The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs under music director Robert Spano and principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles. Complementing the orchestra is the 200-voice Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, enabling performances of large-scale symphonic/choral works. The season runs from September to May in the Woodruff Arts Center, and there are summer concerts at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park as well as in Chastain Park Amphitheatre. The box office is open Monday from 10am to 6pm, Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 8pm, Saturday noon to 8pm, and Sunday noon to 5pm. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances begin at 8pm and Sundays are at 3pm.
The ASO's annual schedule is extensive. The main offering is the Master Season Series. Master Season concerts, held on selected Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings in the plush 1,762-seat Atlanta Symphony Hall, feature renowned guest artists such as soprano Twyla Robinson, mezzo-soprano Monica Groop, tenor John Mac Master, and bass Burak Bilgili. Other events during the season are Sunday-afternoon Family Concerts geared toward children, Casual Classics on selected Saturday afternoons, holiday concerts during the Christmas season, and a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., in mid-January.
The ASO's Classic Chastain Series concerts are held in the 7,000-seat Chastain Park Amphitheatre from June to August, featuring headliners such as Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole performing with the ASO. All tickets except lawn seating are reserved. It's customary to bring elaborate picnics and wine to these events. In addition to the Chastain series, the ASO gives free evening concerts in parks throughout the Atlanta area during the summer; these run the gamut from full symphony performances to light classical concerts.
The Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta is the summer home of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The venue boasts 7,000 fixed seats under a roof and 5,000 lawn seats.
Note: Plans for the future construction of a $300-million Atlanta Symphony Center in Midtown have been in place for nearly a decade. However, the project is currently stalled due to lack of funds and the down economy.