Glenn Gould and Isaac Stern were becoming interested in it.
Henry Sopkin relinquished his position of Music Director in 1966 and Robert Shaw took his place in 1967 and would turn it into a full-time orchestra the following year.
Deciding that the orchestra needed it’s own choir, Robert Shaw established the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus in 1970 and since that time they have regularly been heard at numerous concerts and ceremonies and won themselves 14 Grammy Awards.
Robert Shaw left the orchestra in 1988 to be followed by Yeol Levi who would lead them in their performances at the 1996 Centennial Summer Olympics and he would later be made Music Director Emeritus in 2000. Robert Spano took over the Music Directorship in 2001 and has been with them ever since.
Regularly appearing the United States and several times in Europe, they currently have their home at Woodruff Arts Center’s Atlanta Symphony Hall.
They can be heard performing in their subscription and pops series along with free concerts in parks and educational and outreach performances and together this totals over 200 concerts every year. They have made numerous recordings since their first LP released in 1975 and are the first US orchestra to have made a digital recording with Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and Borodin’s Prince Igor excerpts.
Angels We Have Heard on High (Traditional French/James Chadwick/Edward Barnes)
Telarc 80087 (CD: The Many Moods of Christmas)
Conductor – Robert Shaw
Lute – George Petsch
Here they are performing under the conductorship of Robert Shaw…