Atlanta Symphony Symphony Makes History Naming Nathalie Stutzmann Music Director

By Francisco Salazar

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has announced the appointment of Nathalie Stutzmann as its fifth Music Director.

Stutzmann, who is currently Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Chief Conductor of Norway’s Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra, will succeed Music Director Robert Spano.

She will also become the first woman to serve as the ASO’s music director and only the second woman to lead a major American orchestra, following in the footsteps of trailblazer Marin Alsop, who recently stepped down as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Other conductors who have led the ASO include Henry Sopkin, Robert Shaw, Yoel Levi and the aforementioned Robert Spano.

In a statement, Stutzmann said, “It is a privilege to be named Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The devoted commitment to music of the ASO musicians touches my heart. They have beautiful open minds, and they love to work hard, to be challenged and to take the necessary risks to serve the music and bring the highest levels of emotion to their audience. There is a special chemistry between the orchestra and me that we all immediately recognized, and this is the perfect time for us to deepen our relationship. After doing such wonderful work with Robert Spano over the past 20 years, the orchestra is in top shape, and I look forward to working with this incredible ensemble to chart new artistic territory. As a singer, I am also thrilled about the prospect of working with the ASO Chorus, which is one of America’s finest choirs.”

Stutzmann added that she os planning such projects as Mozart’s Requiem in March 2022 and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion during the 2022-23 season.

She will make her first appearances as Music Director Designate on Oct. 13 and 14, 2021, with a program of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, Verdi’s “La forza del destino” overture and the U.S. premiere of Dark with Excessive Bright by Grammy-nominated composer Missy Mazzoli.