Tonight, before our regular Monday evening rehearsal, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore came to speak to the chorus about our role in the 2009-2010 season. We had the privilege of being the first to hear the details this year, though we were sworn to secrecy, or at least tactful discretion, until the season is officially announced. Vulgamore and Robert Spano will meet with the orchestra musicians on Wednesday, and the rest of the world will be informed at 11 a.m. on January 27 via a live webcast. Spano, Vulgamore, Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles and Board Chair Ben Johnson will host the announcement, with messages and/or appearances from some special guests.
It's no secret the past year has been particularly difficult for the arts, and recent headlines paint a bleak picture for the immediate future -- engagements are being dropped and productions cut at organizations all across the country. The ASO is not immune to these conditions. However, Vulgamore assured us that, as the board and the administration look to cut costs and stave off a deficit, they will make every effort "not to cancel the art."
In spite of hard times, it looks like next season will be phenomenal (or, pick one of the words Vulgamore used: joyful, thrilling, outrageous, super-cool). I'm excited about the repertoire we'll be performing, the conductors we'll be working with, and the audiences we'll be stupefying with our Shawian sleeve of sound. As Vulgamore told us tonight, the ASO is an institution of ensembles in great demand, and the season to come clearly supports her assertion. Tune into the webcast or check back here on January 27 for the good word.