The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announces the appointment of Nathalie Stutzmann as its fifth Music Director. Stutzmann will be 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.Stutzmann currently holds positions as Principal Guest Conductor of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Chief Conductor of Norway’s Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. She looks forward to leading compelling ASO programs this season before succeeding departing Music Director Robert Spano and beginning with an initial term of four years with the 27-time Grammy-winning orchestra next fall. In Atlanta, Stutzmann follows past ASO Music Directors Henry Sopkin, Robert Shaw, Yoel Levi and Robert Spano.
Looking forward to the new appointment, Stutzmann comments:
“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. We are planning several ambitious projects, including performances of Mozart’s Requiem in March 2022 and of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, a life-changing experience for any orchestra, during the 2022-23 season. It is also very important for us to connect with the Atlanta community, sharing our infectious love of music. Fulfilling the community’s hopes and expectations is a huge responsibility and a legacy that I am honored to continue.”
ASO Executive Director Jennifer Barlament responds:
“Nathalie Stutzmann is an inspiring musician of the highest caliber and a conductor of historic significance. Her fresh and engrossing interpretations make the classics feel as though we are hearing them for the first time, creating a sense of drama and anticipation with every performance. Her focus on making magic happen while providing liberty to the musicians, along with her uncompromising standards, will bring the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra into a new era. Nathalie’s humanistic ideals and her commitment to engaging the next generation of music lovers and music-makers will make Atlanta a more musical city, while her charisma and rising international profile will affirm Atlanta’s place on the global stage. I could not imagine a more exciting partner with whom to shape the future of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.”
Patrick Viguerie, Chair of the ASO’s Music Director Search Committee and Chair Elect of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Board, says,
“I am delighted that we are making this announcement today. Our search process has been incredibly thorough and inclusive, with a global reach, and involving many of our musicians, board members and patrons. Nathalie is a remarkable artist and leader, and we are confident that the musicality, passion, care and energy she brings both on and off the podium will enable our great orchestra and chorus to reach new levels of excellence. I am excited to welcome Nathalie to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.”
Janine Brown, Chair of the ASO’s Board of Directors, says,
“Speaking both personally and on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, I am thrilled to welcome Nathalie Stutzmann as our next Music Director. Nathalie is a formidable conductor, bringing vibrancy and excitement to the podium. She is charismatic, passionate about music and, as Sir Simon Rattle says, ‘The real thing.’ I am looking forward to introducing Nathalie to our audiences and to the broader Atlanta community. The combined leadership of Nathalie as our Music Director Designate and Jennifer Barlament as our Executive Director sets the stage for what will undoubtedly be a shining future for our great Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.”
"On behalf of Opera Culture, we want to personally congratulate Nathalie Stuzmann on her new appointment as Music Director of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. We are excited to witness this historic win for women in the classical music world and we hope this action helps pave the way for more women to gain leadership roles in the industry."
-Diana Amati, Founder of Opera Culture News & Magazine