Classical performances wildly varied this fall

Atlanta Fall Arts Guide 2018

They say variety is the spice of life, and that seems to be a credo that Atlanta’s classical music organizations have taken to heart this season. From foundational classics to contemporary works by forward-thinking composers to a beloved Broadway musical, the fall season offers something for everyone. Adding to the appeal is some seriously world-class star power.

ASO Opening Weekend. Opening night of the Atlanta Symphony season always has a sense of excitement and buzz, and this year’s, the 74th, will be no different. Music Director Robert Spano conducts Tchaikovsky’s dramatic Symphony No. 5, and Kirill Gerstein performs Rachmaninov’s stunning Piano Concerto No. 2. Sept. 20-23, Symphony Hall, 404-733-5000,

Max Richter with the ACME Ensemble. German-British composer Max Richter’s works give a profoundly emotional charge to eerily familiar moods. His work “Infra,” which the composer will present at Emory’s Schwartz Center with the American Contemporary Music Ensemble, creates rich and glassy tones by combining electronic processing with traditional strings, making for some heady, meditative soundscapes. The concert will also include his score for HBO’s “The Leftovers.” Sept. 28, Schwartz Center, Emory University, 404-727-5050,

Joshua Bell. Joshua Bell’s visit to Spivey Hall in October with pianist Sam Haywood will be a rare opportunity to catch the superstar violinist in an intimate setting. Far from being a mere “accompanist,” Haywood is known to match Bell in his virtuosity and heartfelt approach to the music. Oct. 7, Spivey Hall, 678-466-4200,

Britten’s ‘War Requiem.’ The Atlanta Symphony and the ASO Chorus last performed Britten’s War Requiem in 2014 as part of a season celebrating the centenary of Britten’s birth, followed by a performance at Carnegie Hall. The New York Times called it “gripping, organic and sensitive,” echoing the sentiments of those who caught the performance in Atlanta. ‘Requiem’ is a piece of contrasts: It’s a monumental work scored for the powerful forces of symphony and chorus, but its effect is profoundly subtle and nuanced. The poems of World War I poet Wilfred Owen sung by baritone and tenor soloists (Russell Braun and Thomas Cooley this season) can be utterly chilling and devastating. It’s a safe best that those who heard the ASO take on the Requiem last time will be back for a second hearing. Oct. 25 and Oct. 27, Symphony Hall, 404-733-5000.

‘West Side Story.’ Last season’s Atlanta Opera production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” gave opera-goers a taste of how the company approaches musicals: with reverence for the piece as orchestral music but never forgetting its dramatic power as theater. The show came off beautifully, which is a good indication that the company’s upcoming production of “West Side Story” will likewise win audiences over. Like “Sweeney,” the production will adhere faithfully to the look and feel of the original Broadway show. Francesca Zambello, general director of the renowned Glimmerglass Festival, directs. Nov. 3-11, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 404-881-8885,


9 Fall Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Visual Arts




Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Go Guide

‘American Idol’ Atlanta auditions at Infinite Energy draw first and second-round hopefuls
‘American Idol’ Atlanta auditions at Infinite Energy draw first and second-round hopefuls

“American Idol” Thursday held its final early-round auditions at Infinite Energy Arena before the three celebrity judges start vetting the talent. Patrick Lynn, the supervising producer who has overseen “Idol” auditions since the show’s launch in 2002, said in an interview that the audition date was added on the schedule...
CDC approves nasal-spray vaccine for flu season
CDC approves nasal-spray vaccine for flu season

After advising the public to avoid the nasal-spray version of the flu vaccine for the past two years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now giving it the green light. A favorite of the needle-averse, the spray did not appear to work as well against H1N1, a strain of the flu, in the past few seasons, the CDC said. But it’s expected...
HPV-related cancer rates are rising. Vaccine rates are rising, too

Cancers linked to the human papillomavirus have increased significantly over the last 15 years in the United States, with throat cancer now the most common HPV-related malignancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 43,000 people developed HPV-associated cancer in 2015, compared with about 30,000 in 1999, the CDC...
Lab-approved ways to disaster-proof your home
Lab-approved ways to disaster-proof your home

Whether you’re an owner or a renter, stay one step ahead of fires, leaks, floods and worse with our expert advice to avoid costly repairs and keep your family safe. Four ways to fireproof the fam In a recent survey, you told us that unexpected flames are your No. 1 home concern. Follow this checklist to ease your fire fears: 1. Assess your equipment...
Huge clinical trial collapses, research on alcohol remains befuddling

Research on alcohol consumption is in a pickle. There’s no question that pounding one drink after another is bad for your health. Things get murkier when it comes to “moderate” drinking. What does that mean? What’s the limit? Can a health-conscious person serenely order a second round? The alcohol industry has long embraced...
More Stories