Conductor Nathalie Stutzmann Named New Music Director of Atlanta Symphony

The French conductor and contralto is the second-ever female conductor appointed to lead a major American orchestra

8
Photo Credit: Sabine Burger

 

Nathalie Stutzmann will take over from Robert Spano to become the fifth Music Director in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's (ASO) history. Her appointment will last for four years beginning next autumn.

Following the appointment of Marin Alsop as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony in 2007, Stutzmann becomes the second woman to lead a major American orchestra in a similar position.

At present, Stutzmann is Principal Guest Conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra and is also Chief Conductor of the Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra in Norway. She also served as principal guest conductor of Ireland's RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra from 2017-2020.

Stutzmann studied conducting with renowned Finnish teacher Jorma Panula, and has been mentored by Seiji Ozawa and Sir Simon Rattle

In addition, Stutzmann is also an acclaimed contralto, having received much recognition for her work in this field. She has made more than 80 recordings, is a Warner Classics recording artist, and was awarded France's highest order of merit, the Légion d'Honneur.

Stutzmann will bring her singing acumen to her work with the ASO Chorus, as she leads them in performances of both Mozart's Requiem and Bach's St. Matthew Passion in the coming season.

“It is a privilege to be named Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra," Stutzmann said. "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," she added.

"Nathalie Stutzmann is an inspiring musician of the highest caliber and a conductor of historic significance," said Jennifer Barlament, the ASO's Executive Director. "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...I could not imagine a more exciting partner with whom to shape the future of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra."