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ASO opens 68th season Thursday

A full slate of October concerts, including a visit to New York's Carnegie Hall, mark the first performances of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s 68th season that opens Thursday in Midtown.

Staff Report

Now that the labor dispute between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicans and management has been settled, it's time for the music.

Music Director Robert Spano and the ASO will open the 2012-13 season Thursday at 8 p.m. in Atlanta Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center with acclaimed violinist Midori returning to Atlanta for the Beethoven Violin Concerto.

Also on the program will be Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4, as an 8 p.m. performance Saturday and 3 p.m. performance Sunday will complete the opening weekend of ASO's 68th season.

Midori, who made her debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 11 and is celebrating the 30th anniversary of her performing career this season, will make her seventh appearance with the Orchestra with these concerts. While in Atlanta, she will also offer an exclusive master class for the members of the ASO Youth Orchestra and Talent Development Program as part of the Wells Fargo ArtsVibe Teen Program.

Here is more from the ASO's October performance schedule:

Oct. 11, 8 p.m.: The Anti-Defamation League will present Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin, which tells the story of courageous Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp during World War II who learned Verdi’s Requiem by rote and then performed this compelling work 16 times as a statement of defiance and resistance, answering the worst of mankind with the best of mankind.

The concert, which features the ASO and Chorus under the direction of guest conductor Murry Sidlin, will include a full performance of Verdi’s Requiem with actors, video testimony with surviving members of the choir, and original Nazi propaganda film footage.

Oct. 12 and 13, 8 p.m.: The acclaimed national touring duo of A.J. Swearingen and Jonathan Beedle will join Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski and the ASO for the orchestral premiere of “Sounds of Simon & Garfunkel” to kick off the Orchestra’s SuperPOPS! series.

Swearingen and Beedle, who have been performing Simon & Garfunkel tributes across the country for more than a decade, will team up for a variety of Simon & Garfunkel hits, including “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “The Sound of Silence,” “The Boxer,” “America,” and “Mrs. Robinson.”

Oct. 18 and 20, 8 p.m.: Spano will lead the ASO and Chorus — joined by countertenor John Holiday and baritone Brett Polegato — in the Suite from Copland’s Appalachian Spring, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast.

Oct. 27, 8 p.m.: Spano, the Orchestra, and Chorus will return to New York City's Carnegie Hall performing the program from the October 18 and 20 concerts. At the invitation of Carnegie Hall, the Orchestra has performed 23 concerts to date — 12 times with Robert Shaw, five with Yoel Levi, and six with Robert Spano. When Spano and the Orchestra played Carnegie Hall in November 2011, The New York Times said, “To judge from the large turnout and big ovations, he and the Atlanta players are always welcome at Carnegie Hall.” The upcoming performance will mark Spano’s seventh Carnegie Hall appearance with the Orchestra.

Oct. 21, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.: Staff Conductor Jere Flint will lead the ASO in the Family Concert, “Halloween on Hogwarts” — a magical journey through the music of the acclaimed Harry Potter films. Each year, costumes adorn Atlanta Symphony Hall as musicians and audience members wear their Halloween best to what has become one of the most popular family concerts of the season.

Oct. 24, 8 p.m.: Academy Award-winning composer John Williams and Academy Award-winning director and producer Steven Spielberg will join the ASO for “An Evening with John Williams, Steven Spielberg and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.” Williams will guest conduct the Orchestra in a selection of his most popular original film compositions while movie clips are shown on a giant screen and Spielberg will host the concert. The proceeds from this performance will benefit the Orchestra and its education and community engagement programs.

Oct. 26, 8 p.m.: Sister vocalists Mary Mary will perform a one-night-only gospel show.

For ticket information and a full ASO schedule for the remainder of the month and season, see here.

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