History of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

A look back at where it all began

By Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

History of the ASO (1945-12-04)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

December 4, 1945

The first official season of the Atlanta Youth Symphony under the direction of Henry Sopkin. Prior to this it was known as the Atlanta Youth Symphony. 

History of the ASO (1946-12-02)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

December 2, 1946

In its second season in 1946-47, 15 professional first-chair players, including Concertmaster Robert Harrison, were secured to begin building toward a permanent Atlanta Symphony.

January 2, 1947 - The first concert using the name Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

History of the ASOAtlanta Symphony Orchestra

1950-51 Season

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra joins the ranks of the 25 major symphonies in the United States. 

History of the ASO (1962-02-02)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

February 2, 1962

The first Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Pops concert, a dance at the Georgian Terrace Hotel.

History of the ASO (1962-06-03)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

June 3, 1962

A plane traveling from Paris, France to Atlanta crashes on take-off from Orly Field killing more than 100 prominent Atlanta leaders and arts patrons. Drive begins to build an inclusive arts center as a memorial.

October 19, 1968 - Opening of Atlanta Symphony Hall.

History of the ASO (1969-09-18)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

December 18, 1969

The 25th anniversary season is inaugurated with world-premiere performance of Morton Gould's Soundings, commissioned for the occasion.

Orchestra ShotAtlanta Symphony Orchestra

May 27, 1976

The Carnegie Hall debut of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus performing Beethoven's 9th with Robert Shaw conducting.

May 16, 1982 - The Orchestra and Chorus perform under Robert Shaw at the Knoxville World's Fair.

History of the ASO (1986-12-24)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

December 24, 1986

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus make national television debut with its annual Christmas program entitled "Robert Shaw's Christmas Festival."

History of the ASO (1991-10-01)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

October 1991

The ASO in Vienna as a part of a 15 city European tour under conductor Yoel Levi.

History of the ASO (1992-07-22)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

July 22, 1992

Robert Shaw was awarded the National Medal of the Arts, the highest honor given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government.

History of the ASO (1995-03-27)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

March 27, 1995

The 50th anniversary concert, conducted by Music Director Yoel Levi, Music Director Emeritus and Conductor Laureate Robert Shaw was telecast to a nationwide audience on PBS.

History of the ASO (2000-02-08)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

February 8, 2000

ASO Board approves Robert Spano as new Music Director and Donald Runnicles as Principal Guest Conductor.

History of the ASO (2003-07-20)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

July 20, 2003

ASO performs at Ebenezer Baptist Church for the National Black Arts Festival.

History of the ASO (2008-05-10)Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

May 10, 2008

ASO presents inaugural concert at Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre.

ASO 75thAtlanta Symphony Orchestra

September 2019

The ASO kicks off the 75th anniversary season.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Atlanta: Bold and Beautiful
From hip-hop to fine art, street art to high fashion
View theme
Google apps