Grammy Award-winning conductor, pianist, and composer, Robert Spano, leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

7 Cool Ways to Experience the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

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While we do love us a rousing rendition of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, who can forget the majesty of Brahms and Mozart? The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) isn’t just stringing violins and fluting flutes while paying homage to the classics. No, this Grammy Award-winning institution, now in its 74th season, continues to up the ante for engaging musical masterpieces, concerts and events.

Grammy award-winning Robert Spano not only conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra but also collaborates with other artists, including choreographer Lauri Stallings. ASO is also known for cool, nontraditional events in and out of Atlanta Symphony Hall.

And it wouldn’t be ATL if our very own city symphony orchestra didn’t put a unique spin on what some consider boring and stodgy. Our symphony reaches classical music lovers and new listeners of all ages in engaging ways. From science fiction-inspired musical journeys to galaxies far, far away to intricate performance art mashups and big-name guests, there are so many cool and exceptional ways to experience the ASO.

Classical Performance Concerts

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Stage
For classical music purists, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s season runs from September through June and is the perfect way to experience the Grammy Award-winning outfit. Concerts range from original works brought to life by music director Robert Spano to time-honored works from Tchaikovsky, Strauss, Beethoven and more. Stay classy by dressing up in formal attire and take your date night to the next level.

Mixed Medium Performances

With so many different forms of art in Atlanta, we love it when the creative community collaborates on one unique vision. As part of the special events series, the ASO has worked with the likes of the Atlanta Ballet, Metropolitan Ballet Theatre and glo, an incomparable interpretational dance outfit that stretches the boundary and creates art through incredible movements.

Your Favorite Movie (louder and with more feeling)

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
The ASO isn’t just about the classics. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to experience your favorite movies in musical form? ASO’s Movies in Concert series boasts impressive interpretations of groundbreaking films like, “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars.” And you haven’t felt chills until you’ve heard the theme from “Jaws” performed by a full orchestra.

Special Guests and Performances

The orchestra’s creativity knows no bounds when it features iconic musicians from around the world. Whether it’s modern classical royalty like the inimitable Yo-Yo Ma or the new guard in hip-hop duo/string instrumentalists Black Violin, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s flare for the dramatic is unquestionable and has even brought the music of “The Purple One,” Prince, to the stage. A classical version of “When Doves Cry?” Where do we sign up?!

In the Great Outdoors

Atlanta Historic Fourth Ward Park Fountain
We’re lucky to have an orchestra that not only brings the house down in its concert hall but also can’t be contained by such trivial things as walls. Take the Summer Outdoors Series that features open-air events like Symphony Under the Stars (ASO at Piedmont Park Tchaikovsky & More on June 12, 2019 and Opera’s Greatest Hits on June 19, 2019), events where the orchestra takes the music to the city offering an unbridled (and free) look into the cherished works of world-renowned composers.

With the Family

Classical music isn’t relegated to the older generation. It’s used to soothe crying infants, help doctors relax during surgery and, well, have you ever seen Little Einsteins? The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra believes in the power of classical music to help mold the minds of children and young adults, so the orchestra has implemented a number of family-friendly programs like Music for the Very Young, Atlanta Youth Orchestra and Talent Development Programs to help cultivate the next generation of performers through events that educate and inspire.

On Your Smartphone

We live in an age where it’s possible to carry an entire music library in your pocket. So if you can’t make any of the above outstanding Atlanta Symphony Orchestra happenings, the ASO’s extensive catalog of award-winning performances and albums can be found on Spotify and Apple Music for your streaming and downloading pleasure.

Chris Watkins is an Atlanta-based writer and photographer and serves as the voice of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (@DiscoverAtlanta) on social media. You can follow him on Instagram @christopherbw.

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