Robert Spano Will Leave the Atlanta Symphony After 20 Years

Robert Spano
New York Times

The conductor Robert Spano, who made the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra a force to be reckoned with in contemporary American music, announced on Tuesday that he would step down as music director in 2021, after completing his 20th season.

Mr. Spano, 56, is the fourth music director in the orchestra's history, and he used his tenure to champion new music, regularly programming works by living composers - including Jennifer Higdon, Michael Gandolfi, Osvaldo Golijov and Christopher Theofanidis - who he presented to audiences as "the Atlanta School of Composers." During his tenure to date, the orchestra has performed 49 world premieres, commissioned 28 works and co-commissioned another 13.

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Opus 3 Artists has partnered with The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto to tour the ground-breaking new ensemble, KUNÉ – Canada’s Global Orchestra. The project was developed from a major RCM initiative to explore and celebrate Canada’s cultural diversity and pluralism. The ensemble seeks to communicate in ways that words, politicians, and spiritual leaders cannot, and help to find that common language through music. KUNÉ means “together” in Esperanto.

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Listen In on a Violinist’s Rehearsal Room

Jennifer Koh
New York Times

"That was good," the violinist Jennifer Koh told the soprano and composer Lisa Bielawa during a recent rehearsal. But then she pointed to a spot on her sheet music and said, "I do think we should take more time here."

They were at Ms. Koh's apartment in Upper Manhattan, practicing Ms. Bielawa's "Sanctuary Songs," which the two will perform together at National Sawdust this month as part of "Limitless," Ms. Koh's latest project to commission new music from a diverse slate of composers - who, in a new twist, will be onstage playing with her.

Ms. Koh and Ms. Bielawa repeated the passage, now with a breath that Ms. Koh said "lets people really hear the music." They went through it a few more times, adding small changes to dynamics, note lengths and overall balance. Finally, something clicked and their eyes lit up.

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